I’m fresh back from my first experience of a nearly new/secondhand baby and toddler market. I had a great time and sold a few things that were taking up space at home. It’s well worth thinking about if you’re trying to declutter, go ‘minimalist‘ or just make some extra cash from items you no longer need.
Although I did read a little before signing up I wasn’t sure what to expect, so thought I’d share some of my advice for selling at a nearly new sale or pre-loved baby and toddler market.
How to have your best ever baby and toddler market
Prepare before you go
This is so, SO key. I thought I could get away with sorting things as I went but trust me, if you get an hour or so to set up, that hour will pass by so quickly and before you know it people are heading towards your stall.
Prepare as much as you can before you pack everything into your car. Get organised – think about what you’re selling and what you need to prepare. Everything should be clean and presentable, so factor in time to give anything you’ve brought down from the loft a dust and clean. Make sure you have some way of labelling and pricing things up – whether that’s on tags (I love these!), sticky labels or creating signs out of paper or card. Take spares and a marker pen (I’m a fan of Sharpies) with you too, so you can adjust prices or make signs on the fly.
If you’re selling clothes it’s well worth sorting and arranging these by size before you go. This helps you decide whether to create bundles or sell items on their own, but both ways it makes it much easier for buyers to browse what you have. Make sure you have signs up stating which age ranges you cater to – if you have baby toys on your table it might not be obvious you’ve got a bundle of toddler clothes available too.
Take plenty of change
It’s something I very nearly forgot about (cue a dash to the bank on a Saturday morning) but you’ll need change – and plenty of it. Don’t underestimate the number of people who will come by your stall with a £10 or £20 note, hoping you’ll have change for a £3 item, so be ready with plenty of £1 coins. My first sale of the day wiped out most of my stock of fivers, so don’t bank on being able to build up change throughout the market.
To make things easier I priced at round £ figures and nothing under £1, so I didn’t need to carry lots of small change on me. I very nearly ran out of change though so always take more than you think you’ll need – you can always change it back at the bank afterwards if you need to.
Know what sells – and what doesn’t
Like most of us I had a huge pile of baby clothes taking up space in the wardrobe, and thought this market would be the perfect place to sell it. Turns out secondhand clothes aren’t hugely popular at nearly new sales (at least at mine!), especially baby clothes. It’s something that makes sense – picking out new baby clothes in stores is so exciting when you’re expecting. Toddler and children’s clothing seemed to sell better at the market I went to, and there was a shortage of boys’ clothes compared to girls’.
Baby equipment, on the other hand, was really popular. I sold my activity gym and Jumperoo* quickly and at the asking price. Watching buyers as they walked out most people were leaving with toys and equipment, so if I was to do another sale in the future I’d focus on those and either sell clothes in bundles on Facebook or take them to a charity shop.
It’s not (that) scary
Having never been to a baby and toddler market before I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never done a carboot sale either so selling from behind a stall was completely new. It was fine though, definitely nothing to worry about!
It helps to prepare beforehand so you’re not rushing about during set up time, but everyone’s friendly and the time passes so quickly that before you know it it’s time to pack away again. If you’re feeling nervous about selling at a secondhand baby and toddler market try bringing a friend with you or splitting the stall with a friend – that way you can take it in turns to sell and explore the other stalls.
Make your stall pretty
Okay, so it doesn’t have to be pretty but it should be well organised. Make it easy for buyers to see what you have and make the decision to buy, without having to rummage through items or wonder what you have available. Dress your table with a tablecloth (here’s a really affordable one) and add some clear signage and label your items. Keep some ‘white space’ on your table and give items space to attract buyers’ attention. Put things that you want people to focus on at the centre and don’t be afraid to keep items back to replace others that sell.
If you have lots of clothes or toys to sell it can be tempting to put it all out on display, but this can make buyers overwhelmed and might hide the few pieces they might have picked up. Along with lots of other sellers I put clothes out in boxes in front of my stall but next time I’ll try and keep everything at table height – not everyone will want to bend down and sort through items to find a bargain. If you don’t have a clothes rail I seriously recommend one, and I even bought one (similar to this one) especially for the market. It’s an extra cost but hardly cut into my profit and made it easier for people to browse clothes.
Bring some help
Doing one of these markets, much like a car boot sale, can be hard work. Loading everything into the car, parking and unloading it, setting everything up and handling sales are all much easier with another pair of hands.
If you can, bring a friend or your partner along to help. Lots of nearly new sales let you bring kids too, so if yours are older why not let them help out? As well as it reducing the amount of running to-and-from the car you do, it means you can leave someone else in charge of the stall while you browse the rest of the market and buy a bargain or two.
I’ll admit I was hoping I’d come home with a bag or two of things. In reality I brought a lot of items back home with me – mostly clothes, but some baby toys and other items like kids DVDs and maternity/breastfeeding products.
Although some items (like baby clothes) don’t always sell well or in huge volumes, other items like toys and equipment do – if they’re priced right. People are coming to preloved baby and toddler markets for bargains and so you won’t see the same profit you would if you sold items on eBay or Gumtree, for example. I found pricing things keenly really helped attract people, and including the RRP helped move a few of the more expensive items.
These things can be stressful, but they should be fun too so enjoy the experience! Hopefully you’ll make some cash and come home with a profit, whether that’s to save or, as happened with us, buy a whole new set of toys…
My top items for your stall
If you’re planning to take a stall at a nearly new sale or baby and toddler market, here are my top items for your stall – all easily available on Amazon!
- Adjustable garment rack (you can also reuse these for car boot sales or at home)
- A white tablecloth, if your venue doesn’t provide them as standard (this one’s under £2!)
- Plastic boxes to store/display bundles of clothing (I recommend reusing ones from home, to save buying new)
- Somewhere to keep your money, like a cash box or a bumbag!
- Sticky labels for pricing items or labelling boxes or bundles
- Batteries, in case you want to demonstrate any electrical toys!
If you’ve done baby markets or nearly new sales before do you have any tips? I’d love you to share your experiences in the comments :)