Wire hangers, safety pins, index cards, and lots of clothing items are all over my garage right now. This could only mean one thing… Yep, it is consignment sale season in Nashville again.

Three times a year, my garage becomes a holding area, for my kids’ outgrown clothing, in various stages of getting ready for Big Check time. It is always a hectic time, trying to pin and tag clothing items. However, a few weeks after the sale when that check comes, or when the new seasons starts and my kids have cute new-to-them clothing, it makes it all so worth it.

What is consignment season? For those who do not know, consignment sales are held a few times a year, normally right before major season changes. They are normally held in a gym somewhere and they are full of gently used items from baby cribs, baby bottles, outdoor play houses, and every size of clothing from infant to teens. It is basically a temporary warehouse of childhood items all for the buying. Moms from all over will spend hours prepping items their children can no longer wear or play with, and they will place them in the sale under a unique ID number. The public then comes and shops at the sale. When an item is sold, the seller gets a percentage of the sale and so does the sale host.

It is a win win! Most sales also allow those who sell items to shop earlier and that is always fun. I would say my children’s wardrobes are mostly made up of items I find at the sale I am a part of. For the last four years or so I have been a part of one sale, and volunteer to get an even larger percentage of my sales. It is always fun to see what items and great deals you can find. I have two kids who are in Metro Nashville schools and that means they wear uniforms. I am always thrilled to find those items at the sale. The other big thrill is anything new with tags or something you may not be able to find anywhere else, like some older toys.

Nashville consignment sale season prepping for consignment

Now there are some tricks to shopping and being a part of consignment sales. So, I asked Jenifer Gifford who runs the Once Around The Block Kids Consignment Sale to give pointers for those interested. Here is her advice for anyone who thinks they may want to shop or consign their own items.

For consignors:

  • Make sure you review the rules for each sale as they are all different. Each sale makes rules based upon what works best for them, so review the website before you begin tagging.
  • Buy a good quality safety pin. Safety pins from the Dollar Store typically are not strong enough and come undone. You’ll want to use #1 or #2 safety pins — #1 for tags, #2 for hanging pants. Do not use safety pins that are smaller than one inch, they aren’t up to the task of holding anything on!

For shoppers:

  • Make sure you know what payments are accepted before you go.
  • Don’t stash merchandise in the wrong section for the half-price sale. Many people think that stashing items for the half-price sale just helps them get a better deal, but they are stealing money from another mom when those items could have gone full price. Most sales have people who will look for this, but just be aware it is stealing. You aren’t hurting a big corporation; you are taking money from another mom in your community.
  • If you decide not to purchase an item, please put it back on the racks where it came from or on a designated discard rack and don’t just leave it lying around. Again, if items aren’t being seen, this prohibits another mom from selling her items.

For volunteers:

  • Shopping during your volunteer time is not volunteering, it’s shopping. Plan to work when you are volunteering.
  • Do not stash stuff while you are volunteering.

Consignment time is always busy, but it is always worth it. I normally do a little dance when that Big Check comes in the mail. It has fueled many family fun trips, Christmas shopping, and even a few special treats for this mom (haircuts, special bag I wanted or maybe a nice pedicure). There are many great consignment sales around the Nashville area. The Music City Moms Consignment Calendar is the best place to go and be able to find out information about most of the sales nearby. Check it out and maybe you to will get a Big Check from consigning your own items soon. If putting all the work into consigning is not for you, then go to shop and help another mom out by buying her stuff.