The Village - 7 turnkey tips for turning your kids' closets into cash

Helping to raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice and cool finds.
The village: helping raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice, hacks and cool finds
Small pile of pants.

FAMILY

7 turnkey tips for turning your kids' closets into cash

By Mary Fallon

Kids cycle through a lot of stuff. Never is that truism more apparent than when sifting through closets and dressers. So you sifted and sorted. Now what? Do you donate, toss out, or consign? We believe the latter can be the most sensible, responsible option. We hope these tips will convince you as well while making the consignment process manageable and less daunting.

1. Find the right store

Many things go into your decision on where to sell your precious, memory-filled rompers and tiny-sized tees, and one consignment store does not usually fit all. Visit multiple stores, walk the aisles, note foot traffic, and determine whether kids’ inventory moves. If the kids’ section is small, it isn’t likely their specialty, and your items may sit longer than necessary.

Once you find the right store, dive into the details. Ask an associate about the seller’s consignment experience. After they walk through the process, they’ll schedule an in-person appointment with you. During the appointment, ask about fees, sales, markdowns, and reimbursement. And always, always read the fine print before signing a contract.

“Supporting local consignment stores benefits everyone – your city, small businesses, the planet, and you. However, you have many resell and trade options – buy-sell-trade groups, local consignment events, or online marketplaces.”

2. The long and short of getting paid

During your appointment, the consignment store will inspect your items and determine their selling price, which is generally one third of retail value. Your split with the store can be anywhere from 40/60, 50/50, or 60/40, depending on how established they are.

Most consignment stores will pay out when your item sells while others save you the wait and purchase your items outright. While instant cash may seem appealing, there is a downside; those payouts are much smaller, usually about 30% of the total sales price. One way to stretch your resale dollar is receiving earnings in store credit. Kids grow fast, and this approach helps offset the cost of growth spurts!

While each store has its respective policies, anticipate your items to remain available for 60-90 days and marked down after around 60 days, often by 30-50%. If your items don’t sell during the designated period, they generally become the property of the store or get donated unless you’ve negotiated their return if they don’t sell.

3. Clean and fresh is key

While this may sound obvious, make sure items are freshly laundered. Check for stains, pet hair, and any off-putting smells (e.g. smoke, musty, pets) as you sort through the piles, and be sure to wipe down kids’ shoes. Consignment stores will reject anything that doesn’t meet their standards, so make sure your items hit the spin cycle and invest in that lint roller!

4. Condition matters too

While also a common sense reminder, honestly assess the condition of your items. Do they have holes, fading, excess wash wear, or fabric pilling? If so, create a donation or repurpose pile. Do zippers zip and snaps snap? Double-check the knees.

Consignment stores want apparel that’s gently used, in excellent condition, no more than 3 to 5 years old. Some stores may accept older pieces if they’re considered collectible or hard-to-find. Vintage (over 20 years old) consignment also varies by store and specialty. The tried-and-true question when considering suitability for resale: “Would I buy this off a rack?”

5. Think seasonally

Consignment stores’ buying seasons vary by geography. You increase your selling odds at the beginning of each season, so learn your respective store’s selling schedules. Back-to-school shopping starts in July, so plan a thorough closet clean out early- to mid-summer. January can be the best time to consign spring dresses, sandals, and swimwear. Of course, some items are reliable year-round bets – tees, sneakers, and denim – but the moral here is, “Think ahead.”

6. Brands and Trends That Sell

If you’re a parent, you already know that quality, well-made kid brands hold their value better, which is why consignment stores tend to favour inventory from certain brands. Upscale consignment stores often pass on value and Big Box brands due to low resale value. Ask your consignor what brands they prefer.

Being on-trend counts for something too. While rainbows and cherries may never go out-of-style, see what graphic creature is displacing the sloth! Explore trend-forward retail sites to stay on top of ever-changing styles. Your consignor is a great resource as well. Don’t be afraid to ask them about current high-demand items.

Kids clothing handing on hangers

7. Consignment Store Alternatives

Supporting local consignment stores benefits everyone – your city, small businesses, the planet, and you. However, you have many resell and trade options – buy-sell-trade groups, local consignment events, or online marketplaces.

Online marketplaces generally provide the highest payout because inventory is priced for accessibility and often accommodate lengthier selling periods. While local shops can sell items that are harder to market to a virtual audience, online retail values are generally higher.

As the co-founder of Kidizen, an online marketplace for parents to shop and sell used kids’ fashion, we provide our sellers with two ways to sell their kid stuff: list and sell yourself or have one of our pro-sellers (the Style Scouts) sell on your behalf.

Whichever resale channel you choose for your kids’ clothing, you’ve made an important decision to extend the life of your children's clothes – a more economical and sustainable consumption path for future generations.

FAMIY

7 turnkey tips for turning your kids' closets into cash

By Mary Fallon

Kids cycle through a lot of stuff. Never is that truism more apparent than when sifting through closets and dressers. So you sifted and sorted. Now what? Do you donate, toss out, or consign? We believe the latter can be the most sensible, responsible option. We hope these tips will convince you as well while making the consignment process manageable and less daunting.

1. Find the right store

Many things go into your decision on where to sell your precious, memory-filled rompers and tiny-sized tees, and one consignment store does not usually fit all. Visit multiple stores, walk the aisles, note foot traffic, and determine whether kids’ inventory moves. If the kids’ section is small, it isn’t likely their specialty, and your items may sit longer than necessary.

Once you find the right store, dive into the details. Ask an associate about the seller’s consignment experience. After they walk through the process, they’ll schedule an in-person appointment with you. During the appointment, ask about fees, sales, markdowns, and reimbursement. And always, always read the fine print before signing a contract.

“Supporting local consignment stores benefits everyone – your city, small businesses, the planet, and you. However, you have many resell and trade options – buy-sell-trade groups, local consignment events, or online marketplaces.”

2. The long and short of getting paid

During your appointment, the consignment store will inspect your items and determine their selling price, which is generally one third of retail value. Your split with the store can be anywhere from 40/60, 50/50, or 60/40, depending on how established they are.

Most consignment stores will pay out when your item sells while others save you the wait and purchase your items outright. While instant cash may seem appealing, there is a downside; those payouts are much smaller, usually about 30% of the total sales price. One way to stretch your resale dollar is receiving earnings in store credit. Kids grow fast, and this approach helps offset the cost of growth spurts!

While each store has its respective policies, anticipate your items to remain available for 60-90 days and marked down after around 60 days, often by 30-50%. If your items don’t sell during the designated period, they generally become the property of the store or get donated unless you’ve negotiated their return if they don’t sell.

3. Clean and fresh is key

While this may sound obvious, make sure items are freshly laundered. Check for stains, pet hair, and any off-putting smells (e.g. smoke, musty, pets) as you sort through the piles, and be sure to wipe down kids’ shoes. Consignment stores will reject anything that doesn’t meet their standards, so make sure your items hit the spin cycle and invest in that lint roller!

4. Condition matters too

While also a common sense reminder, honestly assess the condition of your items. Do they have holes, fading, excess wash wear, or fabric pilling? If so, create a donation or repurpose pile. Do zippers zip and snaps snap? Double-check the knees.

Consignment stores want apparel that’s gently used, in excellent condition, no more than 3 to 5 years old. Some stores may accept older pieces if they’re considered collectible or hard-to-find. Vintage (over 20 years old) consignment also varies by store and specialty. The tried-and-true question when considering suitability for resale: “Would I buy this off a rack?”

5. Think seasonally

Consignment stores’ buying seasons vary by geography. You increase your selling odds at the beginning of each season, so learn your respective store’s selling schedules. Back-to-school shopping starts in July, so plan a thorough closet clean out early- to mid-summer. January can be the best time to consign spring dresses, sandals, and swimwear. Of course, some items are reliable year-round bets – tees, sneakers, and denim – but the moral here is, “Think ahead.”

6. Brands and Trends That Sell

If you’re a parent, you already know that quality, well-made kid brands hold their value better, which is why consignment stores tend to favour inventory from certain brands. Upscale consignment stores often pass on value and Big Box brands due to low resale value. Ask your consignor what brands they prefer.

Being on-trend counts for something too. While rainbows and cherries may never go out-of-style, see what graphic creature is displacing the sloth! Explore trend-forward retail sites to stay on top of ever-changing styles. Your consignor is a great resource as well. Don’t be afraid to ask them about current high-demand items.

Kids clothing handing on hangers

7. Consignment Store Alternatives

Supporting local consignment stores benefits everyone – your city, small businesses, the planet, and you. However, you have many resell and trade options – buy-sell-trade groups, local consignment events, or online marketplaces.

Online marketplaces generally provide the highest payout because inventory is priced for accessibility and often accommodate lengthier selling periods. While local shops can sell items that are harder to market to a virtual audience, online retail values are generally higher.

As the co-founder of Kidizen, an online marketplace for parents to shop and sell used kids’ fashion, we provide our sellers with two ways to sell their kid stuff: list and sell yourself or have one of our pro-sellers (the Style Scouts) sell on your behalf.

Whichever resale channel you choose for your kids’ clothing, you’ve made an important decision to extend the life of your children's clothes – a more economical and sustainable consumption path for future generations.

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