So, What is a Consignment Sale Event Anyway?

March 4, 2013 — By

When we think of consignment, small neighborhood boutiques, thrift stores and antique shops come to mind.  Each of these locations generally operate on the same, simple concept – sellers (ie, the consignors) bring in items they no longer need; the shop owner places the items on store shelves;  then, when the item sells, the shop owner and seller share the profit.

A consignment sale event, or consignment sale for short, works in much the same way, but with one key difference – there is no permanent, physical location.  Instead, sale event owners secure a location such as a warehouse or church basement for a short window of time, usually a weekend, and host one or two  giant sale events each year.  Consigners, mostly moms from the surrounding area, save up their kids’ items and housewares all season long, then bring them to the event to share in the profits as well as gain credit for items they may need.

Some liken consignment sales to multi-family garage sales, but we can assure you, garage sale, these events are not.  Not only will you find significantly higher quality items at most consignment sales, but the level of organization and professionalism is absolutely amazing.  Consignment sales run like clockwork and are often backed by some fairly sophisticated software and inventory systems.  On top of that, due to their growing popularity, the selection is almost always impressive.

According to, the preeminent source for all things related to children’s consignment, there are currently more than 2,500 sale events focused on children’s items held in the US each year, covering more than 300 cities.   Although events range in size depending on location, on average, each event can draw 250 consignors and 2,500 shoppers or more.

“We have seen the popularity of consignment sales grow tremendously over the past four years,” said Chrissy Freemen, Founder of Consignment Mommies.  “More than 2,000 annual and bi-annual sale events are now listed on our site.”

As with consignment stores, the amount of money a seller can make on his or her items varies from event to event, but most offer a revenue share with 50% to 80% of the final sale price going back to the seller.  While most items are priced at around 30% of retail, high quality and well cared for items can fetch amounts up to 70% of their original price, making consignment a superb way to recoup some of the cost of those expensive kids’ items that seem to be outgrown before the tags are torn off.  (Source:

And what about safety?  It is illegal for anyone (even you) to sell recalled products, and consignment sale owners are working hard to make sure consignors are aware of the laws. Over 1200 consignors and sale owners have recently taken the Safety Pledge – a joint effort between WeMakeItSafer and ConsignmentMommies to get the word out about checking for recalls.  You can find sales that have taken the safety pledge in our Resource Center.   You can also search for sales near you on the ConsignmentMommies site (just click on the name to see if the Safety Pledge badge is displayed).

As you prepare your items to sell at consignment sale events, be sure to review this list of tips for selling your baby and toddler gear. Along with recalled products, there are several other items you will want to avoid selling – some may surprise you!



Tags: , , ,

1 Comment