In case you haven’t noticed, babies grow. Like weeds. The cute onesie you bought last month will no longer fit next month. And after a while, you’ll have the cutest pile of footie jammies, I LOVE MY MOM onesies and colorful outfits that don’t fit your baby.
So what do you do with the outgrown baby clothes? Some of them probably got stained in the short time you had them (unfortunately babies are slow learners when it comes to proper hygiene), while others are probably in excellent condition.
Giving them away is always an option. So is storing them in the attic in case another baby comes into your life. Of course, you could always sell them at a yard sale. If you like the idea of cashing-in on baby clothes, then a more lucrative (and less stressful, less time consuming and less haggling with professional yard salers) is consignment.
While the idea of selling baby clothes through consignment sounds good, if you’re not familiar with the process it may seem a bit daunting. Once you understand how it works, you’ll be hooked.
FIRST STEP: GO SHOPPING!
Shop at a couple consignment stores near you. Are the stores clean? Are the clothes in very good to excellent shape? Would you buy anything from there? Remember, if you want to make money, you want to consign your clothes at a store that gets a lot of return shoppers. And if the clothes are only in marginal condition, people don’t come back as often; therefore, you won’t make a lot.
SECOND STEP: LEARN THE RULES
Ask these 4 important questions about a store’s consignment policy:
What brands will the store carry? Most stores have a list of brands they accept and those they do not. Consignment stores don’t make much profit on discount brands, since they are already priced low when brand new.
What season are they currently accepting? At beginning of summer, a store will take summer clothes, but by August, they are marking down their summer clothes and putting out fall clothes. Just like the major retailers.
TIP: Consignment stores could take your baby’s cute little bikini in August, but chances are not very good for you that it will sell, so it would be more strategic of you to hold onto it until next year when it can be sold at the beginning of the season. Same strategy goes for holiday and prom dresses – take them into the store at the beginning of their selling season for the best chance at making money.
What is your payment policy? The way it works with consignment is you set up an account at the store, the store sells your clothes and pays you a percentage. The actual percentage you get, when you get it and in what format (cash, store credit) you get it will vary per store, so it’s important to find out this information before setting up an account.
Do you need to make an appointment? Busy consignment stores require appointments to evaluate your items, and often Saturdays are off limits. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes.
THIRD STEP: GET YOUR CLOTHES READY!
Sort through your clothes based on what the store accepts. Make a pile of clothes that can be consigned (treat any stains; use a gentle detergent that also brightens whites), make a pile of clothes that should be donated and a pile of clothes that would make good rags. Pay attention to brand labels!
Have a plan B for clothes that are not accepted. You might think the darling ducky overall set would be a top seller at the consignment store, but the store owner might not. Do not take it personally if your items are not accepted. Store owners know what will sell and what won’t. Just have a plan B for what to do with those clothes (Donate to charity or try your luck at another consignment store. Just don’t put them in your trunk and forget they’re there until next year).