How to Make Money at a Nearly New Sale

assorted boys clothes in a labelled box to be sold at a table top sale

As much as I hate to admit it, it's pretty likely that we won't be having any more babies. I think I'll always be a little bit broody but these days I find myself spending less time reminiscing about the boys being tiny and more time embracing all the milestones and watching them grow.

So what will we do with all the baby things that won't be needed any more? The boys' first outfits and other little keepsakes are tucked safely away in memory boxes but with everything else taking up valuable space in cupboards and the loft, I decided it was time for a clear out.

The answer was to sell as much of it as possible at a nearly new sale. Not only are they the perfect place for new and expectant parents to buy pre-loved goodies but they also provide a great opportunity to make money from all your old baby paraphernalia in one place - basically, everyone's a winner!

So far this year I've done two sales and made around £100 at each one. They both went really well but required a little bit of planning, so thought I'd share what I've learnt in case you're thinking of selling at a nearly new sale too.

Before you book a table:
  • Do your research by having a look at which nearly new sales take place in your area, when they are and how easy they are to get to. If you're in Bristol then the most popular ones locally are Mum2Mum Markets, Cheeki Monkeys and Little Pickles Markets.
  • Go along as a buyer to get a better idea of what to expect. You'll be able to see how sellers lay out their stalls, how they price their items and how much space you're likely to be allocated. 
  • Find out how much it costs to book a stall - this may vary from one sale to the next and can depend on the size of your table. You'll also need to take into account some of the other costs of running a stall, such as a clothes rail, hangers, boxes, tags and labels. Add it all up and make sure that you've got enough to sell to offset that initial cost, otherwise it's not worth the hassle! 
  • Start getting all your items ready well in advance (this took a LOT longer than I was expecting it to!) It can take a while to wash, clean, label and organise everything so give yourself a head start by pulling things together as soon as you've booked your table. 
  • Not sure where to start? Big ticket items such as buggies, cots, jumperoos and playmats are the most sought after so get those ready first! 
second hand maternity clothes for sale on labelled hangers

Preparing to sell:
  • Be picky! Only sell things that you'd want to buy yourself - the rest can go to the charity shop!
  • Try to group similar items together. At both sales, I found that bundles of clothing sold really well as people wanted to get more for their money (especially those who were on the lookout for certain sizes). 
  • Make it easy for buyers to see what they're getting. I did this by neatly folding my bundles of clothes and sealing them in medium sized sandwich bags, but you could create a smarter (and less wasteful) version of this by using string or ribbon to tie everything together.  
  • Consider creating a bargain box! If you find yourself with lots of leftover items after making up your bundles then it's worth labelling up a box of things for a set price, such as 'everything for £1'. This was something else that proved to be really popular, not just at my stall but on several others as well. 
  • Label everything in advance - it will save SO much time on the day! Knowing that your items are already labelled will also help to keep your stress levels down when you're rushing around trying to get your stall ready. I used sticky labels for the smaller items but found these to be a bit hit and miss as they stuck to some items better than others. For the larger items and boxes I used brightly coloured card to make signs and, judging by the feedback from buyers, these worked much better. 
  • Price things to sell. This might sound obvious but it really does pay to be realistic about how much you're likely to make from each item. I spent a fair bit of time looking on eBay and Facebook Marketplace to get an idea of what similar items were selling for and used those figures as a starting point. It's worth baring in mind that people will want to haggle too, so label things at your highest price but prepare to be flexible.
assorted second hand baby and toddler clothes in boxes at a table top sale

On the day:
  • Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to get set up. At each of the sales I did, I had an hour to get sorted (which sounds like ages, but trust me when I say that it flies by!) so chances are that you won't have long. Things can get hectic with lots of people moving around so try not to let yourself get flustered and just focus on your own stall. 
  • Take someone with you - even if it's just so you can pop to the loo or grab a drink! Not only will you need an extra pair of hands to set up, but it can also be useful to have two people on your stall so that you can talk to even more buyers. I say this as someone who had help with the setup but spent the sale itself flying solo! 
  • Presentation is key - the easier it is for buyers to find what they want, the more likely they are to part with their cash! If you lay things out neatly and keep your stall clutter free, people are guaranteed to stop for a look. In fact, without wanting to sound too big-headed, I had a lot of comments on how organised my stall was so I can vouch for that!  
  • Keep things up high if you can. I used the space underneath my table to display toys and books but found that people were less likely to crouch down and have a proper look in these boxes (and don't forget that a lot of your buyers will be pregnant, so bending down is out of the question!) Instead, use upturned boxes to add levels to your table and make everything more accessible. 
  • Take something to store your cash in - either a tin or a bum bag will do. It's worth filling it up with around £50-100 of change before the sale as you can guarantee that people will want to pay with notes (especially at the start!) It also helps to have carrier bags on hand in case your buyers have forgotten them and a marker pen so that you can alter your prices if needs be. 
  • Prepare for the first hour to be the busiest. Speaking from experience as a buyer, I know that most people will turn up early to try and nab the best bargains so expect a big flurry of buyers once the doors open! 
  • Enjoy your profits! Not all nearly new sales operate in the same way, but the ones that I've done allow you to keep all of the money you make on the day. I found it helped to have clear idea of what I was going to do with the money so that it didn't end up being spent on day to day stuff (in my case, I took out a small amount to reimburse myself for the cost of the stall and split the rest between my boys' savings accounts). 
If you're gearing up for your first nearly new sale then good luck! Have fun and don't be too disheartened if you don't manage to sell everything at once - with everything already labelled and packed up, it's easy enough to just book a stall at the next one and try again!

Have you ever been to a nearly new sale before? How did you find it? I'd love to hear all about your best bargains!

(Disclaimer: This post contains my own thoughts and is in no way endorsed by or sponsored by any of the brands/ companies mentioned.)