I consign. Like, I don’t just go to the sales. I am one of the crazy ladies that takes hundreds of their children’s items to make back a fraction of their worth. I get excited for the sales. I also shop on Black Friday. Maybe I have a problem. A deals a deal, right?
Today, I am in shock. How did this happen?? How do we have a million articles of clothing? I really don’t buy that much stuff. Seriously, I don’t.
Anyway, consignment sales really are great! They seriously sell everything you could possibly need for your kiddos. Not cribs, and not car seats for the most part, but so many clothes, bikes, toys, books, DVDs, shoes, etc. It’s crazy. I have scored some fantastic deals (Peg Perego double stroller for $40), do most of my Christmas shopping at the sale on the cheap and have found lots of dress up clothes for Juney. You have to be patient and ambitious, but I believe consigning and shopping consignments are totally worthwhile. Here are some tips:
1. Buy the early shopping pass if you are claustrophobic or impatient (I am both). It gets pretty intense once inside, and lines are long. Usually, the sponsoring consignment organization will offer a certain amount of early shopping passes for around 20 bucks, which gets you in the door 30-45 minutes before doors are open to the public. When I was pregnant and needed lots of stuff, I did this. It was worth every single cent to be heading out the door as the mob of moms was filing in. And, I got a Baby Bjorn for 5 bucks, one of my biggest victories!
2. Make a list of things that you need/want. Get specific. If you want an Etch-A-Sketch, write it down. Huck needs shoes and a jacket. It’s on my list. Make sure you are looking for specific things instead of just buying stuff because it’s a bargain.
3. Bring a large, sturdy bag. They typically offer trash bags at the door, but they are a pain to carry around. My bags have broken twice now, and I am on a quest for an indestructible carry-all.
4. If you are selling your stuff, volunteer. I am working a 3 hour shift this year. Since I chose to help out, I get 70% of my profits on my sales, as opposed to 50% if you don’t work the sale. I am selling a ton of stuff, so this 3 hour shift could mean quite a bit of sacrificed money if I chose to be lazy instead. Also, I get to shop an hour before the sale starts, so I have a greater chance of finding some quality items (Not that it’s junk after the pre-sale, but there is certainly a variety in the condition of items. Obviously, the best quality items go first). From experience, if you get the large item room, your back WILL hurt the next day.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. This goes along with the make a list, but let me reiterate–it is overwhelming at these sales. Here in Northern Virginia, we have over a dozen different consignment sales each fall and spring. If you don’t really like the clothing item, chances are you won’t put it on your kid. If your child already has enough legos, don’t buy more because it’s a good price. Be frugal! You’ll feel great afterwards! 🙂
6. Finally, some consigners price their items a bit too high, in my opinion. Some stuff you could probably actually buy new for around the same price. Be wary of overpriced sellers!
Quick Disclaimer–If you can’t handle the idea of used items on your child or if you are super picky, I would recommend heading to the mall over the sale. Though you can find many new items on the racks, it takes patience. While a ton of name brand items are included, they are largely used items for the most part. Also, for whatever reason, I have had much better luck finding girl clothes than boy clothes. Finally, you can probably make more money selling your maternity clothes (yep, they sell those, too, at least in NOVA) on Ebay. I have had great luck on there with my own maternity wear.
Anyway, now you know what I am doing today–tagging all the items. Seriously, why do I do everything at the last possible minute??
Just my two cents. Happy Consigning!