Choosing the Right Time to List Your Items

Here’s a short-and-sweet rundown on the types of items and sales you can expect to be in-demand throughout the year.

This is a great time to run a big winter clearance sale to clean out your inventory and catch those thrifty shoppers planning for the months ahead (just note winter sales might still be slow during this time, though). Get your red and heart-print items listed earlier in January to catch Valentine’s Day shoppers. Also, think about listing or creating a collection around pastels, colorful floral prints, and rain gear, which start picking up for spring-minded shoppers heading into March.

Shorts, dresses, and swimwear – oh my! Expect heavy spring and summer shopping from buyers during these peak months. March is also a big month for Easter-related inventory. In my experience, April has historically been an “everything goes” month – if items are priced right or spring/summer appropriate, buyers are buying. Sales will begin to slow down in May.

Aside from a small rush for Fourth of July items, these months are typically slow across the board (see my related article on the ebb and flow of sales here). If you’re feeling up to it, you could try running a large summer clearance sale to move inventory, but I wouldn’t bank on a huge return. By the end of July, sales for back-to-school will start to pick up – I’d suggest adding fall/winter inventory consistently to keep your shop well-stocked in preparation.

This is the time when shoppers are purchasing heavily for back-to-school. Kids can be hard on clothes (as we all know!) so secondhand sales are great for thrifty parents preparing for the new school year. Clothing and accessories that have done well for me are layering items (like sweaters, cardigans, leggings, staples) and fall-favorite corduroy and jewel-tone colors are popular in Kidizen. I’ve also found shoe sales to be consistent during this months. You might also consider jackets and coats, as they’ll be in-demand, but don’t forget to anticipate increased shipping costs due to their weight! Finally, you’ll want to begin listing Halloween and Thanksgiving items by mid-September, as many shoppers will already be planning outfits or looking for ideas.

You’ll probably only see moderate shop traffic this month, holding its own but not quite the volume of the previous two months. Costumes and festive outfits for Halloween and Thanksgiving are still popular listings, but make sure you have them listed early on. Snow gear and holiday sales could be good depending on how early some areas get snowfall. Snow bibs, boots, mittens and hats are great items to list since kids outgrow them fast between snowy seasons and they can be expensive to buy new. Heads up: sales will start to slow until the new year.

Your sales may be slow, but I suggest listing items that are NWT (new with tags), toys, and books for shoppers looking for stocking stuffers and gifts. Fair isle is a classic, popular print around this time, as well as cute pajamas and holiday fleece. Many families schedule their holiday pictures in mid-November or early December, so classic winter items tend to sell earlier on. There are typically a lot of competing retailers running big sales during these months, so it can be pretty slow on the secondhand market. Don’t get discouraged!


Annie Enriquez, a.k.a. The Titan & The Lily, is a West Coast mama with Midwest roots, raising beautiful little troublemakers, Lily and Atlas, in Seattle, WA.