Manhattan Plaza Children's Clothing & Toy Exchange

Hell's Kitchen's only bi-annual children's clothing and toy tag sale celebrating 30 years of community spirit!



  1. What is the Manhattan Plaza Children's Clothing & Toy Exchange?


    A community run event that has taken place at Manhattan Plaza bi-annually for nearly 30 years. Although we are not an incorporated identity or  business organization, we are legitimate and sanctioned by Related Management, the landlord and owner of Manhattan Plaza. It's a miraculous community event that allows those on a budget to meet the needs of  their kids for a low cost, encourages green living and provides donations to charities that serve children and families.

    Our tag sale is like a consignment sale as participants tag and sell items for kids at very low prices and shopping is open to the public. It is a one-day sale that is held once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

  2. How do I sell items at the sale? SELLER INSTRUCTIONS

    In order to be a seller at the clothing exchange you must email [email protected] with the word “seller” and your unique seller code in the subject heading. (See below for seller code requirements.) You must download the "intake form" from the 1st page of the website or from the announcement letter.  Please print out 4 copies for the four separate sales books.  Forms will be available on the day of the sale, however, in the interest of the time and efficiency, it is preferred that you print and complete forms ahead of time.  You may drop off your sale items between 9:30 and 10:30 ONLY at the Ellington Room on the second floor of the Manhattan Plaza 9th Avenue building (400 West 43rd Street).  Please do not arrive after 10:30am as we will NOT be able to accept your items.

    Please read the instructions below about labeling and packaging. It is essential that your items are labeled properly or you run the risk of not selling your stuff!

  3. What is a good price for my items?

    Between $1 and $5. This event is called a clothing exchange because it is a way for the families of the community to exchange their gently used toys and clothing to the benefit of all. It is not a money making operation. One might be called a lucky parent if they end up even -- making from the sale what they spent. For the most part sellers price their items between $1 and $5 depending on the item’s value and condition. Please round to the nearest dollar or price in 25 cent increments (not odd amounts) for the ease and convenience of our volunteers.

    PLEASE attempt to write as clearly as possible so that purchasers are charged the correct amount!  If a number is unclear then a lower amount may be assessed than you intended.

    For assurance of getting the correct revenue for your sales -- if you are including a 7 (seven) in your price PLEASE cross the seven in order that it is not mistaken for a 1 (one).


  4. What can I sell?

    Anything kid related, with the exception of anything made of wood, linens or stuffed animals. People bring items ranging from clothes, shoes, books, games, toys, snugglies,booster seats, strollers, etc. It is recommended that if you have anything large or of great value that you either put up a sign on the board provided or sell it on craigslist or ebay.

    Seasonally Appropriate Items: Please try to limit the items you are selling to seasonally appropriate ones, ie: for the Fall sale shorts are not likely to sell and heavy coats will NOT sell at the Spring sale.

    Any clothing larger than a youth 14-16 or adult items not appropriate for teens can not be accommodated and will not be put out for sale. 



  5. How do I package my items?

    Please sort various sizes into separate labeled bags so that volunteers can set them out in the proper sections and they will be more likely to be sold.

    Grouping or bagging items: Consider using baggies to package matching items or groups of similiar items together. When selling items in plastic or Zip Lock bags: Put a piece of tape under your label tape. This way the bag won't rip when the label is removed at checkout.

    Selling hanging items: Some items sell better when hanging on hangers; Items such as coats, dresses, Halloween costumes, etc. We suggest that you bring such items already on a hanger and secured with safety pins.

    Selling toys or items with multiple parts or small pieces: As many of you probably know, the toys and games area will often be hit hard by shoppers who open items, separate pieces and don't put them back together. We recommend taking the following steps to ensure that your items stay in one piece and are purchased:Tape or bag items together securely, but in a way that still allows a shopper to see the item well Clearly indicate on the outside if all pieces are there, if the item works (ie: an electronic item that needs batteries)If its not clear from the outside what an item contains or what it does, write a short description on the outside.We especially recommend that you tape closed board games, lego sets or any other items with many small pieces. Blue painters tape generally comes off without ripping the packaging and makes it hard for all but the most determined shopper to open up during the sale.

    Selling large items: If you have large items such as a crib or toddler bed, do not bring them to the sale. Instead, bring a flyer with a picture and description of the item and the price you wish to sell it at. Give buyers a way to contact you if they are interested. We will post these flyers on a board at the exchange where all can view them.




  6. How do I label my items?

    Please write your seller’s code, size and price of the item on masking tape and affix it to the outside of the item where it can easily be seen.

    Select a "code" for yourself: Your "code" must be at least 3 letters long, must begin with a letter (for alphabetization purposes) and may only contain letters or numbers (no symbols please). It can be your last name, initials, nickname, or any combination of letters, which identifies items coming from your household.

    Label Your Items:Labels MUST have the following information on them: Code, price and size.Label your items with masking tape only (Do not use mailing labels or those little colored stickers).Clothing items not labeled on the OUTSIDE with size will be set aside and placed out last (or possibly not at all, if space/time do not allow). Please be sure to put the size of the item on your label. 

    Place your labels carefully: Labels should be visible at a glance and easy to read.

    The following are some tips for labeling:(Some materials, such as velvet, can be damaged if tape is placed on it. Tag these items on the inside label.

    Some items are difficult to label. If you feel that your label might fall off, you might want to package your clothing in a plastic bag with a label affixed to it or pin and hang your clothing on a hanger with the tag attached to the hanger.If the fabric makes removal of your "code tape" difficult, please lay down a bed of masking tape, then place your "code tape" on top of that for easy removal. If we cannot take your "code tapes" off your item and place them in the sticker books, you may not get all the money you earn.

    The more visible and easily removed your label is, the more assurance you have toward having your sale recorded, and the more likely it is that you will receive all your money for sold items





  7. What do the volunteer opportunities and what do they entail? VOLUNTEER DESCRIPTIONS



    In order to inform the community of the sale date and details flyering is required in and around Manhattan Plaza. Several flyering volunteers are needed to do this, as well as to copy and distribute flyers to the surrounding schools. Access to free printing services is an asset for this position, as well as a good pair of tennis shoes. The bonus of these

    spots is that you don't need to work the day of the sale AND you don't necessarily need to make child care arrangements.



    Set-up volunteers are required to set up tables, do intake, put clothes and toys out and to organize all sections.  The set up slot is a longer period of time because it is a large and timely endeavor.

    Set up shift: 9am - 12pm

    Early set up shift: 8:30 - 11:00am

    Early shopping by set up volunteers is strictly prohibited AND set up volunteers are so busy that it is not even possible.  The set-up position is a rigorous one, best suited for the fast and efficient.  Children are NOT allowed during setup-- small infants in snugglies or slings allowed only. If you do not have child care arrangements, then you must volunteer for another position.



    The cashier spots are two hours each. There are three cashier stations: two regular and one express. Cashiers are responsible for removing all labels from items,tallying the labels and calculating sales.  Cashiers are provided with adequate change and are periodically relieved  of larger bills.Cashiers are not required to accept any bills over $20. This position requires competency with money, ability to handle a calculator and patience. Items without stickers can be purchased for $5 small item, $15 large item or may be set aside to ascertain seller and purchased at the end of the sale if the seller has been identified. 

    This job requires your full attention so you can not bring children except in carriers which is discouraged. Each cashier is supplied with a calculator with tape and a temporary resting board for labels. Labels should be removed from the item and placed on the temporary board until the buyer agrees on the total and has paid. Only after money has changed hands should the labels be entered into the seller’s book. When time doesn't allow and floaters are available this task is handed over to the floater.

    First Cashier shift:  12:45 - 2:45pm

    Second Cashier shift: 2:30 - 4:30pm




    This position is a relatively recent addition and is a flexible one.  As a floater you are responsible for being on hand to assist the Chairs and cashiers on an as needed basis.  Some things you may be asked to do are: transfer labels to the sale books, return items to their correct sections or re-organize some of the toys and clothes.  These spots are best suited for those with a can do friendly attitude who are quick to see where there is a need and jump to the ready. 

    When doing the labelling please place labels in the seller’s book in an orderly manner. It is very difficult to add up the pages at the end of the sale when labels are all over the place. If pages are filling up, please make a new page, rather than finding creative places to squeeze labels into.


    First Floater shift: 1pm - 3pm

    Second Floater shift: 2:45 - 4:45

    Clean-up/Break down

    Pretty much self explanatory: organize and pack up the clothes for charity.

    Must be willing and able to work quickly, lift and carry large bags and boxes. 

    Clean-up shift: 4:30 - 6:30pm

    Post Sale Charity pick-up

    Must be available the Monday morning following the sale from

    9:00am - 11:00am. Only one volunteer slot for this duty.


    Money Pick-up

    The money pick-up spots involve being available for a five hour time commitment on certain days allocated for pick up of sales revenue.  An attempt is made to provide a week day morning, evening and weekend option to sellers on the week following the sale.  As a money pick-up volunteer you must have a residence in Manhattan Plaza or nearby and be willing and able to grant access to sellers to pick up their money.  These volunteers are responsible for transferring the sales books and money box between Chair and/or other volunteers and keeping records of all money envelopes retrieved.  The bonus of this spot is that you do not need to arrange child care, can stay in your home and do other things and you do not have to work the day of the sale. 



    The organizing of this event is very personalized.  While many great traditions and procedures have accumulated through the years from the talented individuals who have held these posts, those who have chosen to take on this responsiblility inevitably make it their own and bring their own unique color to the event.  With today's ever changing technology this event and therefore, the position and it’s duties has morphed over the years and it’s volunteers have strived to make improvements in communication and efficiency. 

    How many Chairs are involved and the characters and skills of those volunteers determines how responsibilities are divided.  Some of the responsibilities include:

    volunteer and seller communication and coordination, charity correspondence and arrangements, flyer design and distribution, scheduling, files and record maintenance, day of event supervision and direction, accounting of sales, money distribution and community liaison. Being a Chair is a two year commitment but some generous souls have served well above and beyond.  Past chairs continue to volunteer and contribute to making the sale a success.  Because of the so many routines already put in place by our past leaders the sale has been able to run more and more smoothly and, in the terrific Manhattan Plaza/Hell's Kitchen spirit someone is always there to lend a hand! 







  8. How are the volunteers chosen for any given volunteer spot?

    All volunteers are asked to give three preferred choices ofvolunteer spots (duties) that they would like. The clothing exchange attempts to give volunteers their most preferred choice on a first come first serve basis with priority given to those who have experience and strength in certain areas. 


  9. What is the benefit of volunteering?

    First of all, the clothing exchange wouldn’t exist without volunteers so doing your part as a volunteer continues to make this great community tradition possible! PLUS you get to pre-shop!  All volunteers are eligible to arrive and shop early between noon and 1pm – that is a whole hour before everyone else is permitted to enter the sale! Volunteering is also a super way to get to know and interact with your neighbors and fellow Hell’s Kitchen parents.


  10. How can I get involved?

    How much time and effort you are willing or want to give is up to you. From copying flyers to being a Chair, there are many opportunities to be involved in a way that is right for you.

    Anyone interested in volunteering should send an email to [email protected], making sure to put the word “volunteer” in the subject heading.

    Please lookover all the FAQ’s before asking any questions, as you may find your answer here!


  11. Who runs the sale?


    The Clothing exchange is operated and organized on a 100% volunteer basis by members of the community. Anyone interested may volunteer and/or Chair the event. Traditionally one or two people have held the Chair position at any given time (although the more the merrier) and a two year commitment is required.  At least one resident of Manhattan Plaza must be a representative at all times in order to meet the guidelines of the administration of Manhattan Plaza.


  12. Who benefits from the Clothing Exchange?

     Many families have relied on the Clothing Exchange throughout the years to meet their rapidly growing children’s ever-changing needs.  The clothing exchange has provided a wealth of gently worn and sometimes never worn very affordable clothes and toys to the Manhattan Plaza residents and surrounding community.  All proceeds (with the exception of a 10% surcharge for non volunteers) go to the sellers of the items. All remaining items are donated to legitimate charities that serve less fortunate children and families.



  13. What is the 10% surcharge and where does it go?

    Sellers who do not choose to volunteer for the event are charged 10% of their sales as a service fee to support the event.  A very small percentage of all sellers are not volunteers as this event relies upon it’s volunteers to   function and does NOT employ or pay any one. The funds accrued from this charge are not substantial and go toward sales costs and supplies.



  14. How do I get my money?

    You will be notified by email, as well as on the day of the sale of the specific dates and location of money pick up.  If you are not able to pick up your money on any of the pick up times then you must arrange for a proxy to do so for you.  Any funds not picked up after the allotted time period will be available for pick up at the next two sales and/or the consequential money pick up dates.  Any funds not retrieved after one calendar year following will be absorbed by the clothing exchange bank and go toward the continued support of the event.


  15. What happens to my stuff at the end of the sale?

    At 4pm all sellers have the opportunity to return to the sale to retrieve their unsold items.

    Anything not retrieved by 4:30pm will go to charity.


  16. Who are the charities and how does a charity become involved?

    Charities have included The Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development, the Clinton House, Hour Children, Truth to Youth, The Max Foundation, the Lenape People of New Jersey's Reservation, A Brooklyn VFW Post, and charities sending to orphanages in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    Charities interested in being considered are required to submit a letter of interest with official documentation of their legitimate status as a charitable organization or representative thereof. Charities arrange pick-up either the Sunday night or Monday morning following the sale. Charities must bring their own truck or car and let us know how much they can accept. As the event takes place in the Manhattan Plaza community room we are limited to these times only. Priority is given to past participating and community charities.


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Questions about website

  1. Who is the website administrator

    At present the administrator is one of the Chair's of the Clothing Exchange, Celine Havard.  I welcome any suggestions. This is my first attempt at designing a website.

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Still have questions? Feel free to Contact Us