I participated in another children's consignment sale this weekend. It's the same one I did in September, but it was in a different town. I learned a lot of lessons this time and thought I'd share them.
First off, something I should have thought of but didn't: Town A is a lot more well-to-do than Town B. I didn't take that into consideration with my pricing. Therefore, only my lower-priced, non-brand name items sold this time. My higher-priced Gymboree stuff hardly sold at all, not even on half off day!
Second lesson: I went into this sale with high expectations. Too high. I didn't realize this was the first sale they have ever had in the new location. It was in a kind of hard-to-find location. The traffic just wasn't there. When selling at a new sale, don't get your hopes up. The sale in Town A has been there for a couple years now and it is huge! I don't doubt the Town B sale will grow, but it does take some time to get the word out. I was very disappointed, because I went into it expecting way too much from a brand new sale.
Third lesson: Minimize the driving as much as possible! This town was also an hour from me. I dropped my stuff off on Tuesday evening, went back up on Wednesday evening to shop the presale, then went up again on Sunday afternoon to pick my unsold items up. That ended up costing me about $45 in gas. (I hadn't actually figured that up until just now - ugh). I need to combine trips. Here's what I'm thinking for next time: drop my stuff off as late in the day on Wednesday as possible, then hang out in town Wednesday afternoon until the pre-sale that evening. Volunteer for a late shift on Saturday, then take my unsold items home with me that evening. Have them mail my check after the sale. That will cut the driving down by one whole trip (90 miles) and $15. Also, by volunteering, I'll get an extra 5% of my sales, so not only will I save money on gas, but I'll make MORE money at the sale.
Fourth lesson: I didn't get to make it for the half-off sale (see Third Lesson above). When I stopped to pick up my unsolds yesterday, I was amazed at how many items were left that I would gladly have bought for half price. I casually mentioned it to the woman who runs the sale, knowing full well that selling items on pick-up day would be a logistical nightmare. But she said, "Well then go buy them! I'm keeping track of today's last minute sales and will send out separate checks tomorrow." So I set my stuff down and shopped away! I spent about $50 on 13 items (all Gymboree and Hanna Andersson for resale). I was so excited about the things that I bought, that I left without my check! Yes, I LEFT MY CHECK on the counter in the store. Ugh. I emailed her. I REALLY hope she found it, and that someone else didn't accidentally scoop it up. That would really stink - all that hard work for nothing. Actually for significantly less than nothing when you consider how much I spent on gas and the clothes that I bought.
So here's the final report (you'll see why I was so disappointed):
I took 93 items and sold 42. I guess that's decent, but as I mentioned earlier, it was all my low-priced stuff. I sold a total of $160.50 worth. The people who run the sale keep 60% of that, plus a $5 consignment fee per seller. I list half of my stuff under my name, and half of my stuff under my sister's name so she can get into the sale early as a "consignor," so that's $10 that I lose in consignment fees, plus the 40%. So my checks totalled $86.30.
Let's do some sickening math, shall we?
Total Earnings: $86.30
Total Spent Wednesday night on clothes for my kids plus 2 items for resale: $40
Total Spent Sunday afternoon on clothes for resale: $50
Total Spent in Gas: $45
$48.70 in the hole, assuming I get my checks ($135 in the hole if I never see them again)
I'm not going to count ink, cardstock, or hangers, because that is even more sickening.
I had a good time, I enjoyed prepping my items for the sale. But I've got to either lower my prices for Town B next time, or just stick with the sale in Town A (my personal preference).