You know that pair of lamps collecting dust in your attic and those old toys taking up valuable closet space? You can turn that unused stuff into cash just in time for the most expensive time of year: the holidays. Now is a great time to try consigning your unused stuff in order to generate extra cash for Christmas. Consider this our early gift to you-- the insider secrets of how consigning can lead to quick cash.
There are basically two types of retail outlets that will help you clear your clutter in exchange for cash: resale stores and consignment shops. A resale store will buy your items outright at a determined price and then sell it for a profit. Consignment shops offer to sell your goods and then you get a percentage of the price the item sells. With consignment typically you earn 40-50 percent of the sales price.
Finding the Right Shop
If you have a friend or family member that already consigns, ask them for a recommendation. But if you don't have a trusted source for information, check out NARTS.org, the website for the association of resale professionals. Here you'll be able to search for reputable consignment stores in your area. Call or visit the store’s website to learn about their consigning procedures because every shop's policies are different. Some stores will require you to make an appointment. They may have guidelines about brands they'll carry and the number of items you can drop off at a time.
Prepping Your Inventory
Don't assume that a consignment store will take just anything. Getting your products on their store shelves will take a little effort. Prep clothing by cleaning it, pressing it and putting it on a hanger. Dust or polish furniture and toys. NARTS suggests polishing glassware with a little vinegar to add brightness. And make sure all of the parts or pieces of your collection are included. Most stores will not accept stained, torn, well-loved items because no one will buy it. You increase your chances for success by having your items presentable for purchase.
When it comes to clothing, name brands are best according to Cristin Frank, expert consignor and founder of The Eve of Reduction, a lifestyle movement pitching consumption control. "If you buy clearance items such as Gymboree, Baby Gap, or Osh Kosh you can earn about 50 percent back on your purchase by selling your used clothes at kid consignment shops," she says. "Often I buy the clothes originally from the consignment shop and sell it back within a year or two to recoup a good chunk of my original purchase." Other hot sellers include books, toys and furniture.
Earning Cash for Christmas
Cristin says she earns about $200 a year selling her used clothing. Often she'll get her earnings in the form of store credit so she can essentially purchase her kids clothes, coats and shoes for free. You could easily do the same if you want to do some holiday shopping at the consignment store, or you can take your cash and use it to help your gift budget go further this Christmas season. No one has to know that you paid for their lovely gift by simply cleaning out your closets.