Consignment Vs. Yard Sale

Updated on April 16, 2008
S.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
17 answers

Hello, we are participating in our neighborhood's yard sale next month and I am wondering what you all think about selling my kids' outgrown clothes at a consignment shop like Once Upon A Child or at the yard sale. We are already doing the sale for sure, so the work of having a sale is not a factor. I am wondering if the money I'd get at a resale shop is better then what I'd get at my yard sale. My kids are pretty easy on their wardrobes, so most things are like new and my MIL retired from Dayton's w/ a lifetime discount so a lot of things are from there (or MF then Macy's) as well as a lot from Gymboree and Children's Place. Of course, there's a lot form Target as well! What is everyone's experience? Is one better than the other? Should I take the nicer, boutique and name brand things to a resale shop and sell the Target stuff at my sale? Also, are some OUAC locations better then others for selling? Thank you for sharing your experience!

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your advice. It sounds like I would be better off just putting the things in Kingfield sale since we were having it anyway and then deciding if I'll take the leftovers to a consignment shop or put them out for ARC. Thank you all for your insight and advice!

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A.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would try and take the clothes to the consignment shop. You tend to get a better price there, but they can sometimes be picky. For instance, they only take seasonal clothing (no winter clothes now for instance), and for certain sizes, they only take "outfits." So what I usually do is try the consignment shop first, and then anything left over, I give to Goodwill/sell.

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M.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have taken my daughters clothes to Once upon a child (2 big bins)and walked out with two bins. Her clothes are in good shape she is 8 and so I have garage sales and I think it is worth to have a sale. I also took them to another Once upon a child and samthing not much was taken.

Good luck that is my experience with that.

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.,

I don't know where you live but you might want to check out these websites.

www.FromYoursToMIne.com
www.muchkinmarkets.com

There is a third one but I can't remember the name of it. You can go on these websites and get signed up for their emails. I think you will see that consignment is a much better way to go than yard sale. There are also a lot of perks to using this system. If you don't live in the Minneapolis area, maybe the ladies who run these events would know of people or organizations who are doing the same thing in your area. Or, maybe you could start something like this of your own.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would recommend that you use one of the sales that focus on kid's clothes to get the best return on your stuff. Have you checked out Just Between Friends or Munchkin Markets? They usually offer 50% of what you sell or even more if you're willing to volunteer there for a few hours.

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B.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.-
I use consignment - Turnstyles- for my designer stuff- they don't take Target, Penneys type brands but pay the most out for brand names.
You have to wash- they say iron but I don't- just pull them out of dryer early and hang so nice. They pick what they want. I used to go to once upon a child but each store varies and they pay so so much less. Sometimes I still do if I can't find places and people to donate my items too.
With 6 yo twin girls- I have a ton of stuff- esp. from younger years not worn out.
I'd highly recommend it rather than a yard sale where you bargain down prices.
B. J
47 yo prof. and wellness coach- [email protected]____.com

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

S.-
You won't get very much money at Once Upon a Child. They have employees and rent to pay, so your items would be helping them out with that. I would either do the sale, or check out "Just Between Friends", which is a children's and maternity consignment sale. (Sort of like those great ECFE sales.) You get to mark your items how you would like them to be marked (higher than garage sale items) and you get 70% of the items sale price. It is really a great deal! If you volunteer to help with the sale, then you get to preshop earlier than the consignors. More info can be found at www.jbfsale.com. Check it out! Good luck!

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B.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

If I were you, I would try to sell all the clothes at your yard sale, and whatever doesn't sell, I would take to OUAC. At your yard sale you can sell something for $5, but if you take the same item to OUAC, they will give you $3 for it and then they will sell it for $5. Know what I mean? Good luck!

T.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds great! It doesn't hurt to try the consignment stores first and then, anything that doesn't sell you can sell at the garage sale. Also, Craig's list is great for selling kids things too.

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

My experiance with Once upon a Child is they are very very picky and don't give you all that much.

I have a only child who is extrememly spoiled and wears mostly brand names. She's a girlie-girl and doesn't ruin or wear her clothing out and I can't tell you how many items Once/Child has said they weren't interested in or whatever. When they do buy our things they pay pretty crappy on it. I had a $500 dollar Bassett Crib they gave me $25dollars for. I was desperate to get rid of it so I did it.

I would do a yardsale and then take your leftovers and go to Once/Child and see what they want.

I have taken a box of clothes to one Once/Child and what they didn't take I have taken to a different location and got rid of the rest or the majority of what the first location didn't want. Since each store is generally private owned you can do that and have the best luck.

The two Once/Childs I think pay the best and are my favorites is St.Louis Park and Shakopee, I've NEVER had good luck with the Burnsville location.

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A.

answers from Minneapolis on

You should consider a Just Between Friends sale (www.jbfsale.com). There are three different sites around the twin cities. They do two sales a year. It's like a combination between a garage sale and a consignment sale. You have to price all of your stuff and take it to the sale. They sell it all for you over 2-3 days. They keep 30%. You make much more than OUAC, and you don't have to do the work of a garage sale. It's also a great place to shop!

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D.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

I personally didn't have great luck at Once Upon a Child- they are pretty picky about stuff. It sounds like you have a lot of desirable brands, though, so it's worth a try. Just don't expect too much as far as reimbursement goes. Keep in mind that they are reselling those items and looking to make a profit... I found the Minnetonka location to be more accepting of items than Maple Grove. Hope that helps!

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N.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'd do both. I'd sell everything at the garage sale first, and then I would take anything that didn't sell to a consignment store. While there's no guarantee consignment will take it, this way you get first crack at setting your own value on the items at top dollar. You can always lower your price during the garage sale if things things don't move because people think you're asking too much.

I have done this myself, and I can tell you... I always make more money at my garage sales than I do selling to consignment. You have to remember, you're in essence splitting the cost of the sale with the consigner. They always get the higher percentage, or they won't profit. So I figure, cut the middle man out first, and if that doesn't work what do you have to lose? Afterall, the only plus with consignment is if they do take the items, you're getting a guaranteed check/money for the items. But its not necessarily the most you could get for the items.

As for setting the price on items to be sold at a garage sale, I usually set it at 40 to 50% what I paid for them brand new, if they are still currently available in stores, and are gently used.

If they are new in the box or packaging, I knock off just about $5 the orginal price. If the items are much older, but in good condition, I'd set the prices on par with what you'd find in a second hand shop (under $10).

With the particularly nice garage sale items, I have found people are willing to pay if the items are about 50% of the current selling price in stores. Before the sale begins, I will keep a lower price in mind that I'm willing to let it go at, and will barter to that point if someone is relunctant to pay my original price. I will try to base my lowest final price on par with what I'd expect the consignment store's payout rate to be. That way, you at a minimum will save yourself a trip to the consignment store, and make what you would have made anyway.

You'll find most people who shop garage sales love to barter for their bargains. Especially if the items you are selling are in great condition. I think serious garage sale goers expect this, so you should, making it all the more reasonable for you to set the prices a little higher. When putting up an ad in the paper or on-line etc., be sure to include detailed description of what you will be selling, including brand names, sizes etc. The more details, the more "good gets" the more serious shoppers you'll get. Location of the sale is no obstacle. What you sell is the big decider. Name brands, collectibles, hand crafted, etc. are all words that will bring potential buyers.

Once again, there are serious bargain hunters who spend their entire weekends mapping out the metro for the "must go" sales in the metro. In the past, I've even had die-hards come to my house the night before while I'm still setting up so they could have a private "showing" of what's up for sale. And the next morning, hours before our "doors" open, people camped out front waiting to get first dibs.

The big challenge with taking GS items that don't sell to consignment is keeping it clean and presentable so they still get a good price at a consignment store. I'd keep this in mind as you plan on where you'll "place" the items, and how you'll present them. I'd try to hang everything on hangers, and keep them away from the elements and blowing dirt. Putting clothing items on tables migh encourage people to touch them, ball them up or what not. The hangers will keep them off the ground, and make them easily viewed as complete ensembles.

Items like high chairs, strollers, or toys etc. will do fine on tables etc, but remember to remove garage sale tags before taking them to consignment.

Hope this helps. Good luck

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A.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have also had little luck with OUAC. I would also do the garage sale, price the clothes for what you want, and then bring the leftover to the consignment.

Also, I have used Craig's list for some of my bigger stuff. I don't know how well kid's clothes sell there, but I do see some, I just have never bought or sold. I think the important thing with Craig's is to have decent pictures of your stuff so people know what you have. And, of course, be cautious of pickups. I've never had any problems with it, and I have bought and sold several things (more than a dozen), but with the stories in the press, it must be said. I make sure never to give out my address until I am sure I have a sale. I have had a couple of browsers that have fallen through, but for the most part, it has all been smooth. I have also met people in public places when that was more convenient for both of us.

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C.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Consignment stores will usually only take seasonal clothes, so if you are trying to get rid of snow pants and sweaters right now, forget it. They will be interested in spring and summer clothes. My experience has been what everyone else has said: they typically take new, name brand stuff. If something is over a year or two old, I wouldn't even bother. It's also a crapshoot--if that particular store is overstocked with boys' shorts, they aren't going to take yours, no matter how new or in-style they are.

Some consignment stores will give you the option of either taking cash for your items, or taking store credit, with the store credit being a high monetary amount (ex.: $10 cash or $15 in store credit). If you are going to be in need of more kids' clothes anytime soon, the store credit can be a nice option.

I would put everything out at the garage sale first, then go to a consignment store with your leftovers.

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E.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I had some clothing to get rid of last fall, and I tried consignment, just as an experiment. They have you wait in the store for 45 minutes to an hour while they pick over your items (hoping that meanwhile you'll find merchandise to buy)... and they are very picky. I ended up with $17 from the consignment shop. If I had donated the clothing, I could have taken a much larger tax write-off, and not wasted the time waiting for them to go through my items or making another trip a couple months later to pick up the check.

I definitely wouldn't do consignment again!

In your situation, I'd recommend putting out whatever you have at the yard sale, since it's not going to be an extra hassle for you. Donate the rest and taking the write-off.

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

I just wanted to weigh in on craigslist. I haven't been much of one to take thing to a consignment shop, mostly because we don't have a lot of brand name clothes; but toys, we have coming out our ears, many very nice. Often you'll be able to get a better price from somwhere like craigslist for the nicer things, so that's something to consider. Another thing to think about is how much you're selling. I know as a buyer, I'm not willing to drive far (considering a craigslist purchase) for a few items. But if you bundle them together and give me a good price (like a collection of summer clothes for a given sex and size), I'd be willing to drive further. So that might be a good thing to consider for whatever doesn't sell at the garage sale. Good luck!

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L.Y.

answers from Minneapolis on

I recently found out about The Kids Rack in Champlin, MN. The ladies that own that place are wonderful and really friendly. Here's there website, check it out. http://www.thekidsrack.com/

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