Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's That Time of Year!

Can you smell it?
The leaves are changing, the school buses are driving 10 miles under the speed limit right in front of you and then stopping at all the train tracks... it was a long commute this morning... and, most importantly:
your kids just finished a growth spurt and nothing fits anymore.

No Clothes?!  oh NO!!

Have no fear!  It's fall consignment event season!!

Do you have no idea what a consignment event is?
It's a bunch of parents that, instead of donating to Goodwill or selling at a consignment STORE, have all gotten together to sell their kid gear at one big blowout weekend event.  They clear out their garage and get paid quickly and YOU get to buy fabulous clothing, strollers, toys, cloth diapers, maternity clothes, at a fraction of the price.

Too good for 2nd hand clothes?  
Well if you're shopping for size Newborn-12 months, many clothes might still have the tags on them because the baby simply outgrew it before they could wear it.

Still too good for 2nd hand clothes?  
... then we probably wouldn't be friends in real life.

Moving on.

If you're still confused, here are some of my previous hauls:

The #1 questions I get is "How can I find consignment events in my area?"

Any sale worth its salt should be searchable on this website:

You can also google "consignment event {your city/big city near you}"
Check out!  Quality search terms include "consignment event sale second hand, etc" and you can always just scan through the baby/kids section.

Community papers, bulletin boards at your pediatrician office, gymboree, little gym might have fliers.  Sometimes walking into a baby boutique and just asking the clerk if they now of any events near you.  If you still can't find any you could always ask the sales person at your local consignment store.  Keep in mind that the event is probably in direct competition with them (unless they are the ones hosting it) so they might 'have no idea'.... riiight.

Always start by getting a lay of the land.

When going to a sale, do a quick sweep of the sale's layout.  Sometimes there is a little nook filled with gold.  Sometimes the ergo carriers are with the strollers, sometimes they are with the maternity clothes.  Sometimes the (ridiculously expensive when purchased brand new) shoes are in plain sight, sometimes they are at the end of a row of clothing or hidden in a back corner.

Make sure you come to the sale with a wish list.

Do you want to by cloth diapers, a lamp for the nursery, robeez shoes, wooden toys and winter hats?
Scan those sections and shop the one with the lowest inventory first.

Know about the 'Secret' sale hours.

Most times there are special presale shopping hours for those that are selling items, those that volunteer for shifts and first time moms/teen moms/ foster parents/ teachers.  If these time are not easily visible on the sale's website,  see if the sale has a facebook page.  Most likely there will be many consigner talking on the facebook wall about tagging their items, when to drop off and when the presale is.   If you're available to shop on that day and either (1) are expecting or have a baby under a year old or (2) can volunteer at the sale, contact the person running the event (look on the facebook info tab if the email is not visible on the webpage) and ASK.  It never hurts to ASK.

Give a little to get a LOT.

Volunteering to work a shift or two will let you beat out hundreds of shoppers and buy the quality items.  I've volunteered multiple times.  Sometimes I help the cashier by counting and bagging items (which is a good job if you're pregnant because you don't have to walk/waddle anywhere and sometimes they have stools for you to sit down), sometimes I am a greeter (which is a good job if you have a baby and own a carrier - just wear the baby during the sale and if you need a nursing break, they'll understand and accommodate you.  PLUS, all you do is just say HI!  Even if you're shy - it's worth it to shop early - but if you are painfully shy, ask to work at the HOLD area.  All you do is take people's full bags, write their name down and HOLD it for them until they're ready to check out.  Easy peasy.   There are plenty of other positions, but those are the three I'm most familiar with.

Follow the Rules.

Every sale has their own rules.  Realize that the rules exist for a reason and respect them.  If they ask for 'no strollers at the presale' then leave the baby with daddy or strap on your sling/wrap/carrier.  If they ask you to bring your own bags - do so.  Otherwise they'll probably have some thin ghetto bags to carry your stuff in and they'll rip as you're walking to the car, and you'll have to pick up all your - now dirty - items while managing a baby, or belly, or people pointing at you.

And you'll deserve it because YOU FORGOT YOUR BAG.


I think that's about it.
Does anyone else have any tips, tricks or suggestions for consignment event newbies?



  1. Thanks Carla! i just had my little girl in July and am considering going to my first ever consignment sale here in my area and had not a clue where to begin LOL. Thanks for the tips!!!

  2. I must google to see if there are any consignment events for big people because I need pants...badly. lol




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