First time consignor gets real, shares experience

By Angela M. Trout
JBF Mom on the Street — Lancaster Sale

A few months ago I was cleaning out my son’s room and discovered he had a ton of infant, 2T, and 3T clothing stuffed way back in drawers and deep in his closet. He is 4, almost 5, so he’s not going to wear them again, and there are no younger boys in line to inherit them. Time to let go of the things, I thought, even though I was kind of attached to some of the items. Especially this little number he is wearing below. Gosh, I loved that outfit!

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In years past I would have donated them to Goodwill, but I got this gig with JBF in which I market the event for the Lancaster Sale, and I have seen lots of moms and dads make good money by consigning their stuff.  And then it hit me; I could put the money I make from the sale towards remodeling my old kitchen. Mommy needs a new dishwasher!

I am not going to lie to you, though. The thought of gathering the items and tagging them seemed daunting, but with that dishwasher in mind, I thought no pain no gain no more pruney fingers. But what I discovered was that if I tackle it one step at a time and break into smaller tasks over a month’s time, it was completely doable and didn’t suck up a huge chunk of time. And it wasn’t painful. I also got my family involved, so it was also kind of fun!

So, here is what I did. Hopefully, you find it helpful.

  1. Declutter — So about a month before the sale, I tackled my son’s room by separating and sorting the clothing by size and season. I placed each pile in a white plastic trash bag and wrote in Sharpie the size and season of its contents. Then I tossed the bags in my basement for later.
  2. Signed up for JBF — A few days later I went to and signed up for the Lancaster Spring Sale. I received a consignor number that allows me to not only consign for the Lancaster sale but any JBF sale in the country as long as I register for that particular sale.
  3. Gather supplies — Things I needed to prepare my items for sale as required by JBF were hangers (preferably children’s size), safety pins, and card stock. If I wanted to get fancy, and I did, I could purchase a tagging gun. It was a real time saver (but not so kind on my fingers!). On a side note, JBF offers supply sales in the weeks leading up to the sale. Consignors can purchase cardstock, wire hangers (oh, I am totally saying this in my head ala Mommy Dearest!) and tagging guns. JBF posts the dates, times, and locations of the supply sale on the website and Facebook page.
  4. Enter the tags — I admit, I waited a little too close to the sale to enter my 200 items. In the fall, I will give myself a bit more time so I can spread it over a week or two doing a little at a time. So, I logged on to my JBF account and started entering my tags on its user interface. It was easy to use, and for the first ten items, I wrote very elaborate item descriptions. Yeah, then I got a little lazy and started just entering “boys shorts,” boys striped shirt”. Well, I can tell you, that better descriptions will help you when you are tracking which items have sold during the sale. Learn from my mistake and enter tags with a clear description like, “Boys 4T Children’s Place blue plaid shorts.” It just helps in the end.
  5. Tag, baby, tag! — Once the items were hung up on the hangers with safety pins (detailed directions for properly hanging clothing and placement of tags are found at the tagging began. Once I completed the tagging, I sorted the items by size and sex and bunched the hangers together with rubber bands. Sorting this way makes check-in so much easier. 

  6. Check in — All that is needed to check-in is one item for the front desk people to scan in and you are all set to sell! I grabbed a rolling rack that is supplied by JBF and headed back to my car to load it up with my items. Once back inside I went to the sales floor, went through clothing and shoe inspection, and started placing my items in the designated areas.
  7. Follow the money! — OK, this part was completely addictive for me. You can follow your sales real time, and it’s pretty darn cool! I. Could. Not. Stop. Following!!!
  8. Checkout – Checkout is so easy. I went on to the floor and picked up my items that were pre-sorted by JBF staff and volunteers by consignor number.
  9. Collect the check — The following week I had a check for my sales. I was thrilled!


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