After you announce your pregnancy, and your due date draws closer, you are likely to receive an endless flow of clothes from well wishers, especially if you know you are having a girl. People just can’t resist buying those pink, frilly, tiny baby clothes. Your baby will be the best dressed baby for a few weeks—until she outgrows them. As your child grows older, he or she will likely continue to be the recipient of gifts of clothing. But because kids grow so fast, especially when they are little, you are likely to be overrun with outgrown clothes.
Instead of being frustrated, consider making some cash from those clothes and contributing to the health of the environment by recycling the clothes. Sure, you could have a garage sale, but those are often quite a bit of work, and you will likely sell the clothes for a dollar a piece or less. An easier way is to sell the clothes at a consignment store.
How to Prepare the Clothes
- Make sure all of the clothing is freshly laundered.
- Carefully look them over for flaws and stains. Consignment shops will only choose clothing that is free of flaws and stains.
- Only take clothing that is currently in style (ideally 3 or less years old).
- Only bring in name brand clothing. Consignment stores are looking for name brand clothing such as Janie and Jack, Gymboree and Gap. If you have clothing from K-mart or Target, for example, the consignment shop will likely reject those pieces. You can call ahead to ask before making the trip.
- Bring in clothing based on season. Many consignment stores want clothing for the upcoming season. For instance, if you drop off clothes in July or August, the consignment store is probably looking for fall clothing. Again, call ahead to find out what the store prefers.
Selling on Consignment
There are two ways consignment stores generally work:
1. They pay you as the clothing sells. Some smaller, local consignment shops pay you a percentage of what the clothes sell for. They may give you anywhere from 30% to 50% of the clothing’s sale price. You make money as the items sell. At the end of the season, any clothes that did not sell are returned to you or you can let the store donate them.
2. They give you money upfront for your clothes. National consignment chains such as Once Upon a Child will give you money when you drop off your clothes. (In general, depending on the brand, size and condition, expect $1 or $2 per piece of clothing.) You get paid a bit less than consignment stores that pay you a percentage because the store is taking all of the risk by buying your items upfront.
Selling your kids’ clothes at consignment stores is a great way to make some extra money and declutter your house, and it is much easier than having a garage sale. What are you waiting for?
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