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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rhea Lana's Consignment Sale Coming Up!

What exactly is the Rhea Lana sale??
Have you heard of this sale? Do you wonder what Rhea Lana is or how to pronounce it? Do you want to know how I saved over $1100 this past spring in only one day by shopping this consignment event? I simply shop for my daughter's entire seasonal wardrobe at a consignment sale and sell my children's outgrown clothing in the process! See, it's that easy.

In northwest Arkansas the best consignment sale is called Rhea Lana after the original founder. The local NWA franchise is actually run by Rhea Lana's sister Ashley Shaver. This amazing, large consignment sale sells kids' clothing, toys, and baby equipment. Rhea Lana offers a good selection from thousands of consignors, so that it is realistic to purchase a large amount of your child's wardrobe with used clothing. If you are pregnant, you can also purchase baby furniture, jumparoos, high chairs, exersaucers, bouncy seats, etc. Since my children are no longer infants, I have pretty much stopped shopping for anything but shoes and clothing, and it is still very much worth my time and effort.

The NW Arkansas Rhea Lana sale will be at the Frisco Station Mall on Walnut in Rogers (by Hobby Lobby) from August 21-27. It is free of charge and open to the public during those days. However, the key (I think) to both making money and getting the best bargains is to become a consignor. This means you sign up to sell 15-150 of your children's gently used fall/winter items. The benefit to this is that you get paid to clean out your children's outgrown items PLUS you get to shop early before the general public and get the best pick of the clothing that is for sale! If it feels overwhelming for the first time, just try selling 25 items in the first sale to learn the routine. It really is very easy and all done online. I usually sell around 125 items and make a profit of $200-300 (and most of my items are play clothes; fancier clothing and boutique items will sell for much more). Consignors get to keep 70% of your profits for items which sell, and you can pick up anything that doesn't sell if you don't want it donated. Rhea Lana sales even guarantee they will pay for any lost items!

Here are the FAQ's for the next sale:
1. They will only take fall/winter clothes and toys, baby items, furniture, etc
2. You must consign a minimum of 15 items to a maximum of 150
3. They will take a consignor fee and 30% off your profits and give you a check for the rest on the final pick-up day
4. Go online to
Rhea Lana website to get a consignment number
5. Enter your items online into their spreadsheet format (so easy)
6. Drop off your items for check in and to put on the labels between August 17-19. When you check in your items, you will get the special pass to shop early.
7. Arrive at 1:00 on Saturday, August 20, to shop at the pre-sale for consignors

During the last sale, I purchased 72 items at the pre-sale and then went back to the 1/2 price sale and bought 20 more items. My total purchases cost $415 which averages to $4.51 per item! This included two smocked dresses, 3 pairs of Stride Rite shoes, and mostly Gymboree/Children's Place/Gap clothes. I can't beat that in terms of time saved plus "one stop shopping." I would never be able to find shoes, coats, and smocked dresses for that price on any sale in a store!

Now, let's do the math for real savings. If I purchased 92 items at retail stores, even on "good" sales, I would probably spend at least $14/item on average to get that many items in the right sizes. That would total $1288. Then, let's subtract what I actually spent at the sale which was $420. That leaves a difference of $873 in SAVINGS for purchasing the same number of clothes! Better yet, let's add to that savings the profit that I earned from selling my clothing at the same event which was $250. So, my total "savings + profit" for the last sale was $1123! Pretty amazing, isn't it.

So, for those of you who think consignment shopping is just too much work, you ought to try it at least once. Here is the break-down of how much time it cost me to participate:
1) hanging old clothes and pricing them online - 3 hours (for 125 items)
2) putting on labels that I printed at home and pinning on the sales tags - 1 1/2 hours
3) checking in my items to sell at the sale - 1 1/2 hours
4) shopping at the sales - 4 hours (includes two trips)
TOTAL: 10 hours labor

If my "savings + profit" was $1123 divided by 10 hours of labor/shopping time, I just made $112 per hour for my time. Yes, I think it is worth the effort. Don't you?

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