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Chances are, if you’re a thrifty mom, you’ve been to a kids clothing consignment sale. It’s a great place to find cute clothes, often name-brand items, for a much lower price. Because really, who wants to pay $20 for a shirt that’s only going to fit your child for a few months, at best? No thanks! I can think of a few other things I’d rather spend money on. Mostly Starbucks and wine. But I digress.
Consignment sales are also a great way to make some extra money by selling those barely-worn outfits. But don’t be fooled, consigning takes a lot of work. Sorting, ironing, tagging, hanging – it all takes time and effort. If you’ve ever been a consignor, you know what I’m taking about. Some moms love it – usually the type of moms who like having yard sales and volunteering for school fundraisers. (No thank you!) If you’re one of those moms – great! Consign away! But other moms (like me) don’t actually realize what they’re getting themselves into when they start going through all of those old bins of clothes. Here are the 5 stages of consigning your kids’ old clothes.
The dreaming stage is the stage that starts it all – the stage that gets us in over our heads. You catch a glimpse of all the boxes, bins, and bags of old clothes in the closet, and think, “Man. There are a TON of great clothes that don’t fit my kiddos anymore. I should totally put them in the next consignment sale! I bet I’d make a ton of money!” Next thing you know, you’re googling the next sale in your area and skimming over the guidelines page. “This doesn’t seem too hard,” you think to yourself. “I could totally do this. I have so much time to kill during the kids’ naps and when they’re at school. I’m going to sign up!”
This stage happens when you first sit down to actually start sorting through all the clothes. “Oh wow. We have SO many clothes! And there’s a lot more to these directions than I originally thought… I have to name each item? Everything has to be ironed? I don’t even know where my iron is! I have to buy plastic hangers? And tags? And labels? And safety pins?! How much is all of that going to cost?!” You start to freak out, but then remind yourself to stay calm. You can do this. You can totally do this. You have over a month to get all of the prep work done before the sale. And you know once you get that profit check, it’ll make it all worth it. “Show me the money!”
This stage happens when the days and weeks start to pass, and all of those clothes you wanted to consign have been sitting on your dinning room table. You’ve ordered the labels, the tags, and the pins. “Thank you Amazon Prime!” And you found the plastic hangers at the Dollar Tree. But now it’s time to sit down, and actually do all the work. “Ugh…this isn’t going to be fun. And I’ve got 2 new episodes of my favorite show just sitting there, waiting for me on the DVR. I’ll just go ahead and watch that while the kids are at school and I’ll start on the consignment clothes during nap time this afternoon. Or tomorrow. Or maybe Friday…” The days keep ticking by, and the clothes keep sitting there. Mocking you.
It’s 3am the night before all of your clothes have to be turned in. “Oh. My. Gosh! This is taking forever!!! Why do I have to pin the pants to the shirts? Can’t I just fold them over?! Shit – these pants have a hole in them. Wish I had realized that before I spent 5 minutes trying to shove this damn safety pin into the elastic. Ouch! If I poke myself one more time with an effing safety pin, I’m throwing in the towel! Wait, where is that stack of baby towels? I can sell those too! I’m going to be up all night! I’m never going to finish this!”
You’ve turned in all of the clothes. “Finally! It’s over.” A few days pass, and it’s time for you to head over to the sale to pick up your profit check – the whole reason you went through all of this in the first place. “So exciting! I can’t wait to see how much I made! Maybe I’ll just browse a little bit while I’m here. Oh that dress is so cute! And the kids do need some more summer shorts. Oh my goodness! This is the exact toy they’ve been asking for and it’s only $5!” You spend a few more minutes looking around, and then walk over to pay for your items and pick up your check. After subtracting the amount of money you just spent from the amount of money you made, you’re taking home $20.
“Wait – just $20?! Seriously?! What the?! Never again!!!” The next time your kids grow out of clothes, you load up the van, and drive those suckers to Goodwill. Good riddance!