Consignment Sale Prep for Toys & More

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Last week we talked about making money for your family by consigning your children’s clothing at a consignment sale.  Last week we talked about preparing and tagging that mountain of children’s clothing,  so now you’re ready to graduate to preparing everything else.  Don’t worry, you’re ready.

You can consign almost anything kid related.   With toys and furniture it’s important that you check that the item has not been recalled.  First of all you don’t want to sell an unsafe item and secondly you don’t need to put the time into preparing an item that will be turned away at the sale.  You can check for recalled items at

 Let’s start with some of the easier items and work up to the more difficult ones.


books tied together with yellow yarn

Books are hit-or-miss as to how well they sell.  But generally, they don’t sell as well as other items and they tend to sell best on half-price days when they’re marked down.  Now having said that, it’s worth giving it a shot, but just be forewarned and price your books on the lower end.

The sale I consign with where we live now has a rule that the lowest you can price an item is $1.  So I often group 2 or 3 smaller books together and sell them for $1 (picture above).  I choose books from a series to group together or books of similar reading level and interests.  I tie them together with yarn or with ribbon and attach the price tag in a area that doesn’t cover the title or synopsis of the book.

Books get just as beat up as any other item in the tornado of the consignment sale.  I’ve started tying all my paperback books with yarn or ribbon to help keep the covers and pages from getting bent up.  Use scotch or painters tape to attach your tag.  Attach it well on the sides so that it won’t get ripped off and separated from your item.  If your book looses its price tag, it won’t be able to be sold.  But as much as you want to attach your tag well, be aware that whoever purchases the book will want to remove the tag and won’t want the book destroyed when they remove the tape.  There’s a delicate balance in attaching the tag securely but not destroying the book for the next owner.

Just as with the clothing, I use yellow yarn to distinguish my books from the rest and mark the tag with a marker.  This makes it easier for me to find my unsold items on the last day of the sale.


an upside down puzzle box with blue circles showing where to tape the box

My children are older so we are no longer consigning wooden puzzles.  But the best way to prepare those are to wrap them well in plastic wrap with clear packing tape holding it all together.  That way the buyer can see the pictures and condition of the puzzle and the individual pieces are secured.

I always count all the pieces of the puzzle to make sure that there are not any missing.  I make a note on the price tag that all pieces are included.  Since you won’t be using the “size” block on the price tag, this is usually where I add “all pieces included.”

For boxed puzzles, I tape each side of the box securely so no pieces will fall out.  If the box is older, I often place all the pieces in a plastic bag inside the box.   If there is room on the front of the box I will put the price tag on the front.  But in the picture above, there was no place to put the price tag that didn’t cover up too much of the puzzle picture.   There’s a balance between showing the entire picture to interest a buyer and placing the price on the front of the box so it’s easy for the buyer to see.

And just like with the books, there’s a balance between securing the box with tape and damaging the box with too much tape.


Toys are big sellers.  All kinds of toys (please make sure you only consign ones in good condition).   But the first thing you have to know is that the toys you so carefully prepare for consignment will get the worst of the tornado treatment at the sale.  Moms are usually shopping with their young children. The moms are trying to make deliberate decisions about the clothing and items they are purchasing and so they are distracted.  The children are bored and tempted by lots and lots of toys just sitting out asking to be played with.  Distracted mom + bored child + available toy = damage.  Once your toy is damaged, it won’t be sold. So you want to do everything you can in preparing your toys to prepare it to survive the tornado of the consignment sale.
a police chase race track box
When possible, I package toys in their original boxes or in sturdy plastic bags.  Seal the top of the bag with packing tape.  If you don’t, I guarantee that someone will open the bag play with the toy and then either leave with it or leave it laying around separated from the bag and price tag.  You need the price tag to stay with the toy so that you can sell it.  Make sure you attach the tag extremely well to the toy.
electronics in a plastic bag with a label on it
Electronic toys must be in good working order.  Most sales require that toys that operate on batteries have working batteries in them so that the toy can be tested.  Imagine how frustrating it is to buy a toy in good faith and then get it home to find that it doesn’t work.  Please, only consign working toys and if your sale requires toys to have batteries, please include the batteries.

Large Items

between friends  consignment

Make sure that you attach the price tag well to the item.  These items will be played with by children whose parents are distracted. If you dont’ attach the price tag well, it will be lost.  And a lost tag means your item can’t be sold.  If the item has multiple pieces, attach the pieces to together, if at all possible.  Again, you don’t want a part to get lost during the tornado of the sale and then prevent your item from selling.  You can use packing tape, zip ties, curling ribbon or twine to attach the items together. 

If you have the manuals for these items, place them in a plastic bag and attach them securely to the item.  If you don’t have the manual, consider downloading the manual ( and attaching it.  It will make your item more attractive to a buyer and distinguish it from other similar items for sale.

If the item was stored out doors, take the time to clean it thoroughly.  Most buyers do not want to buy your cobwebs and leaves.  Again, cleaning your item will make it more attractive and distinguish it from the other similar items you’re competing against for the sale.

Small Items

2 green plastic dinosaur toys in plastic bags with labels on them


Place small items in sturdy plastic bags and seal the top of the bag with packing tape.  This keeps the item from being lost in the piles and piles of toys for sale.  It also allows you to easily attach your price tag to the bag.  And being protected by the plastic bag prevents your item from being carried off (also known as stolen) or played with and broken before it’s purchased.

plastic toy frogs in a plastic bag with a label on it

You can group several related small items together to make it more likely to sell at your sale’s minimum price.  Just make sure that it’s a group of items that someone would want to purchase.

Sports Equipment

Sports equipment sells well at some consignment sales and not well at others.  Try selling these items and see how it goes.  Often sports uniforms can be sold in the Fall as Halloween costumes. 


Furniture, Strollers and Car Seats


First, check your sale’s website to see what items they accept in this category.  These items sells easily at consignment sales as long as you price them well.  Read your sale’s website for suggestions on pricing, but general pricing guidelines recommend 1/4 to 1/3 of the original price.  If you’re not sure, you can always contact the sale’s owner or manager for advice.

Check to make sure that your item has not been recalled at  Many consignment sales require that you fill out a waiver form stating that a car seat has not been in an accident.  Check your sale’s website to see if this applies.

Attach or download ( the manual and attach it in a plastic bag to your  item.  Take the time to clean and launder all parts to make it more attractive to buyers.

Bedding, Blankets, Linens

Towels, blankets, sheets, receiving blankets, pads, twin size sheets and bedding are all popular sellers. Make sure your items are clean with no stains or rips. When possible I recommend placing them in plastic bags so that they don’t get trampled by strollers or feet during the busy days of the sale. If you don’t put these items in a plastic bag, make sure that you attach the price tag securely with a safety pin. These items are tumbled around on tables and in baskets as shoppers look at them and you don’t want the price tag getting separated from your item.

If you price it right, and it’s in good condition, you can sell almost any item your child has outgrown.  Just take the time to prepare it and price it well to make it attractive to buyers.

Next week in Consignment Sale Prep 201 we’ll talk about how to pack all your items so that you can get them out of your living room and to the sale.


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  1. Great tips! This is the first season that I will be consigning some of my son’s stuff at consignment sales and this is soooooo helpful!
    BTW- did you realize you have word verification on? That can impact your comments. 🙂

  2. Great tips…….Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again! Cheers,Kathy Shea MorminoThe Chicken Chick

  3. I work at a consignment store & I do most of what you said, but they other stuff was very helpful. Thank you

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