I am truly grateful my kids have no concept of money, because if they knew what college costs versus how much money we have in the bank, they would wake up crying at night even more than they already do. So like everyone else on Long Island, I do what I can to drive down what I have control over – my food and my clothing budgets. I’m obsessed with those shiny little slippery coupons from the Sunday paper, it makes me giddy to see the deductions ring up at the register. I also love a consignment sale – kind of like one big extreme coupon for kids “stuff”. And what a coincidence, because I happen to manage one that is growing faster than a preschooler! Our next sale is March 20 – 23 and if you’ve never shopped a ChickenKidz sale, prepare for the ride of your life!
Consignment sales are not to be confused with consignment stores, which are open year round. Our sales are held twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall and only last a few days so the anticipation and the excitement is enormous, bringing in literally thousands of shoppers. Let’s say you love a deal and have 3 kids in tow that need clothing and shoes, this is an obscenely smart way to shop since they outgrow things so quickly. And it’s not just for little ones – you’ll find plenty for your tween besides clothing such as sporting equipment, video games, DVDs, toys and a plethora of books. If you’re a new Mom (or a 2nd time, 3rd time or god bless you, 4th time Mom), you’ll find a huge selection of bouncy seats, swings, pack and plays, high chairs and strollers.
Where does all this stuff come from? Hundreds of Moms just like you sell their children’s items that are still in excellent condition. Moms that need extra money for vacation. Or maybe to fund a super birthday party. Or pay a bill. You decide how to spend your profit check. So now that you are embarking on a season filled with a truckload of new toys from Grandma, think about getting your stuff together to 1) make some room and 2) be a profitable Mom this Spring.
This is a lot easier than hosting a garage sale and you don’t have to invite strangers to your home or meet them in the Taco Bell parking lot for a $5 exchange. Everything is automated. You enter the item, description, size and price into our online inventory system and print barcoded tags at your leisure. In your jammies. Watching Dora the Explorer.
A few Chick Tips if you’re thinking of joining the craze …
- Check out the website for all the nitty gritty details on what can be sold, how it should be tagged, hung on a hanger and so on. We want you to sell your items and make money so follow the rules, it’s like a well-oiled machine.
- Pace yourself … I start organizing and pricing my stuff about 2 months before the sale. This gives me a nice leisurely pace. Trying to do everything the week before will cause lots of stress and take the fun out of selling (although it can be done, it just personally makes me twitch)
- Presentation is the end all, be all. If you have items with stains, aggressively try to treat them and if it’s not working, then don’t sell them. Wrinkled items don’t look nice on a hanger so bust out the iron or at the very least, run them through the dryer. Take the dirt off the soles of the shoes and the lint out of the Velcro. Think about it – would you buy something that didn’t look in its best possible condition? Probably not. Especially since there is going to be something fabulous right next to it whose owner took pride in its presentation (And remember, we’re Picky Chicks and won’t put anything on the sales floor that is stained, ripped or shows excessive wear – so don’t waste your time by not bringing your best).
- Price your items to sell. That’s right – you set the price, not me! Most clothing items sell well at about 25% of their retail value and high end boutique items can fetch more. The larger equipment items hold their value well and can sell between 40%-50% of their retail value. Toys do well at about 30%. Don’t get greedy. Trust us – we know what you paid for that outfit. If you think it’s worth more than what you paid for it, try eBay. And selling everything, but maybe for a little less, is WAY more profitable then selling a few things for a little more. And after all, once you get it out of the house, you definitely don’t want to bring it back in!
- Think about volunteering to really maximize your profits – the more you volunteer, the more you earn. It’s fun to transform the Riverhead Polish Hall into the children’s department at Macy’s and help the shoppers. Like playing store with a bunch of girlfriends.
- The best part … you don’t have to be at the sale to sell your items. Enjoy the day with your family while over 1,000 shoppers check out your goods. Log in to your online account at the end of each day and see exactly what sold – cool! Get your check for up to 80% of your total sales within a week after the sale closes.
Now tell me that’s not easier than a garage sale!?