I recently read an article about the consignment craze that is currently going on in California.
After seeing this, I started to look through my garage and decided to call my local consignment shop to see what my baby gear was worth.
At Christmas time my full size stroller crapped out on me. I called the manufacturer and they sent me one that they said was comparable. I only used this thing twice because I am not fond of it – at ALL. The wheels shake, it folds weird, the handle bars are too low, my son sits in it funny and it’s way to big (travelsystem).
Knowing that I had only used it twice, I called the shop and explained this to the girl. Initially she wasn’t willing to price the stroller over the phone, but after a bit of coaxing she told me that regardless of its pristine condition, they would only give me a quarter of it’s retail price. This comes up to $37.50. Not kidding. My brand new stroller that doesn’t even have dirt on the tires is only worth $37.50 at the consignment store. They then mark it up 100% and sell it for half of its retail value.
After hearing this I started to wonder why someone wouldn’t list the items at kijiji or their local paper first.
I guess parents who consign their gear must want an immediate solution to a clutter problem.
Those who are looking for some goods deals are the ones that definitely benefit from these stores.
- Check your recalls – Buying second hand baby products is a tricky thing because many products are recalled every year without parents even knowing it. Like any second hand store, not all consignment shops check their merchandise for recalls. All product recalls are listed at the CPSC and Health Canada.
- Know your prices – have an idea what you are looking for a what it’s worth. It makes no sense to pay $60 for a used Bjorn if you can get a new one for $90.
- Go often – Good baby gear doesn’t last. If you are looking for something in particular visit the store on a regular basis or put your name on a waiting list to be called if one comes in.
- Know your prices – know what your product is worth and don’t be afraid to speak up if the shop isn’t offering you a fair price.
- Call before your go – while many shops won’t give you a price for clothing or toys, they will have a ballpark figure for the bigger stuff (strollers, playpens, highchairs).
- It’s all about presentation – Makes sure the items you are hoping to consign are clean with all of their accessories. Your items could be worth considerably less their value if they are not presentable or are missing pieces. Toys should be sorted and bagged accordingly or else there may be a fee to do this for you.
- Brand Name and Trendy Clothes – Many consignment shops don’t want department store generic labels or hand me downs from your sister’s 10 year old kids. They are looking for bigger name products like Gymboree, Baby Gap, Ralph Lauren and Old Navy that are cleaned, pressed and neatly packaged.