Top 10 Tips – How NOT to Make Money at a WeeUsables Consignment Event

This close-up shows some of the hundreds of toys available for sale at every WeeUsables Event, from people who want to make money offloading their kids' outgrown stuff. But that's not you..

Whoa, wait – there are people who consign because they want to make money

The only reason you became a consignor, whether this is your first WeeUsables or your tenth, is because you were getting bored with sitting around the house all day, eating bonbons and bingeing on video streams.

So, unless you actually want to make money at your next WeeUsables event, follow these ten tips closely. Nail every one, and you’re guaranteed to minimize your profits!

1. DON’T READ the rules and tips

From the WeeUsables website, or anywhere else. Rules are meant to be broken, right? Rules are fine for people who want to make money at a sale, but that’s not you.

Besides, the WeeUsables folks don’t really mean it when they say that summer items aren’t allowed in fall sales, and vice versa. And your sweetie’s heavy knit sweaters and Christmas footed PJs are too cute to leave at home, even for a spring sale event.

2. DON’T PREP your items for sale

An infant onesie with several obvious stains

That luxury car seat worked just fine for your offspring, even though it’s been recalled AND it’s two years past expiration! Surely someone else will want it.

The same goes for that expensive toy with dead batteries, those designer duds covered with tiny holes and stains, those adorable-yet-stinky galoshes, and that darling velvet coat covered with kitty hair.

And who cares if your kids’ puzzles and games are missing half their pieces? It’s silly to try making anything good as new, when you’re selling it at a discount already.

3. Price things so high that they WON’T sell

Besides being priced too high to begin with, this tag shows that the seller would rather the item NOT sell than have it sell for half the tagged price at the Saturday half-off sale.

You’ve heard that the starting point for pricing is 30% of what an item costs new – and sometimes even less than that – but that’s crazy! You paid good money for these things in the first place – and your sweetie looked so cute in them – so why should you give them away for practically nothing? Besides, you don’t have TIME to research how to price items for consignment sales!

Maybe you’ll price your really grungy stuff at 30% of the brand-new price, but otherwise, you’ll list your items no more than half off their original cost.

And since those who make the most money at WeeUsables usually put “Discount Yes” on their tags, for the Saturday half-off sale, you’ll label your items so that they don’t sell for half off.

4. DON’T waste time on item descriptions

This green tag for boy trousers has no size listed, and the only word in the two-line description is "Pants." Besides not showing a brand name, this tag had the wrong size entered on it, requiring a sloppy-looking handwritten correction.

Why bother being specific in the descriptions on your tags? Or checking your tags to make sure that the size you listed matches the size on the clothing labels?

This book tag includes no description of the book itself - only the price in the description line. This toy tag has nothing on the two description lines except the word "mixed."

It’s soooo much easier to be as vague and general as possible. This guarantees that if your tag gets separated from your item on the sales floor (which is what happened to all the tags pictured above), then the WeeHelper staff won’t be able to reunite them, so your item won’t get sold.

5. DON’T WORRY if your tags are illegible

This image shows several tags that have illegible barcodes and have ripped in half due to being printed on regular-quality paper, not cardstock.

When they say that your tags have to be on CARDSTOCK, in LIGHT COLORS, with NORMAL PRINT QUALITY – that’s just bonkers! It’s one thing not to want to make money on this event, but you’ve got better things to do than schlep around town, buying cardstock and replacing your worn-out ink cartridges, or getting your tags commercially printed.

If the barcodes come out smudgy, why not just handwrite the numbers underneath, so that the checkout people can enter them by hand? Sure, that slows up the checkout line and dings your profits, but you’re not in this to make money, remember?

6. Or if your stuff looks sloppy and falls off the hangers

This image shows several items clinging to their hangers for dear life, their hangers knocked askew.

In other words, don’t find the best hanger for the job when hanging your clothing items, and don’t bother securing your clothes to the hangers. Your child’s former outfits are so precious that they’ll get scooped up right away, before the Black Friday free-for-all atmosphere takes hold of the sales floor – so there’s no chance your shirts will slide off the hangers if the hangers are too small for the job.

Likewise, why follow the tips from Consignment Mommies on the best ways to hang your pants? Hanging them from the bottom edge of a wire hanger, using the cheapest safety pins you can find, is how you’ve been doing it all along – so why change now? Again, your items should be among the very first to sell (not that you’re in this to make money), so there’s no way they’ll still be around to fall off the hangers later in the sale because you didn’t secure them very well.

This image shows two of the Quality Control staff, sorting through mountains of items that did not meet the WeeUsables requirements for saleable items.

Finally, who cares if things get separated on the sales floor because you didn’t tape or bag them well? Those people back in Quality Control love matching up toys and partial outfits with their missing pieces, so you might as well make sure they have something to do in their spare time.

7. DON’T start until the last minute

Make sure you wait until right before the sale to hang and tag your items, so you don’t have time to do a final check for stains, holes, dead batteries, or other flaws. (If you follow #2 above, these things won’t be on your to-do list anyway.)

Let’s face it, it’s also much easier to make other silly mistakes when it’s 4 a.m. and you’re exhausted – after all, that’s half the fun, right?

8. Wait until the end of drop-off, and skip pick-up

Since many WeeUsables shoppers see sale events as giant treasure hunts, why not make their job more interesting?

By arriving at the very end of drop-off time (after your tagging all-nighter – see #7 above), you guarantee that at least half your items will end up in the wrong places on the sales floor. This means that only the true treasure-seekers will find them, so your chances to make money will automatically decrease.

This image shows the floor layout map for the Lancaster WeeUsables Event.

Oh, and don’t bother with the map WeeUsables sends you ahead of time, to help you you put your stuff in the right spots on the sale floor; maps are for wimps.

And the last thing you want to do at the end of the sale is collect your unsold items. After all, it’s more fun to do the same things wrong at each sale – whether it’s trying to sell things that are stained, poorly tagged, or out of season – than to learn what you might do differently next time to earn a bigger profit. Moreover, you’d much prefer to buy new hangers before each sale event, instead of scoring a bunch of free ones on your sale’s last day.

9. DON’T be a WeeHelper

This image shows a bunch of smiling WeeHelpers, all having fun working at the event.

NEVER sign up to help out for one or more shifts at the sale.  You don’t need the perks, like earning a bigger percentage of your sales back, or getting early shopping privileges – and how could you possibly learn anything from seeing other people’s mistakes (and best practices) when it comes to pricing, presenting, and ultimately selling your items?

Besides, what crazy person wants to earn up to 100% of their items’ selling price back? Since your goal is NOT to make money, you’re perfectly happy to stay at 65%, thank you very much.

And last but not least, our final tip on how NOT to make money at your next WeeUsables event:

10. DON’T help advertise the sale!

A picture of a WeeUsables Event advertising postcard

That’s not your job! Besides, more advertising means more people will show up, which will defeat your goal: to NOT make money.

So DON’T offer to hand out WeeUsables postcards. DON’T invite your Facebook friends to attend. DON’T email your local mommies’ group. DON’T mention it in the pickup line at school, or at your next neighborhood play date, or to parents at your local park. DON’T post pictures of the items you’re selling on Instagram. DON’T review your sale on Consignment Mommies, or even “like” your event’s Facebook page.

Just like you don’t want to make money, why would anyone else want to save money by coming to WeeUsables?

So there you have it! My top ten tips for how NOT to make money at your next WeeUsables event. If you follow all ten suggestions carefully, you’re certain to make as little money as possible, so you can get back to your binge-watching sooner.