Guest post: tips for consigning at Just Between Friends

Thanks so much to Laura for being willing to share her experience as a first-time consigner at a recent Just Between Friends sale in Colorado Springs!

Just Between Friends is “The Nation’s Leading Children & Maternity Consignment Sales Event Franchise.” Wow, that’s a mouth full!

Basically, Just Between Friends is a national consignment sale company that is franchised out (similar to restaurant chains having locally owned and operated restaurants) and it’s wonderful! The Colorado Springs Just Between Friends puts on twice yearly mega consignment sales at the Phil Long Expo Center.

If you are in the market for baby gear, baby and kids clothing of all sizes, or maternity items, this is the place to be.

I have been to this consignment sale several times as a customer, but last time, I participated as a consignor. Following is a bit about my experience and some extra suggestions.

Preparing items for sale

~ The Just Between Friends website has a plethora of information about the proper procedures for tagging your items, acceptable items and pricing suggestions. I recommend you start there by reading everything. Reading through all of their guidelines can potentially save you some hassle, in the end.

~ Start preparing your items well in advance of the next consignment sale – seriously, several months wouldn’t be too far fetched. I didn’t start until about a month before and quickly got overwhelmed.

~ Diligently inspect each item in full sunlight (or under commercial flourescent lights). Wash or iron, if necessary.

Each item you submit will be inspected and will be deemed not sell-able if there are any spots, stains, snags or flaws.

~ Name brand items (Gymboree, The Children’s Place, Land’s End, Graco, Fisher Price, etc.) sell wonderfully. Other brands sell well, also, but many moms (and dads) are willing to pay more for name brand items in great condition. There is a minimum sale price of $3 for clothing items, if you don’t think an item will bring that much, pair it with something else. I paired many things together (ie. 3 pairs of infant cotton shorts for $3) if they wouldn’t bring in the minimum required.

~ Email the owners to ask questions if you can’t find answers on the website. They welcome

Drop off day

~ Plan to be at the Phil Long Expo Center for drop off for at least 1½ hours. Also, if you are there about 10-15 minutes before they open drop-off, you’ll spend less time, because you’ll be closer to the front of the line.

~ They have a very limited number of hanging racks and flatbeds available for use in getting your items from your vehicle to the inspection stations. If you have something similar at home (collapsible hanging rack, folding push cart, etc.), I would recommend bringing it with you, if possible, otherwise, you might find yourself unable to transfer your items from your vehicle to wait in the inspection line.

Any loose items that are small or not hanging can be packed into Rubbermaid tubs or other bins to lessen the amount of time and effort it takes you to transfer your items from one place to another.

~ If you do not have one of these available, the best thing to do (before ever even getting in the check-in line) would be to go over to the waiting area for the carts/racks and wait for one. Once you’ve obtained your cart/rack, unload everything onto it, follow their check-in guidelines and then come back and retrieve your items and head straight to the inspection line. This will move you through the process the quickest.

~ Once you’ve checked-in and had your items inspected, you are responsible for putting them in their proper place on the sales floor. Don’t worry, everything is labeled to make the process go more smoothly.

Sales status

~ I started with 88 items tagged for sale. 14 items were rejected due to stains or other problems, etc. 55 items sold (18 of those were on the half price day) and I donated the remaining 19 items (the Airman’s Attic and the Air Force Academy is the charity JBF donates to).

62% of the items I tagged were sold. This isn’t bad for a first time, but if I had been more diligent about checking for stains (in bright sunlight) and then washing or spot cleaning the items, this number could have been much higher.

Overall experience

In general, my first time consigning with Just Between Friends was very positive and I would definitely recommend others participate. However, if you plan on consigning in next month’s sale, you better get started sorting and tagging!

Laura Venning is an Air Force wife and homeschooling mom to three little treasures.  Her blog, Homemaking Joyfully, focuses on finding the joy in homemaking in a natural, simple, Christ centered way.  Check out her recent blog series, Preparing for Deployment!

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Comments

  1. Some of the “checkers” are more thourough than others. The first time I sold the lady was super strict, this past spring not so much…it all depends on who you get.

    Don’t bother selling shoes unless they look brand new, they are really picky with shoes.

    I took 300 items (mostly all clohting) and sold 260. I do not donate at the end, I would much rather get the donation reciept/tax deduction than giving it to them.

    Don’t be afraid to price the clothes kinda high. This sale is a for-profit sale, they get away with selling stuff much higher than other local sales. For instance, I bought a dress at the MOMs sale for $3, the exact same dress was priced $7 at JBF. Granted the MOMS sale doesn’t do the half off day.

    If you have onesies and things that aren’t worth $3 (the minimum) put them together. Outfit pairs seem to sell well (shorts/tshirt, jeans/top etc)

    Baby gear sells much better than clothes! Boppies go fast!

    Consigners get a free admission for them and a friend to go to the presale.

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      LOL about the “checkers”, Valerie – kind of like learning which grocery store cashiers are coupon-friendly, eh? :)

    • Stephanie says:

      LOL, what you said about pricing things kind of high is exactly why I will only shop on half price day now (if I’m only getting clothes)! I have noticed that the clothes prices are too high for my taste so I would rather shop half price day even if they are more picked over. I have seen many prices where I can get it brand new on sale for a similar price, so why buy it used? But, if you can sell things at the higher prices and people are willing to pay, more power to you! :)

  2. Hi Ladies,
    Thanks so much for the great remarks. We work very hard to make each sale bigger and better. I just wanted to clarify that any items that are donated to our charity partner, the USAFA Airman’s Attic, by the consignor are ONLY tax deductible for the consignor. Airman’s Attic will mail tax receipts to the consignors or give it to you at pick up at the close of the sale. Hope to see you all at the sale!

    Melissa Meifert

  3. I have wanted to go to this sale before to shop for my little girls, but I have heard that the clothing prices were rather high. I really appreciate the review on how to sell. Could someone please let me know any tips on how to shop the sale? Did you find it to be of great value?

    Thank you!

    • if you’re after big items (bikes, bedding, yard toys, furniture, etc) this sale is GREAT! if you’re just getting clothes (unless your looking for specialty clothes like maternity, costumes, wedding attire) I would skip it. You can find much of the same quality at MUCH lower prices…

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