Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mom to Mom Sale

Have kids? Heard of these? Imagine an event that is a kid stuff, from newborn to larger kids, a great thing for buyer and seller. I did my first of three I am doing this winter/spring this weekend and thought I would share my story and tips.

GET ORGANIZED!!! This is the best way to go to one of theses, I started several weeks before hand just to sort and organize my mountain of clothes and baby/toddler stuff. I have removed and packaged special or sentimental items away already but remember to do this along the way. I also plan on doing a quilt or two or may have some memory bears made so tucking a few away for this as well.

Step one:
Sort clothes by season, I had three piles cold weather clothes, warm weather clothes and year round clothes, like jeans. Put away off season and save for later.

Step two:
Sort by size, for me this meant NB-12 months, 12-18 months, 2year/2T, 3T and up. Review for repairs, stains and matching up sets. I had clothes that had one chance to get oxy cleaned or pitch, I manage to save most garments by heavy duty hot soak in oxyclean.

Step three:
I had an 8 foot table so I filled wire baskets with folded clothes that spanned this 8 foot area. By dumb luck my baskets were 18 inches so it worked perfectly for displaying all my folded clothes.

I would absolutely do as much folding for display BEFORE going to the show, stack in bins or laundry baskets if you will be stacking on a table. Arriving and unloading is stressful and taxing enough without having to organize, fold and sort when you get there. With my folded baskets of clothes, I just placed on the table and was good to go.

Step four:
Pricing, this was probably the biggest stumper but once I settled on a plan of action it became easier. I went with blanket pricing and did not individually price each item, ex jeans 2.00, shirts 1.00 etc. I did do some manual pricing of nicer items, name brand,like Gymboree, Gap, etc and sets. I also had a rack space and put all the indvidual priced items hanging on a rack.

I also was able to fit stuff under the table, I used smaller laundry baskets and priced each item individually, people were more then willing to dig through them. This is a great use of space fill baskets with toys, books, videos or clothes. I also have a few larger items that I was able to put on their own below the table, an 8 foot table give lots of space below.

Remember when pricing to consider your market and your items this probably varies from community to community. For my larger items I went with about 1/2 or less of the retail price and had good results. For me the goal was to clear out stuff that is going unused and make a little extra money so price to move was my approach.

Step 5:
Get ready, you will need to take a few supplies for the show, change, bags, a few things I took that helped.
  • Pens, markers
  • Tape, masking and cello
  • Yarn or string - to tie things together, like shoes
  • Calculator
  • Change, I took 10.00 in quarters, 30 in singles, and 20.00 in fives.
  • Grocery bags, I organized about 50 and put them in a brown paper bag, though most came prepared with their own market bags having them on hand did help.
  • Sheets of white paper
  • Labels for pricing and marking, I used some old shipping labels for pricing
  • Apron with pockets, or fanny pack for change, cash, pens
Step 6:
Day before or day of show, many will allow you to set up the day before the show, depending on the drive and how organized you are this is worth considering. If setting up the night before bring old sheets or coverings to cover your table. The one I did was that morning, I was so organized that I ended up just sitting around for about 45 minutes waiting, which was ok as I was more relaxed and made several sales to other sellers, next time though I would not go quite as early.

Once the show began it was quite busy for about the first 1.5 hours, lots of lookers and buyers what was great about earlier as people pretty much paid my asking prices. You will get hagglers for some items it is up to you if you want to lower prices and should consider this in your pricing, knowing before what you are willing to accept for your items. The few I had I did accept, one item in particular I did not want to lower my price and they were fine with that and left.
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