In today’s challenging economy families are looking for ways to make the most of their budget. We’ve all heard the news about increases in cotton prices, experienced recent pain at the pump and have felt the overall impact of inflation. As a result there’s been significant growth in the consignment sale industry.
So what are consignment sales? They’re seasonal events usually held in the spring and fall and lasting about a week where you can find any of the items you typically buy for your children, from clothing to toys, books, bassinets, strollers, baby slings. You name it and it’s probably for sale. Consignors register with the sale, often times through an online system and price their items to be dropped off at the sale. Volunteers arrange merchandise and help run things during the sale in exchange for early shopping privileges and a higher percentage of their sales. Consignors, volunteers, first time moms and often times military get into the sale during the presale event.
Sellers get higher prices for their name brand gently used items than they would if they held a yard sale while buyers can find things in excellent used condition at a deep discount compared to retail prices.
While most of these events are businesses run for a profit they almost always involve a charitable component, ranging from donations of unsold items to canned foods collected as admission.
Consignment sales help with recycling efforts. According to earth911.com each American throws away on average 68 pounds of clothing per year. These sales help reduce the amount of that clothing that ends up in our landfills.
As more and more people begin to realize the value of consignment events, they become more involved and complex. Then the community, by way of local children’s hospitals, parenting groups, support networks for families and children become participants. The benefit that eventually comes is much, much deeper than good bargains for toys and clothing.
The outreach and connection that these events bring is astounding. It’s the unexpected cream on the top. You see moms connecting with one another about their respective business ventures at first and then they move on to share their experiences and challenges as women, mothers, and wives. You see moms shopping together with their small children and helping one another out as they peruse the aisles. Many times the moms who run small businesses and set up booths at our events network with each other and learn more about how they can grow their own business. Long term friendships are forged from the initial meetings especially among those who volunteer and set up to showcase their business.
When I first began to consider starting a consignment sale of my own, I never dreamed it would be such a place for people to connect. I’ve connected with tremendous individuals, who have helped and challenged my ideas and commitment as well. It touches me to be a part of what goes on before, during, and after our sale.