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Holy Consignment Sale Batman!

February 22nd, 2009

Memo to Consignment Sale Czar:

Props to you for figuring out how to put your children through college  because you have to be raking in an assload of cash.  You charged each person consigning items $12 then took an additional 30% off the top of each sale.  You rented a huge empty store front for the week and staffed the sale with volunteers.  The volunteers actually want to work so they can earn the privilege of getting first crack at buying other people’s cast offs.  Those who don’t consign or volunteer, stand in line for hours to purchase other people’s stuff and are glad to do so (the purchasing, not the line-standing) because they feel frugal.  In return for your mad organizational skills and planning and big picture vision, you are likely taking home pockets full of cash.  Seriously, kudos to you for creating a win-win-win situation.


The Clueless Northerner who never dreamed she would be standing in line for over an hour to pay for her consignment finds and therefore didn’t bring drink, snacks, or diapers for her 2 increasingly cranky children.

PS Just a little pointer.  If you have your sale featured on the local TV talk show…telling the viewers 4 times that it is in “the old Trees N Trends store” doesn’t help those of us who feel proud that we sort of know where the current Trees N Trends store is.  An address is always appreciated.

Open letter to my fellow consignment shoppers:

Yes, the amount of clothing to be rummaged pawed sorted throughwas overwhelming.  Yes, there were WAY more people there than any of us would have dreamed.  Yes, the line was long enough that we all felt like we should have brought sleeping bags and received Springsteen [or insert cooler/more relevant band here] tickets at the end.  But you couldn’t miss the line when you entered – it snaked around most of the store and up and down a few aisles.  To stand in line for a few minutes and then throw your items on the floor and leave in disgust is without excuse.  The neverending line was either a signal that the organizer needs to recruit more volunteers next time or the price you pay to save a bunch of money on clothing for your children.  It isn’t Macy’s or Target – you can’t expect to have a retail store experience.  All you can do is decide if the amount of money you will save is worth the amount of time you will spend in line.  If the math works, get in line and shut up.  If not, place your clothing on a rack and walk away.  And be nice to the volunteers.


The Momma who was impressed by how well most kids held it together in the neverending line.

Memo to Consigners:

I understand that you are trying to get a little something back from these clothes.  And I know that you paid $12 for the privilege of selling your clothes and you only get to take home 70% of what you charge.  Really, I get it.  But please give some thought to your pricing.  I had conversations with several moms at the sale.  We all agreed that unless it was something extraordinary, $5 was our threshold (for babies and toddlers).  There were a lot of very cute outfits for $8 or $10 or $12.  But I can go to a sale and buy clothing new for that price.  So unless it is a boutique and higher end name brand (I mean Ralph Lauren not Gap), think twice before you price it over $5.  And leave the stuff with stains at home.  Yes, we even see the faint ones.

Mmm’kay? Thanks.


The Momma who was very happy with obtaining 12 outfits for Sabrina and 16 for Tessa and 2 toys for $100.  Add sandals and swimsuits and spring/summer is pretty much covered.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 at 8:37 pm and is filed under nashville. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

19 Responses to “Holy Consignment Sale Batman!”

  1. martha Says:

    I am currently getting ready for a consignment sale in my hometown next month and the gal who runs it is named Lisa. Could it be the same organizer? She is from another state…Is it called Finders Keepers there?

    Anyway this will be my second time selling, fourth or fifth time buying. I am pricing my stuff all at $2 each just to get rid of it. No emotional pricing this time! If I can’t bear to part with it for $2 I willl just keep it.” Glad you got some bargains, I end up with too many clothes every time I buy from there…I just can’t resist!

  2. Vanessa Says:

    We have only one consignment ship within four hours of our house and their prices are sort of high to me. Sometimes I will visit them but most of the time I just end up in the mall hitting the sale racks and getting goods for the same price!! I wish we would have some sort of bazaar or something here!

  3. Rhonda Says:

    Only have “once upon a child” who don’t let you set the price and way overchare their customers and way underpay the sellers……………. In our case, better to count the write off at Goodwill or hit the sale racks!!!

  4. Tracey Says:

    I love consignment places…some are better then others, but it’s the only way to go with little kids!

  5. Tricia Says:

    Ohhhhh, I have been there & done that! πŸ™‚

    We currently have a few moms who do the same thing twice a year and call it “Back on the Rack” and they make a bloody killing.

    No offense to the Carter-buying-crowd but your stuff isn’t worth $9 in my humble opinion.


  6. Tricia Says:

    P.S. Did you drag Steve to this fabulous affair? Alan is always amazed by the PARANA-LIKE approach of many mom shoppers! πŸ™‚ And yes, I consider myself one of them!

  7. Melany Says:

    Oh – consignment sales. It’s a whole different world, no?! I kind of thought it was a southern thing… but maybe it’s just cause I wasn’t a mom before I came to the South (is it supposed to be capitalized? I’m not sure). Anyway – I have three huge boxes of little girl stuff sitting in my hall wondering if I should mess with consigning – or just give to Goodwill (which is what I always end up doing). I think my patience and organization skills runs out right before I get to pricing-and-dealing-with-consignment.

    Do you need any more girl stuff? πŸ˜‰ Seriously. Free.

  8. Pattie Says:

    Your timing is perfect. For the first time, i’m planning on selling some of the stuff from my kids. I appreciate the pricing advice. So….what would be a fair price for a Peg Perego Twin Aria stroller??????

  9. Burgh Baby Says:

    I have heard tales of these Southern consignment swap things, but can’t even imagine the chaos. I might have to hurt someone if I went to one.

    Oh, and I’m with Melany. I totally have tons of girl stuff I’ll send your way. πŸ˜‰

  10. Ashley J Says:

    And coming to a town you live in next week… THE KIDZ KLOZET… at the children’s home. I already get nervous just thinking about going and it is not THAT big. I agree with you on the pricing, I mean you can even get RL at Marshall’s for $12.99. I am not sure if it is worth it on the little stuff. Spending hours tagging clothes, but I have scored big on bigger items (like a whole boutique bedding set I sold)

  11. Dana Says:

    Great post! I love your memos and letters to people you’ve had to deal with but most of all I love the sarcastic tone to your words and so many times I’m thinking “I KNOW I KNOW!!”

    My favorite in this post is “Mmm’kay?” I so get that. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that one written down anywhere. Love it!

  12. Alleen Says:

    I’ve never actually been to one of those big sales like that. Not sure we have them here. I agree, those prices seem high unless it’s really nice stuff.

    Wish you could have come to my garage sale this past weekend! Nothing over $3.00 per outfit and much of it hardly worn. I actually think I had too much out and it was too hard to go through since I didn’t sell a whole lot of it.

  13. sig Says:

    I am doing one of those next month. $5 max…gotcha! πŸ™‚

  14. Sarah Says:

    I know what you mean about “the old Trees N Trends store” doesn’t help. I laughed last week watching the news when they said that. When we first moved to TN I needed to get my drivers licence ASAP because my AL one had just expired. We had lived here 2 days when I called my neighbor to ask where to go. He told me to turn right at the old walmart and drive towards the new high school. I didn’t know where the new walmart was much less the old one!

  15. Amber Says:

    Been there- done that! I consigned at a sale this year- holy crap it was alot of work! They have so many rules (and rightfully so) that it took me 6 evenings to sort, tag, hang and organize the 100 items I was going to sell- remember I have to two year olds. I didn’t price anything except a really nice easter dress for over $4 and made $95.00 (of course this is after the $9 fee and only getting 2/3 of my haul). Whew- don’t know if I’ll be doing that again.

  16. dalia clothing Says:

    Have a very happy new year πŸ™‚

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