Baby and children's items at a Three Bags Full sale.
When Columbus residents think of buying back-to-school clothes for their children at a consignment price, stores such as Once Upon a Child normally come to mind. But Central Ohio is also the proud home of Three Bags Full, a family-owned children’s consignment sale business that began in the garage of Kurt and DeAnn Nightingale and has grown into something much more.
The Nightingales held their first Three Bags Full sale in their garage in the spring of 2004 with the hope of earning some extra money so DeAnn could stay at home with their two young children. Their long-term goal was to build a detached garage that could house the sale full time, but as they like to say, “God had bigger plans than we did and we now have sales in three locations.” And my, what locations they now use! This fall they will host their sales at the 4H & Merchant Building at the Hartford Fairgrounds in Johnstown (September 24-26), the Merchant Building at the Delaware County Fairgrounds (October 16-18) and the Dayspring Community Church in Canal Winchester (October 22-24).
Although the consignment business is not new, Three Bags Full uses a unique approach. It operates by inviting consignors to sell their new and gently-used baby and children’s items at the Three Bags Full sales. Consignors begin by registering on the Three Bags Full website, where they are assigned a consignor number. Next, consignors price and tag their items at home using an online system. Before the sale, consignors drop off the items they would like to sell and each item is checked for stains, missing pieces, etc. Consignors keep 65-80% of the selling price and may either collect unsold items or, with the help of the Nightingales, donate them to local charities.
Over the past five years, Three Bags Full has definitely become a family business (Kurt and DeAnn’s growing children, parents, sister, and nephews are often seen helping at the sales), but the Nightingales also rely on volunteers. To encourage their consignors to take part, they offer a wide range of volunteer incentives, including the opportunity to shop before other consignors, save money on the consignor fee, and earn a higher percentage of each item’s selling price.
The Nightingales have also come up with some interesting ways to help different groups in the community. For example, they give expecting and new moms the opportunity to shop before the general public. They also offer fundraising opportunities for school-related organizations and non-profits groups.
Central Ohio residents are undoubtedly thankful for the chance to sell their no-longer-needed baby and children’s items and purchase new items at an affordable price, but the Nightingales feel thankful as well. "My family and I have sincerely loved the serendipity of organizing this sale,” DeAnn said. “While we originally just hoped to help our family budget, we have benefited so much more by the letters and comments we receive from shoppers and consignors. Single moms, single dads, one-income families, grandparents raising grandkids ... every family situation is different and unique and yet similar in their need for value to assist their family budgets. We are blessed by those who attend the sale."
For more information on how to become a Three Bags Full consignor or for details about upcoming sales, visit the Three Bags Full website.