Last weekend I participated in my first Mom2Mom (M2M) sale as a seller. I've been to several of these as the customer, but being on the other side of things seemed like a fun thing to try to offload some of my daughter's clothing.
What is a Mom2Mom sale?
A mom to mom sale is a large indoor sale where moms rent tables to sell their children's outgrown gently used items to other moms and dads. They are great for keeping up with growing children's need for clothing, toys, and furniture.
My initial thought...
I should be good at this.
Why? Because I am a Marketing Operations Manager + Graphic Designer as my full-time gig. Providing a great customer experience, selling to a specific type of audience, appealing product layout, legible/attractive signage, etc. all falls under tasks I do/manage at my everyday job (that I have been doing for 9 years).
Step 1 - Sign-up for the sale
These suckers fill fast, so be on the lookout for the next one to come (I signed up for mine almost 2 months in advance). We live in Michigan, so I typically go here to find out where sales are happening + which ones are open to sell at. This sale offered tables for $30/each, so since this was my first time, I didn't want to go crazy and rent out two tables to avoid being overwhelmed.
Step 2 - Choose your clothing
Some things to think about:
Quality of clothing
Remember that you're selling used clothing. Personally, I am not going to buy anything that looks too worn, has stains, rips or other issues.
Choose to sell for the current or upcoming season
The majority of the clothing I chose to sell was for the upcoming two seasons. This is totally up to you, but my thought was that people probably have most of the clothing they need for the current season.
Do you have any emotional attachment to the items? As you're going through each of them if you "feel" something sad, maybe consider keeping it for now.
Step 3 - Organize the clothing
I can't tell you how many people complimented/commented on the organization/sorting I had done at my table. Several of them commented they felt like they were shopping at a store (SLAM DUNK!)
Categories/Bins. I separated my items by category within individual bins (purchased at the Dollar Tree) and hung items up on a two tier clothing rack.
Suggested categories: Pants, Bloomers, Pajamas, Long Sleeve, Short Sleeve, Dresses, Jackets, Costumes, Shoes, Swimwear.
Have smaller, categorized bins makes it easier for the customer to quickly find the type of items they are looking for + make setup/take down 10x faster.
Table items vs. Rack items. Pants/PJs and some of the long/short sleeve items were on the table, the remainder of my items (the nicer stuff), was hung up on the rack.
Folding. I carried over my folding technique that I use at home to save space, this is important for a couple reasons:
You get more items in each bin.
People are able to see ALL of the patterns/colors available at a glance.
Keep "like" items together. Place within the bins by type (keep the solids together, the patterned items together, graphic items together, etc.).
Is there something special about the item - like a ruffle butt? Be sure that's visible, don't depend on people to find what makes that unique, show it to them.
Rack items. Hang up items that are nicer and more attractive from a distance.
These should be separated by size also. If you have those handy closet tags, use them! I still told almost every person, "12 month items are on the top, 6/9 month items are on the bottom."
Carry the "keep like items together" concept going here. (Dresses, onesies, tees, etc.)
Shoes. Each pair was tied together and then nicely displayed on a white rug I had at home. Again, it's the small details that tend to stick out to people (like displaying your items nicely).
Step 4 - Do a test run at home
I am all about spending more time on prep if it means saving me time when I am in it.
Setup everything at home, and when you have a setup you love, snap a pic. That way, when you get to the venue to setup, you have a reference of what you've decided is the best setup.
If you have multiple sizes, keep like sizes together so you can say "This half is 6-9 month, and this is 12 month."
Step 5 - Create nice signs
Since I am a graphic designer, I understand that this is easier said than done for the average person. Things to keep in mind when you are designing them though:
Hierarchy is #1 (What's most important, what's least?)
Answer = Size, what is it, then price
Why? You want to pull people in, and these people know what size they are looking for, then they want to know what it is in each bin, THEN the price (unless your price is $1 or less, this is attractive)
If you're selling unique or really expensive stuff, don't be afraid to tell people that on the signs.
Size of font. The size should be the largest, then the type, then the price. Some people completely omit the price, but I would rather just be upfront about it so I'm not constantly thinking/bargaining with every single person.
Color. Use familiar colors (blue for boy, pink for girl).
Size of signs. This is dependent on your bin size, mine were 4 x 6.
Font choice.Use something legible for all ages, nothing too fancy.
Step 6 - Pricing your items
I saved this for last because it allowed me to really think about what I wanted to do throughout the entire process.
Bin pricing. This was done per bin, not per item.
Rack pricing. I bought Red, Blue, and Yellow circle stickers from the Dollar Tree and made a sign that labeled what each sticker meant. Each hung item had a sticker (in the same spot) on every item.
How I priced items.
If it was a boutique, Old Navy, or Gap item it were no less than $5. Basic Carters items were $1, and nicer Carters, Old Navy and Gap items were $2.
How much was the item when you bought? How old is it? How worn? These are all factors to take into consideration. Remember, the item is used though, so you have to be fair.
Step 7 - Get money from the bank
Be sure you have a nice container, or something around your waist to carry your money in. I did not like the little crappy thing I bought, and will invest in something more useful next time to keep my money organized.
You will need to bring your own money with you for change, here is what I did:
50 - $1
10 - $5
5 - $10
3 Rolls of Quarters
I did not use the quarters at all, but then again, I didn't have anything priced below a $1.
Treat your setup like a store. Make the shopping experience easy for the customer. They know what size they are looking for, help them by keeping your table organized and easy to look through... just like a store does.
Use a consistent color scheme with your signs, and even your tablecloth. I wanted people to know right away I am selling girl clothing without having to stop, look around and figure it out.
Look good yourself. Sounds silly, but are you more likely to buy from someone who looks slimy or someone who looks put together?
Presentation matters. A nicely setup table/person lets the person know that they can guarantee the same type of care was taken on the items they are purchasing.
Greet everyone at the table and give them a quick rundown of your setup.
Changes I'll make for next time
Add height to my table. I plan to use a 2x4 cubed shelf on my table so I can get more merchandise on the table.
Use a better money management item. I used a Tupperware bin, but found myself digging through my money for change.