Consigning kids’ clothes for a living offers you a flexible, self-employed status with little to no overhead. And if you manage to rope in your spouse and kids to help out, you don’t even have to pay your employees! Consigning simply involves providing children’s clothes to a retail store to sell on your behalf, after which you split the sales. Just don’t tell your son that you sold his favorite polar bear T-shirt for profit.
1 Dig through your children’s closets, under the beds and in the storage bins that you set aside for that yard sale you never had. Set aside everything that your kids have outgrown or will never wear, like the fuzzy hooded bear sweater that Aunt Mildred gave your son for his first birthday. Ask friends and family members with small children if they have any gently used clothing they would like to get rid of -- most will appreciate someone else hauling off all the items they can’t use anymore.
2 Shop for additional items to sell on consignment. Search Internet auction sites, scour the seasonal clearance racks at your favorite department stores and look at thrift stores for bargains. Create a route that you can cover each week. Make sure that the clothes are in excellent condition -- no stains, rips or weird smells are allowed that you can't fix yourself. Know how much an item is worth before buying it.
3 Prepare the clothes for consignment. Wash and scrub out all stains and lightly iron everything that needs it. Fasten snaps and buttons, tie laces and fold up cuffs to make everything look its best. Don't cut off that original tag -- new items sell for more money.
4 Make an appointment with area consignment stores that have high traffic. Ask whether they limit how many items you can sell at a time and what kinds of clothes they are currently accepting, like winter coats or spring items. Find out if you will be paid when you bring the clothes, or only when they sell. Drop off different loads of clothes at several stores in one day. Sign up to sell clothes at local fundraising consignment sales sponsored by churches and organizations to widen your customer base.
5 Ask for a written receipt or contract that shows the number of items you dropped off along with the percentage of the sale price you will receive. Is there an administration fee? How much are they going to sell each item for? Confirm how long the retailer will try to sell your clothes before you have to return to pick them up. Generally this could be anywhere from 30 to 60 or even 90 days.
- Do not sell any item that has been recalled.
- Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images