It's time for spring cleaning and many parents may be looking for ways to turn their children's outgrown clothing and toys into cash.
Resale is a $13 billion industry, according to The Association of Resale Professionals, and the children's consignment business is growing in Oklahoma City — with a new Once Upon A Child store and several twice-yearly consignment sales that continue to increase in popularity, both with consignors and shoppers.
The average family has $1,318 worth of kids clothing that can be resold, according to a survey by thredUP, a children's clothing resale website. More than 350,000 items were resold on the site last year and sellers earned a total of $800,000.
Certain brands and items retain more value than others, according to a recently published survey by thredUP. TOMS, Mr. Men & Little Miss, Matilda Jane, Gucci and Pink Chicken are highly sought after brands.
High-quality staples like jeans and dresses better retain value, the survey found.
Bargain brands like Carter's earn an average of $1.36 per item, Gymboree returns an average of $4.76. Premium brands like Hanna Andersson bring in about $6.88 and designer brands like Burberry earn sellers an average of $10.20.
Consigning is a convenient way to earn money, says Lori Forrest, who owns the Once Upon A Child franchise at 13801 N Pennsylvania Ave., which opened in October.
“It's easy,” she said. “You bring it in and we sort through it. You don't have to hassle with Craigslist or garage sales.”
Sellers are offered cash on the spot for gently used children's clothing, shoes, toys and baby equipment; payments could range from $20 to $300, Forrest said.
Item prices are standard franchisewide and vary based on brand, size and condition of the item.
Sellers who want more control over how their items are priced opt for a consignment sale, like Just Between Friends or Sweet Repeats in Edmond. Individuals tag their own items and receive 65 percent to 70 percent of the profit after the sale concludes.
At Just Between Friends' fall Oklahoma City sale, 1,250 consignors participated and earned an average of $450 each.
“The families that participate do really well,” said Kathy Winslow, who runs the Just Between Friends sales in Oklahoma City, Norman and Edmond. “There's a little up-front time with supplies and preparation, but once you drop it off, we do the rest.”
She said the weeklong Oklahoma City sale at State Fair Park attracts 8,000 or more shoppers.
Successful consignors bring in clean items that are clearly labeled in original packaging, if possible, and with all the pieces. She said they should price items cheaply, even if there is sentimental value, to increase the odds it will sell. Boutique and name-brand clothing carry a higher return.
Sweet Repeats, a biannual consignment sale at the Edmond Armory, found a niche by accepting only sought-after brands.
“They know what they paid for the item and what it's worth. They like being able to price it accordingly,” she said of the sale's consignors.