New Hobby: Consigning

I have a shopping problem. Couple that with my recent lulu addiction that began with a pair of capris and has morphed into a mini wardrobe, and I’m a recipe for disaster.

One way to offset my shopping problem and lulu habit has been consigning all the crap I have at home that I don’t wear: shoes, purses, skinny-sized jeans, dresses, etc., and things Maya no longer wears — stuff that is in good condition but that I could easily part with. While I kept all of her “good stuff” (like nice jeans and cords and overalls and dresses and skirts and coats/jackets/sweaters) for a potential second girl someday, the likelihood that she will be in the same sizes during the same seasons is slim to none (Maya is still in her 12-18 month clothes and size 4 shoes from the spring).

So over the past few weeks I’ve been on a consigning kick. And I’ve made quite a bit of money by doing so! Granted, this money isn’t going to something smart like our savings account or towards Maya’s education; it’s fun money to be put back into fall clothes — but it’s a great way to de-clutter and make some money for things otherwise taking up precious closet real estate!!

Throughout my recent consigning journey, I am now very familiar with both types of consignment systems:

1) Cash on the spot: The shop inspects your items and gives you what they say is a “fair price” for your items. You get cash on the spot, but you know they’re making way more than what they give you. (Case in point: they wanted to give me $2 for a brand-new $30 Old Navy denim coat that had no tags but was never worn. I kept the jacket and consigned it elsewhere). For some stuff, I don’t mind (a [gently used] baby footie sleeper for $1 is probably about right). But for pricier items, it’s worth hitting up a store with a different consigning business model.

2) Delayed pay: You leave your items at the consignment shop for a certain period of time and you can check in on your order as it sells. The downside is you don’t get cash on the spot, but it would be sitting in your closet collecting dust-bunnies otherwise, so at least now there’s a chance something will sell. For example, today I picked up a check for $24 for a couple tops I brought in last week. Not bad, right?

What this experience has taught me is I have way too many clothes–and so does Maya. Yes, she needs fall clothes–but I am not going overboard like I have in the past. I would rather have a couple really nice investment pieces than a bunch of crap — especially now that I see how hard it is to make back even a fraction of what I spent. This awakening makes hubby very happy 🙂 Thing is, she isn’t growing nearly as quickly as I’d assumed she would, so we are pretty set now for the fall/winter.

I also realized I want to buy things like Halloween costumes and dress-up things at kids’ consignment shops going forward–the one in town is really beautiful and everything is in excellent condition. There’s no reason to buy those types of things new.

Consigning has been a lucrative and eye-opening experience for me. Now excuse me while I dig through this other bin of 9-month clothes …

How about you? Are you a fan of consignment shops? Do you like to buy, sell, or both?

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