It’s almost time for Consignment Sales in Nashville and one of the most frequently asked questions I get is “how long in advance should I plan on preparing for the sale?” This is an excellent question and quite frankly, it depends on several factors. Let’s go through a few of them to help you decide when is best for you to start preparing.

How big of a check do you want?

That’s right, I’m asking you. If you want a big, fat check, then you need to start early! The reason for starting early is you have time to dig through closets, put things your kids don’t play with away, and you’ll find that you’re inspired to find more things once you see that pile of sale stuff growing! The closer the sale gets, you discover more books, a few last toys and all those diapering items you really think you’re ready to go without.

It has been proven over and over again, the closer to the sale you wait to start, the smaller your check. Life happens, you or your husband suddenly get called away for a trip out of town, sickness runs rampant… the list of things keeping you from tagging goes on and on, after all, there’s another sale coming next season. Unfortunately, as any sale organizer will tell you if they’re being honest, is that next season, something else will come up.

If you want a big, fat check start early. How early? Most seasoned consignors who get significant checks, typically start 4-6 weeks in advance of the sale. This gives them time to collect, organize, find hangers and supplies, and most importantly, really discover what they can get rid of without the kids throwing a fit. If you want to put a few things in the sale just to get pre-sale passes, then you can wait until the week before to get ready for the sale.

How busy is your life?

Whether you work, are a stay at home mom or anything in between, let’s just admit… you’re busy! I used to tell people I was a stay at home mom and my husband would chime in “yeah, a stay at home mom who’s never at home!” True. Commitments for the kids, tutoring, homeschooling, volunteering and keeping up the household commitments are a full time job.

Again, the earlier you start, the less chance of putting it off. I start 6 weeks early. Of that 6 weeks, I go for many days not tagging a thing, just adding to my pile as we do laundry and discover outgrown items. And then I’ll spend 2 days tagging my little brains out and I’ll do it all over again in a week or two. But again, if I want the best chance at a nice big check, I have to start early. The closer it gets to the sale, I end up getting sick, or discover other commitments that take priority.

How much “stuff” do you have?

I’d be willing to bet you have a lot more than you think. If you only have 15 items, it’s honestly not worth your time to consign. There are several other ways to get into a pre-sale that don’t involve consigning. Most of my consigning friends tend to not enter a sale unless they have 100 items or more. 100 items isn’t that many. It’s only one pack of index cards. I’m not saying that you can’t, I’m saying that you should make it worth your time. Think about it… time to collect the items, collect the tagging supplies, time spent hanging and tagging, dropping off, picking up… there’s a lot of time involved! You’d be surprised how little you think you have vs. how much you actually have to get rid of.

The bottom line here is you need to start early if you want to find a good amount of “stuff” that makes it worth your time to consign.

How experienced are you when it comes to consigning?

Believe it or not, there is a learning curve to consigning. I started consigning 14 years ago, and I think it took me about 3-4 seasons to get a system down that works for me. Now, I can hang and tag 100 items in a couple of hours and not think twice about it. I know the secrets to fast tagging, the best way to hang pants and what works best for my organizational skills. But I didn’t always know that. So, if you are new, or inexperienced, give yourself ample time to prepare. Don’t wait until the weekend before drop off!

How many kids do you have?

I have a consignor who has 4 children. She was a last minute tagger. Her sales increased from $50-$100 per child to $200 per child when she gave herself a couple of extra weeks. Needless to say, she now starts tagging as soon as registration opens!

Start early!

Simply put, if you want a bigger check, are fairly new to consigning, have a lot of stuff, or a lot of kids, my recommendation is to start several weeks early. If you just want to throw a few things in the sale to pre-sale shop, go ahead and wait until the weekend before. Sure, people can wait until the last minute and receive big checks. I have one out of 300 consignors who can actually pull it off the weekend before drop off. But the reality of it is, the other 299 of us, can’t. Start early!

To find a consignment sale in the Nashville are to consign or shop, visit our Consignment Sale Directory.