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Frugal Families Save Money and Make Money with Consignment Sales

Find deals and earn money with consignment sales.

Clothing is a constant drain on a family budget. As children grow, they outgrow their clothes.

Shopping store sales and getting hand-me-downs from friends and family can help defray those costs, but not everyone has a good source for hand-me-downs and sale prices are not always that low. 

Children’s consignment sales and stores are places where parents can find good deals on clothing and other items, such as toys, strollers, highchairs and other baby necessities. They’re also a place to make back some of the money already spent on those items or on gifts you can’t return.

All consignment sales and stores have their own rules. In general, prices are lower at consignment sales than they are at consignment stores that have to pay overhead on their shop premises, but you can find bargains at both places.  

If you want to sell at a consignment sale or store here are some key points to find out in advance:

  • Is there a minimum number of items that you must bring to sell?
  • Is there a maximum number of items you can bring to sell?
  • What happens if the items don’t sell?
  • Are they donated or can you pick them up?
  • If your unsold items are donated, do you get a receipt for tax purposes?
  • What percent do you make on the sale of your items?
  • Do you make a bigger percent if you work a shift or more than one shift?
  • Is there a fee you have to pay to consign your items?
  • Do you price the items or does a representative of the sale or shop?
  • What items do they accept and what items don’t they accept?
  • Should items be on hangers?

If you want to buy from a consignment sale, here are some things you should check into first:

  • Some sales have previews for new parents. See if you can get into the preview.
  • Many sales mark prices down during the last hours of the last day.
  • Some sales give perks to volunteers, such as the ability to attend a preview.
  • Some sales get new merchandise partway into the sale, so if you’re there the first day, you may want to go back the second day.
  • Some sales have an admission fee. 

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