Consignment Sales vs. Garage Sales

Garage sales have been around for ages but consignment sales are becoming the new rage. Find out why consignment is a better choice than selling at a garage sale.

Why consignment is a better choice than selling at a garage sale.

It’s almost April, the official start of Garage Sale Season.  It’s almost April, the very middle of Children’s Consignment season!  As you survey your packed garages, attics, kids closets and playrooms, consider these things:  Do you have a significant amount of items that are related to kids in any way?  Do you want to spend an entire weekend sitting in your garage trying to figure out what to do with the leftover items?  Do you really want to deal with people criticizing your prices, or haggling over a 50cent item?  Chances are, you have much better things to do with your time and sanity, so selling your things at a consignment sale makes a better option for you. 

A good consignment sale will have an online tagging system that allows you to enter, and price your items at your convenience.  They normally have great tips listed on how to price items as well.  One of those tips is that a clothing item can sell for a much higher price at a consignment sale than a garage sale.  Many people have clothing in bins for $1.00, $.50 or even $.25 per piece at a garage sale.  When hanging in a store-like atmosphere, with like sizes, and season of clothing, however, an infant dress can earn $6.00,  a 10 year old’s soccer spikes can be a return of $8.00 and your never-to-be-worn-again maternity outfits can net $10.00. 

Advertising and market reach is the next factor to consider.  You can place an ad for your garage sale in the local bargain shopper newsletter, or newspaper, and hope that people see it and have time to get to your location in the two hour window that people usually spend out and about on Saturday mornings.  But, if you are like me, you also notice people doing the “slow drive-by” to check out the larger items you have featured from the road, before they actually make the choice to park their car and enter by way of your driveway.   A consignment sale, on the other hand, spends hundreds of advertising dollars on newspaper marketing, print ads in local magazines, blogs on community postings, Craigslist advertisements, and notices to preschools, daycares, soccer teams, and Girl Scout Troops.  This wide market reach translates into literally thousands of shoppers, versus the 75 that could visit your garage between 8 am and noon on a Saturday morning. 

The last thing to consider is what to do with the leftover, unsold items.  At a garage sale, you can make a trash pile, a donate pile, and a back-in-the-house-maybe-I’ll-use-it pile.  Then, when trash day rolls around, you get rid of one pile, the following Saturday when you are running errands, you get rid of the donations by dropping them off to Goodwill, and the third pile sits around.  With a consignment sale, there is always a charity waiting at the end to take any donated items.  Most of these charities partner with the sale owners to help you get a tax receipt for your donated items, and offer their heartfelt thanks for your kindness and generosity.  A consignor’s happiness then doubles upon realizing that they do not have to pick up anything at the end of the sale other than their sales check for all of the items they have sold! 

Sunflower Sprouts is a local Children’s Consignment Sale owned by two moms, one from Seven Fields and one from Volant.  Their business was started out of a desire to help families raise children economically, and in an environmentally friendly way.  Recycling one family’s gently used items right into another family is a great savings cycle that has benefits for our community as a whole.  The next Sunflower Sprouts sale is coming up April 13 – 20 and will be held at the former Value City location in the Northway Mall, McKnight Road.  For full sale information, including information on how to become a consignor, please visit the full website www.sunflowersprouts.org. 


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