Wherefore Art Thou, Hanger?

Hanger, oh hanger, wherefore art thou hanger?

Shakespeare notwithstanding, where do you find hangers? It’s a common question and you’re not alone. At a JBF sale, all of our clothing will be on hangers, sorted by gender and size. So this is a fairly critical part of your sale prep.

As for what kind of hanger it is, it does not matter. Plastic or wire, small or large; if it hangs it, it works!

Searching for hangers in your closet is the first step. If you purchased a new item at one point and still have that hanger, you could use that. If you can pilfer your best friend’s closet…or grandma’s or your neighbor’s…try there, too.

If you’ve exhausted your “free” search – consider your local dollar store or resale shop. Many times hangers are bundled for 10 for $1. We’ve also had many consignors who have a great relationship with their dry cleaner and find them that way. Garage sales during the summer months are also great ways to score (it pays to think ahead!).

If, after you’ve exhausted all your options, you can purchase packs of hangers from Melanie and Melissa  – feel free to email them. Or, you may check online. Just use your favorite search engine to check online for “bulk, inexpensive hangers.” You won’t be the first to search for it – and many online retailers sell them.

Happy Hangering!

Oh – and PSST! When you’re hanging your clothes – make sure the hanger looks like a question mark (open side on the left)!


Pricing Toys – Tape is Your Friend!

Toys! So…many…toys!

That’s one of the many reasons we love JBFfal15toys10
you can purge a lot of little toys to add up to one big check.

Pretty much toys of any kind are accepted. They need to be in good working order, if they take a battery it must be operating. (How good does that battery have to be?? As long as the toy turns on, it’s good enough. Don’t keep stock in Size C? We’ve got them at drop off for a nominal charge.) If they come with pieces, it needs to have all the pieces. No one wants to open up an alphabet jungle house and find out that Bubba Bear and PeeWee Penguin are missing!

What about that stack of pieces-parts that have been underfoot for months? Those gallon size zip top bags are genius for this. Put the pieces in, drop the tag in, zip the top and then tape it shut.

What about two large pieces that need to stay together? Put them back-to-back or in a way that the buyer can see the most important parts. Place the tag in a convenient spot and tape it up.

Will the top of the box fly open and parts will fall out? Tape it closed.

Are you seeing a theme here?

We can’t tell you how many little parts wander away from their home. Think of the movie Toy Story – and keep the friends together!

If you are concerned about packing tape – try painters tape. They sell rolls of it at various dollar stores. And yes, sometime tape just won’t work. Zip ties, rubber bands, string, etc are all fine. Just please, oh please, make sure that we can scan the tag and that all the parts are there.

A few final thoughts:

  • Original packaging helps sell the product – but it is certainly not needed.
  • Don’t outprice yourself on common, tried-and-true kids toys. Little People are totally awesome. And 157 other consignors also thought so!*
  • Consider donating toys if they don’t sell. They end up with at-risk, homeless or displaced kids right here in West Michigan. We promise they go to good homes….and they’re out from under your feet!

Use tape. Get the parts together. Use more tape. Price well. Enjoy a clean home.

For a few months!

* Yes, you’re right. 157 people don’t always sell Little People at the sale. They are beloved and a crowd favorite. But you get our drift!

Pricing Clothes – Overpriced Brands

One of the more common questions we’re asked about clothing is “how much should I price….” – and frankly, it’s not an easy answer.

The answer depends on what quality is the item, i.e. new or gently used? Is it a brand name or a discount brand? How old is it, regardless of condition?

So to answer the question we always get, we turn it back to you…would you buy it? How much would you pay for it? Can you get your item brand new from the store if they have an end-of-season sale?

Take Target, Kohls, Meijer, WalMart, Old Navy, Costco and Sam’s Club. All sell cute clothing and all of them have a bazillion coupons and end-of-season clearance. That really cute tunic you nabbed your daughter for $0.97 at Old Navy? Yup, you’re probably not going to get $3 for that at the sale. However, bundle that with a great pair of leggings and one more tunic – then you’re talking.

If you’ve got a handlful of really great clothing that can be found super cheap, consider bundling it. Because those names above….they’re not going to give you a dollar for dollar return. Don’t get us wrong…they can, and will, sell when priced appropriately and ready to go. Take that top and match it with a bottom. Make the next mom’s life a little easier and give her an outfit that’s ready to roll. You’re check will thank you for it!

Books and More Books!

Books sell really well! We’ve put a system in place to keep books standing up, showcasing them off in their best light. We use white gutters to stand the books up and we line them up in a way that makes it easy for shoppers to search through.

Since books do sell, here are a few things to remember about selling your books – and moreover, tagging them.

If you’ve got a more antique-type book, or a cover that is not glossy, be careful with tape. You can see in this photo – even painters tape pulled up the cover.

Consider using a plastic bag. Place your book and your tag inside – but remember to tape down your bag when you’re done. It will keep your tag with your book(s).

Speaking of multiple books – using the bag like you saw above is a great idea. But if your books are too large, or you’d prefer to use up some twine, ribbon or other option – feel free to wrap them up like you see here:

A few final thoughts about books.

  • They need to be priced well! Grouping your items together can help you get a higher price and conserve your tags. But, on average, books need to be a good bargain.
  • If you still have the original price tag on the book – try placing your tag near that sticker. It’s a great way to showcase the savings of buying the book at the JBF Sale.
  • Consider the amount of love your book has seen. If the pages are worn or the flip tabs torn, think about donating your book. We try to keep our books in as good of condition as possible.
  • And finally – The Tag! Please make sure to write a description for your tag. Simply saying “Book” – will not be enough if your tag falls off. Be kind – verbalize!

Pick Up – What to Expect

Just as important as Drop Off before the sale – is Pick Up at the conclusion of a shopping-filled week. Of course, our goal with each sale is to sell as much a possible in the hopes you’ll have nothing to pick up!

When you are filling out your tags before the sale, you have an opportunity to check the “donate” box. If you select this box, any unsold items are sent on to our fabulous charity partners: In the Image, Alpha Women’s Center and the Homeless/Title 1 and At-Risk children of Grand Rapids Public Schools. You are able to run a report of any unsold, donated items and use this in tax season if you itemize your deductions. Once the sale is over, just run your report and there is no need for you to come to Pick Up. All of your items will be taken care of and donated for you.

Should you not wish to donate your unsold items, when you are making your tags, you’ll leave the “donate” box unchecked. We will sort these items by your consignor number and when you arrive at Pick Up, they will be ready for you.

Pick Up is pretty simple. Upon arriving back at the venue, you’ll come and check in with Melissa or Melanie. You’ll first head to the lost and found table to ensure that any untagged items can make it back to their owners.

Then, you’ll head over to the clothing racks. Each rack is marked by consignor number (alpha…then numeric). Gather up any clothes hanging in your spot. From there, head to the toy/item table and also find your designated spot by consignor number.

Finally, if there is a section of large items (which most times, there is not – they sell so well!), check there.

Head up to the front, check out with Melanie or Melissa and say farewell to the next show!

And….a few things to remember:

  • Log in and check your item log before you come. Know what to expect to pick up.
  • If you decide you’d rather not come to pick up your items, you are welcome to simply not show up. Anything unclaimed at the final cut off time is donated.
  • Choosing to donate reduces your consignor fee – helps kids right here in West Michigan – and impacts our community. (And yes, it makes break down a lot easier!)

Drop Off – What to Expect

Many of our first time consignors want to know what to expect at drop off. In short, it’s frenzied and fantastic fun.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll arrive at the location, armed with one, small, convenient item that has your tag on it. You’ll walk into the welcome area and meet Melanie Salamone – she’s one of the owners. She will check you in and get you on your way.
  • You’ll then take your paperwork and walk over to the unloading area. You’ll see lots of cars parked nice and close. We hope to allow easy access and a ramp for flatbed cards to help you out. Walk into the unloading area with your paperwork and meet the volunteer who is handling the Drop Off Desk.
  • You’ll get the lay of the land – you will see that there are marked off areas (usually designated with a number) and one of these areas will be assigned to you. You’ll be able to unload the entirety of your car/van into this spot.
  • Once you are given your area and have unloaded your vehicle, you’ll begin to hang up your clothes on portable racks. A team of volunteers work the Drop Off area – and one or more will be assigned to you. They will do a quick inspection looking for stains and tears. As they are doing this – often there is a lull in time for you. This is a great time to put some of your toys/books/mommy items out on the floor in their designated locations. The volunteers will finish up and you’ll be set to wheel the rack out on to the floor.
  • This is where your organization at home will really pay off! If your clothes are already organized by size, hang them up that way. Then, when you walk to “Girls 2T” you can just grab your items, drop them off and move on. No sorting, no waiting, less work!
  • Once you’ve gotten all your items on the floor – and often, we’ll have volunteers able to help when they can – you’re free to leave.

Organization is key to a successful Drop Off. Wear comfortable shoes and plan on about an hour. We look forward to seeing you!

Tagging Supplies 101


One of the most common questions asked is, “what supplies do I need, and where is the best place to get them?”  Here’s a budget-friendly list to help you get started-many of these items, you can grab at the dollar store!

  1. Hangers-any hanger will do, whether it be plastic or wire!  Sometimes department stores will give these out for free if you ask.   You can also ask at your local dry cleaners or even local charity.   If you are looking to purchase them, skip the dollar store as they tend to be cheaper at Walmart or Target.
  2. Safety Pins-with these, skip the tiny ones.  You’ll need safety pins to attach price tags to clothing (you can also pin pants to hangers through the belt loops).  Looking for a cheap resource?  Check your local dry cleaner!  Skip buying them from the dollar store; these are flimsy and odd sized!  *If you have many clothes to tag, a tagging gun is a great option!  You can purchase these for under $10 on Amazon.*
  3. Zip Ties- these are great for securing shoes together, securing larger items to hangers or for combining toy parts!  Buy them at the dollar store-$1 per pack is hard to beat! *Curling ribbon is another alternative to zip ties.*
  4. Ziploc Bags- use these to combine toy parts or pieces of equipment.  Again, if you can find these at the dollar store, grab them there!
  5. Tape- you’ll want to use packing tape to secure the openings of Ziploc bags & painter’s tape to attach tags to books (this way, the book cover isn’t damaged when the tag is removed).  Buy tape at Walmart, Target, or even the dollar store!
  6. Cleaning supplies- Magic Erasers work WONDERS and can be your best friend! They are highly recommend them.  Sometimes, you can find these at the dollar store, otherwise, check Walmart or Target!
  7. Card stock- White card stock ONLY please; we don’t allow tags to be printed on regular paper because paper rips too easily.  Your items will be handled multiple times during our sale.  Card stock tends to also be cheaper at Walmart, but Target or any office supply store should carry it too.
  8. Batteries- if you plan on consigning battery-operated toys or equipment, please make sure your items are in working condition!  Grab cheap batteries at the dollar store!
  • To sign up as a consignor or access the tagging site for Grand Rapids, click HERE.
  • To sign up as a consignor or access the tagging site for Kalamazoo, click HERE.

Hope this list has been helpful!  As always, if you have ANY questions, please contact Melissa at melissacook@jbfsale.com, or call/ text 616.528.8284, see you at the sale!

Cleaning supplies

Welcome To JBF!!

Caring for a family is expensive! At Just Between Friends Grand Rapids and Just Between Friends Kalamazoo, we understand how costly it can be. We believe that hardworking families should be able to provide to our families amazing quality clothes and toys and still have money left over, and we’re here to empower you to do just that.  We coordinate a seasonal, pop-up children’s marketplace where the community can buy & sell everything needed for a growing family.  During the sales event West Michigan families bring their gently loved items to sell, putting cash in their pockets which is so smart and a great way to re-purpose those outgrown items.  Thanks for letting us help you put money in your pockets and take back your budget!

collage after final dropoff