Sunday, September 14, 2014

Next Size Up founders celebrate 5 years running consignment events

Two Franklin moms, Kristin Kane and Tiffany Miller, are celebrating five years of running the Next Size Up  Kids' Consignment Sale this fall. 
Through the business, they conduct large consignment sale events every spring and fall, where area families can both earn cash selling their children's outgrown or unwanted items, and shop for gently used toys, clothes, furnishings, strollers and more at a fraction of retail.

next size up consignment sale
next size up consignment sale
The events have grown considerably since the first sale was held in the fall of 2009 in Franklin: that event was held in a small function hall and had 60 consignors selling 2,500 items. Next week, when the sale is held Sept. 19 – 21 at the John Smith Sports Center in Milford, the sale will have 200 consignors and more than 30,000 items. 
"The idea caught on pretty quickly," Miller said. "At the time, consignment sales were common in other parts of the country but they were a new concept in this area.  We have found that once people experience the sale, they get hooked." 
Local parents who sell through Next Size Up earn at least 60 percent of the sale price of their items – much higher than what is offered by a traditional storefront consignment shop. They can increase that percentage to 75 percent by volunteering at the sale itself. 
"Last spring, our average consignor payout was $326, and a number of consignors earned over $1,000 each," Miller said. "A lot of families tell us these payouts really make it worthwhile to take part in our events."

Each sale is not just a big yard or rummage sale, but a highly organized event. Prior to the sale, each consignor enters their inventory into an online system, choosing their own prices, and then prints barcoded tags to attach to each item. They come by appointment to drop off their items, which are then inspected by a team of volunteers to ensure that toys and baby equipment are in working order and clothing is free of stains or excessive wear. 
 "From the beginning, we have put an emphasis on quality," Kane said. "We wanted shoppers to be confident in what they were buying from us. They have shown their appreciation for that by coming back year after year to shop." 
Once items are inspected, they are placed on the sale floor much like they would be at a retail store – a very large retail store. Clothing is hung by gender and size, and toys, books, sporting equipment and other items are organized by interest and age range.

In addition to an emphasis on quality, Kane and Miller have also made charitable giving a priority. They invite consignors to leave unsold items at the end of the sale for pickup by Cradles to Crayons, a Boston charity that gives the items directly to needy families. A food drive is also held in conjunction with each sale, and on half-price day, shoppers can gain admission a half-hour early by bringing in two non-perishable items for the local food pantry. They also provide free passes to a private presale – which is generally open to consignors, volunteers and paid ticket holders only – to military families and a limited number of new, first-time parents.

Miller and Kane also provide other local entrepreneurs a chance to advertise through their events, as vendors during the sale or advertisers on the Next Size Up website or shopper handouts. This has been a great way for many local businesses to reach out to local families. 
The next event will be Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 AM to 8 PM.  New items will be restocked on Friday evening for Saturday's opening.  The half price sale will be on Sunday, Sept. 21, from 10 AM to 2 PM (many items will be marked 50% off). Those bringing 2 items for donation to the Daily Bread Food Pantry of Milford will get 9:30 admission on Sunday.   
Cash, Mastercard and VISA will be accepted. No food or drink will be allowed on the sale floor due to the new turf.
More information is available at:

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