Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yard Sale? No sell! I've found a better way!

Growing up, we had a yard sale every summer. When we were older, Mom would let us put old toys and clothes in it and sometimes we got to keep some of the money. I love the idea of getting rid of things you no longer need and getting money for new things. So much less wasteful than throwing things away.
Nowadays, I don't have much time for yard sales. I always hear of people getting amazing deals at them, but I usually think of them after the early morning hours are gone on Saturdays. My sister-in-law, Meggan, and I attempted a yard sale once this past fall and I made about $20. We didn't advertise or anything, so we didn't expect a lot, but thought we'd do it again the next week or two. Life happened, so we didn't ever get around to it, and now I have a garage filled with yard sale items, oops!
On the other hand, consignment sales, I can make time for! :) I'd never been to one until I had a baby. When I was pregnant with Ezra, my sister-in-law, Sarah (pregnant with my nephew), and my mother-in-law, Julia, went to one of the first consignment sales in Jonesboro (I'm not sure if these sales were new to our area, or if we had just never paid attention since we didn't have kids, ha). I didn't really know anything about events like this, but they raved about the deals they found, and they were able to get a Pack and Play for me for $60 (it's really nice too--it vibrates, lights up, plays music, and has a changing table and bassinet attachment). When the sale came around the next year, we were able to go together since I was living in Northeast Arkansas again, and we found some pretty good deals for the boys.
I never really considered being a consignor in one of these sales, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss another great sale like this, and at some point after shopping, I signed up for the Rhea Lana's newsletter (and 'liked' their Facebook page). When it was close to time for Rhea Lana's to have their fall sale, they started sending me e-mails about the dates and encouraged people to try consigning to make more money than a yard sale and find great deals for themselves at the same time. It all sounded so easy and simple, I thought, "Why not?" I had tried selling baby clothes at a flea market and found that people would hardly spend more than a dollar or two, even if the clothes were very high quality and basically new (I was lucky to have a kid that never spit up and we take great care of our clothes, plus babies don't stay in sizes long enough to wear them out).
I weeded through the boxes of baby clothes I had put up when Ez had outgrown them. Then I went through and put items together if needed (like pairing up onesies and other small items so they could be sold together) and put them in a stack beside me on the couch. I would enter an item and stack it in a box as I went. I didn't have my tags at first, so I had to go back and put numbered tags on the items later, but it still didn't take too much time overall. I probably worked on my items 2 or 3 nights after work, plus the extra night to get the tags pinned on them and hang all the items on hangers, since I didn't do that as I went.
The best decision I ended up making was who I consigned with. Rhea Lana's was very explanatory, and they are the only consignment sale around that guarantees your items. [In order for your items to be guaranteed, you must print your tag labels at the sale site and tag them there. I didn't have enough time to go get labels and print them myself, so I figured I'd just do it there. Little did I know how thankful I would be for that decision later!]
When I got there to unload and tag my items, there was no shortage of items! In fact, they were having to bring in more racks the night I was dropping my load off. The staff was very helpful in getting me started (pretty simple--they printed the labels, then I just matched the tag to each item and put the items on the racks, which were labeled by size).
One of the biggest perks of consigning is that you get to shop early! The first night, Sarah and I were browsing when I heard the amazing words, "Hey, aren't those cloth diapers?" escape her mouth. I got two packs of 6 diapers for next to nothing and they were SO cute! I was pleased to see that they all looked brand new and had no issues once-soever when I got home. I even bought one pack that had girly diapers, despite not being pregnant yet (this was between my miscarriage and getting pregnant with Ellie)!
Another thing I enjoyed as a consignor was tracking my sales live online. It was so cool to see your profits growing each day! I remember being jealous of Sarah since she had a smart phone and could check her sales anytime on their mobile site.
I ended up selling about half of my items. I wished I'd sold more, but I knew I'd made more on half of those items than I would have made on everything in a yard sale or flea market. Remember when I said Rhea Lana's is the only consignment sale around that guarantees your items? I was about to find out how important that is! When I went to pick up my items, I found I was missing some items. I was a little upset, but remembered the guarantee and was hoping they would stand behind it.
Bless her heart, Lauren (the head honcho of Rhea Lana's of Jonesboro), had been through a lot by the time I got to her in the line for lost items, etc. There was some lady who was trying to pick up a big check for someone else and a few other people who were trying to find certain items. I've worked retail and I know how tiring it can be to try and keep everyone happy, so I was smiling and trying not to seem too nervous when I explained that several of my items had 'disappeared.' She apologized for the confusion and they printed a second check to cover the lost items right away.
I was SO thankful! For once, me running short on time had led to a good thing, ha! I haven't consigned with any other sales since, because I know what could happen now. Even if someone didn't accidentally take my clothes, the potential for theft or tags coming unattached and items being lost is always there. I felt very blessed to have consigned with a sale that guarantees items, and I don't think I'll be using anyone else anytime soon. :)
Rhea Lana's is coming back to Jonesboro for their Spring sale March 25-27 at the ASU Convocation Center. I'm not sure if I'll have the time to enter many items before then because the next two weeks, I am SUPER booked between my sister's wedding, chaperoning a youth trip, and potty training Ezra over Spring Break (3 Day Method-bound!), but I will definitely be attending and seeing what deals I can get a hold of for Ezra and Ellie! I'm crossing my fingers that I can find a double jogging stroller and a few spring/summer outfits for both kiddos.
If you are in need (or want ;) ) of some great, quality kid's items for amazing prices, you need to check them out! Hint: Their Facebook page has lots of insider info, as well as their newsletter--be sure to sign up for it, and don't worry--they don't spam you like some places tend to.
Happy shopping and saving!

No comments:

Post a Comment