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The Secret Step You Don’t Want To Skip

This month's step is the Secret Step to helping your items stay out of Quality Control and sell faster.

This month’s step is the Secret Step to helping your items stay out of Quality Control and sell faster.

What Secret Step sets apart the BEST consignors from the rest?

It’s step #2 in our Three G’s of Consignment Prep summer series: GO THROUGH.

Prepping for your Next Kids Consignment Sale: Part 2 of 3

Last month we covered the first G – “Gather.” This month’s tip, GO THROUGH, is no secret to consignors who are used to earning top dollar for their stuff, and who sell most or all of their items at every sale.

But you’d be surprised how many people overlook this Secret Step of going through their items for fixable flaws before the sale.

The Secret Step is all about fixing problems while you still have the time, whether it's trimming loose threads or repairing a frayed seam.

The Secret Step is all about fixing problems while you still have the time, whether it’s trimming loose threads or repairing a frayed seam.

Read on so you, too, can rock the GO THROUGH step – the Secret Step that will set your items apart on the sales floor!

Step Two: GO THROUGH

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? However, it’s super-easy to skip this step – especially if you’re trying to do all your prepping in the final days (or hours!) before your next WeeUsables event.

The closer to the event, the less time you have to go through your stuff with a critical eye, and fix any problems that will hurt your chances of maximizing your profits.

When going through your items, be on the lookout for stains on carseat and stroller fabric; this is the time to remove them.

When going through your items, be on the lookout for stains on places you might not think to look, like carseat and stroller fabric.

That’s why summer is the perfect time to go through your stash (and your house!) and figure out what you can tweak, add, or adjust in order to bring home more cash – and fewer unsold items – at the end of your next WeeUsables Consignment event.

What does GO THROUGH mean?

Top consignors GO THROUGH several things with a critical eye when prepping for their next sale. This going-through is the Secret Step that makes all the difference come sale time.

Without a well-lit place to go through your stash, it can be easy to miss subtle stains like these until your item is on the sales floor.

Without a well-lit place to go through your stash, it can be easy to miss subtle stains like these until your item is on the sales floor.

  • Go through your HOUSE (if you do this well, you won’t have to keep doing it before every sale!);
  • Go through the GUIDELINES;
  • Go through LAST SALE’S LEFTOVERS;
  • Go through your CLOTHING ITEMS;
  • Go through NON-CLOTHING ITEMS.

Ready? Here we go!

1. Go through your HOUSE.

catch those little stains

  • Do you have a place with bright lighting, to help you spot fabric stains?
  • Where will you scrub larger items and then leave them to dry?
  • Where will you hang your clothing items once you’ve tagged them? A spare closet, or the towel rods and shower-curtain rod in a spare bathroom, are good places if you can clear them out nowbefore you try to start hanging those outfits.
  • Finally, remember that nothing makes a forgotten toy become a must-have item faster than adding it to the consignment pile, so make sure you’ve scoped out good hiding places for the rest of your merch.

hide that stash

2. Go through the GUIDELINES.

Even if you participated in last season’s sale, keep in mind that the folks behind the scenes tweak the guidelines after each sale in order to maximize every one’s profits, while keeping on top of current laws, trends, and best practices.

So it’s worth double-checking the season-specific guidelines for what you can sell, before you get too far in prepping your stuff.

3. Go through LAST SALE’S LEFTOVERS

First, look critically at the prices on items you didn’t sell.

  • Think about what you paid for similar items you bought.
  • Make a note now (I use a brightly-colored marker), right on the price tag, of your revised pricing thoughts. This way, you won’t have to think about it again when tagging time comes.
  • Also note anything else you want to change on the tag (better description? corrected size?).

tag corrections

Next, check over anything you picked up from Quality Control and figure out why it was pulled from the floor.

Quality Control codes

  • Did you miss a Stain/Is the item Dirty? Try to get it clean.
  • Wrong Season? It should sell this time around, if nothing else needs fixing.
  • Missing Pieces? Sometimes, you can get replacement parts for free by contacting the manufacturer. Other times, it may be worth paying a few bucks to get that big-ticket item sold.
If there's nothing else wrong with them, items that got pulled from last sale because they were "Wrong Season" should sell this time around, if you price them right!

If there’s nothing else wrong with them, items that got pulled from last sale because they were “Wrong Season” should sell this time around, if you price them right!

Finally, if you’d like to transfer over any unsold items from a previous event to this sale:

  • As soon as you transfer an item, go through those tags you marked earlier and enter in the new prices or other updates.
  • Then print and attach the new tags. See? You’ve got a head start on your tagging, and you won’t forget to make these changes later!

4. Go through your CLOTHES

If you hang clothing items while sorting through them, you’ll save time later. As you start to match clothes to hangers, check for potential problems.

An overnight soak in Borax or another detergent-booster can help get out stubborn formula and milk stains from baby clothing.

An overnight soak in Borax or another detergent booster can help get out stubborn formula and milk stains from baby clothing.

  • Was this piece part of a set, or was there something else your child always wore with it? If you still have the other pieces somewhere, set this piece aside until you can match up the whole outfit.
  • Are there any stains that a little TLC might eliminate? You’ve got the luxury of time on your side, so give it a go. An overnight soak can do wonders for baby spit-up stains, and Lestoil works great on grease stains. Ask other parents about their favorite stain-removal products, or buy a few at your local store and test them out.
  • Are there loose threads, missing buttons, or ripped seams? If so, repair them now.
  • Do you have pilled fabric? A de-piller or lint shaver can make the difference between something looking “overly loved” and good-as-new.
  • Likewise, use a pull-fixing tool or Snag-Nab-It on any snags you find.
Sixty seconds using a pull-fixer on these snags will help keep this sweater out of Quality Control so it can sell.

Sixty seconds using a pull-fixer on these snags will help keep this sweater out of Quality Control so it can sell.

And while you’re sorting and hanging your clothes, keeping them grouped by size and gender will make putting them into the online tagging system later a lot faster.

Finally,

5. Go through NON-CLOTHING ITEMS

This is where the Secret Step can really impact your bottom line. Some extra time upfront on your other things-to-consign, especially those big-ticket items, can make a huge difference in your take-home check later, by keeping them out of Quality Control and helping them sell faster.

Items with manuals attached often sell faster and make more profit than those without.

Items with manuals attached often sell faster and make more profit than those without.

  • Has anything been recalled? You’ve still got time to order the manufacturer’s repair kit and install it.
  • Can’t find the owner’s manual? Download and print a replacement.
  • Does your 24-piece-puzzle box only have 23 pieces in it? Make a note to find the missing piece before tagging the item.
Notes to self: 1. clean out the gunk; 2. find the missing piece that went into this hole.

Notes to self: 1. clean out the gunk; 2. find the missing piece that went into this hole.

  • Stroller missing a key accessory? Check the manufacturer’s website to see if you can get another just like it. Some companies will even ship you replacement or repair pieces for free; it never hurts to ask.
  • Is that changing table or dresser looking worn? Some furniture polish or a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Polish and spray paint don’t cost much, but can make that old piece of furniture look good as new.
A coat of fresh spray paint took this changing table from dingy to sold.

A coat of fresh spray paint took this changing table from dingy to sold.

Finally, sorting your non-clothing items by type (books in one box, toys in another, feeding and bathing in another, etc.) as you Go Through them will make it easier to tag your stuff, store it until the sale, and get it on the sales floor faster.

By following the Secret Step of Going Through NOW, when you’ve got the luxury of time, you’ll help your items stand out on the sales floor, and increase the chances that they’ll sell earlier for full price.

Check back next month for our tips on getting over that hurdle of starting the tagging process!

Turn that kids' clutter into cash!

Clean out and clean up! Our consignors earn an average of $340 per sale!

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