Sep 13 2015

There are a number of good reasons to consign items you no longer use.  It seems to be a common occurrence in our household to purge every few months and even more so now that we have kids.  We moved from our parent’s home into our own apartments and began accumulating stuff.  When we made our next move combining our stuff and living in a larger home, we had more space for…more stuff.  Kids arrived and now we have stuff, more stuff, big stuff, little stuff and lots of extra stuff. So what do we end up doing with all of our stuff?  We donate or consign.

consignment2For starters, donation and consignment top the bill in some of the best ways to recycle clothing and household items.  When we hear the word Recycle our first thoughts are of paper, glass, and plastics. Recycling goes far beyond the basic everyday household waste. Each year, millions of pounds of textile waste such as clothing, curtains, blankets, curtains, furniture, toys, books and housewares end up in landfills.  Consignment, thrift and secondhand stores have helped to reduce the amount of textile waste.

So let’s get back to the stuff. Now that I have all this stuff and I want to purge which is really just making room for different stuff, what are my best options? I like to go one of two routes, donate or consign.  Kid’s items are high on the list of consignment items as it is very rare that a child will wear out their clothes before they actually outgrow
them.  I donate the stuff that won’t qualify in consignment such as the favorite pair of princess pajamas or the toy that literally got dragged around the house.  For a small fee, a consignment store offers the convenience of selling to the right audience and for higher price than say a thrift store would. Once the item sells then I receive a small profit for consigning.  I don’t have to do the labor of ticketing, pricing or selling.  The items that don’t qualify for consignment are donated to charities in Toronto. The items sent to thrift stores have a little bit more flexibility in rippleforkidsquality as they are often sold at much lower prices than consignment boutiques.

Other great places to donate
clothing are to charities such as Ripple Clothing for Kids.  Ripple Clothes for Kids takes donated hand-me-downs, sorts them and, with the help from charitable partners, passes on “new” wardrobes to kids in the Toronto area.

As the price of everything is going up, I like the idea of getting some money back on the small investment into kid’s toys or clothing. So here are some things to consider when consigning:

Check out the consignment policies and procedures. More often than not, consignment stores will have policies and procedures for consigning items.  Consignment stores get 1000’s of items a week and unfortunately cannot take everything and most do not have a warehouse to store all the items they could receive.  To ensure your items sell for top dollar, most consignment stores require items like clothing to be freshly laundered and free of stains or wear and tear.  Also make sure that your items are in good working condition and have all the pieces and/or parts. No one wants to buy things that don’t work, this is what makes consignment stores different than Goodwill, Salvation Army and Value Village.  Check out the policies on what they will accept and the procedures on how to drop off items.

Don’t be insulted if they don’t take it. The first time I took my daughter’s precious baby clothes to consign I was slightly insulted that they wouldn’t take some of the items I had brought in.  These were my precious child’s first ventures into the fashion world of onesies and pant and shirt sets.

“Why can’t they just take all of my items? My items are great and they are making money off of my stuff!”

Don’t get me wrong, the lady at the store was very kind and I am sure she had dealt with a number of customers feeling similarly shocked that the items we had paid good money for were now not acceptable.  Something to keep in mind, retail stores selling brand new items, unless they are big box stores do not carry endless amounts of inventory.  The same goes for consignment shops.  They just don’t have the room to carry everything. Taking only items that they believe will sell cuts down on the time and energy it takes to inventory, ticket and merchandise.

Partner with a well established consignment store.  Choose a store that has been around a while.  This can give you some confidence that they know what they are selling. Something else to keep in mind is as much as your stuff is great; it is also not as current as brand new items you would find in a store.  Does that mean it isn’t worth anything?  Not at all! It just means that it might be harder to sell.  The store wants to sell your items just as much as you do. I have gone into two different Wal-Marts in two different areas of the city and they have carried very different items. This is because that is what sells in that area.  The same goes for consignment stores.  If you are partnering with a well established consignment store, they will have a very good idea as to what is selling in their area and what isn’t.

So when you are looking to purge that ever growing mountain of stuff, remember your options for items such as house wares, clothing and toys.  Keep them out of the landfills and recycle them so they can be reused.  Donate or consign.  Follow the tips above to get the most out of consigning your items.