I’ve shared how much I like children’s consignment sales, so here are a few tips for those of you who are new to consignment sale shopping:
- Take advantage of first time parent/grandparent presale passes.
- Volunteer or consign to get presale privileges (especially if you are looking for highly sought after items).
- If you don’t have a presale pass, get to the sale early on the first day. Without being too crazy, I recommend arriving at least 30 minutes early. Lines form fast and things can get a little crazy – you’re not the only one looking for great buys!
- Bring someone to help: your spouse/partner, a relative, a friend – anyone. At our first sale, my husband and I were able to get our big ticket items because a.) we showed up early on the sale day (we didn’t know to get a presale pass) and b.) we divided the list and headed in opposite directions to get highly sought after items. We were able to get a pack-n-play and swing, barely ever used, for under $50. Because the previous owner was volunteering, we learned that the swing had been used fewer than 5 times because her son would not tolerate the swing. Score!
- Be Organized. I keep a running list of items we’ll need for certain ages D hits so that it’s timed with being able to purchase at consignment sales. For example, for this round I had baby gates on the list, even though D’s not yet mobile. He will be within the next month or so, so the timing is perfect. For the next sale season, I have a training potty on my list, as he will be 1 1/2 between that sale and the next (and I’m using wishful thinking).
- Prioritize your list. It never hurts to be really organized. I put highly sought after items on top and then the less important items follow. This way, you head right to the items you really need/want first, and then make your way to other sections. This past sale, I had an Ergo/Boba carrier at the top of the list, and then a jogger. I made my way there first, found my two most sought after items (at amazing prices – got both for less than the price of a new organic Ergo carrier) and then made my way to other areas. The next two sales I attend, I will have my Radio Flyer Wagon at the top of the list.
- Bring a large bag, if you’re able. IKEA bags are great for this. Some sales even allow laundry baskets to be brought in and people attach a rope or a belt to it to drag it (I’m definitely not in this league yet!). Not only can you fit a ton of clothing, but you can also fit bulky items (large toys, small equipment) in there as well.
- Take advantage of the 1/2 off sale time. I’ve yet to do this, but will be doing it with my local sale, just to see what it’s like. You never know, I might get lucky…
- Save your hangers…so that you can consign when you are ready. I’m on my first of, hopefully, several children (if we’re blessed) and I’m already saving hangers from store purchases and consignments. I won’t be consigning any time soon, but I’m prepared for when I’m ready. It’s a great way to recycle too, as that’s the bin I would be throwing them in anyway.
Get started by finding a sale near you. A friend of mine recently sent me this site, which lists sales across the country (thanks, Nate): www.kidsconsignmentsales.com
Happy shopping…and be sure to stop back and share your great finds with me!