Save a Buck Consignment Shopping

Parents ever notice how your children outgrow their clothes in what seems like a blink of an eye? Crazy, I know.  With two little ones and another one on the way, this is an issue I can totally relate to.  Children consignment events and shops have really come to my rescue.  I was introduced to consignment shopping when, we moved to our area.  And it has been a blessing in so many ways.

Twice a year, I participate in The Kids Clothesline Children’s Event. It’s an ABSOLUTELY FAB-U-LOUS Semi-Annual Sale. Filled with an amazing selection of clothes, toys, furniture and baby gear.  Below are a few photos from last week’s sale.

Do you see that ginormous selection? I mean really, there is something for everyone at a sale like this. So if you have yet to try consignment shopping for your kiddos, read on for some tips and pics of the loot, I scored.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

  • Shop the Pre-Sale. If the consignment event that you intend on going to, offers a Pre-sale, GET. TO. IT. Many times you have to volunteer in order to be  eligible for the Pre-sale. But It’s totally worth it. The Pre-sale guarantees you the pick of the litter.
  • Consider consigning your own items. It entails a bit of work. Such as washing, ironing and tagging your clothes. But your sales may very well cover your out of pocket expenses.  A good sale for me is, one where I break even. Like I did last week. Here’s what I consigned.
  • Make a list of what your kiddos need. Include their sizes. You may want to measure their inseams & waists, in case they’re in between sizes. Sizing their heads for hats is another good idea. And even tracing their feet on card-stock is helpful, to ensure proper shoe sizes.
  • Know your prices and brands. At most consignment events, the consignors themselves are the ones that set the prices. So you may come across the same outfit at two totally different price points. As for brands know how much you’re willing to spend for them. Expect that brands like Gymboree, Hartstrings and The Gap will be pricier, than Circo, Old Navy or Garanimals. I’ve determined that the latter brands, should be priced no higher than $3.00.
  • Inspect your pickings before you head to check-out. Find a spot, where you can go through each item. One to make sure it fits somewhere on your list. Two to check for any pulls or stains.  Even though many of these consignment sales are very particular, you may find an item or two with a stain or a pull. Three to tally up your pickings to keep you within budget.
  • Set a Budget.  This one is BIG. My first sale, I went absolutely crazy finding steals and deals, I spent way more than I had anticipated.
  • On that note, bring Cash.  This should ensure that you stay within budget. Only whip out the plastic, if you can not absolutely pass up on a deal. Case in point: the brand new diaper bag I got for $30, which usually retails for $70 at BuyBuyBaby and the Broyhill changing table that I bought for $35. I really couldn’t pass up either & they were totally worth charging an extra $50 on my card.
  • Leave the kids at home. I can’t stress this enough. Little ones are a distraction and will just get in the way. So if you can send them  to Grandma’s or the sitters for a few hours, do it.
  • Dress comfortably. You’re on a mission and need to be prepared for such.
  • Bring a drink & snack. You may be in there for a few hours. And nothing is worse than shopping on an empty stomach & being surrounded by a ton of other mom’s looking for the best bargain.  Things could get hairy.
  • Be prepared to wait on a long line. Chances are that you’ll be on line for a good twenty minutes or more. So bring something to read: your Kindle, a magazine or chit chat with the other moms on line.
  • Bring a large tote or bag with wheels, to get your purchases into your car.
  • Don’t forget to empty your car. You’ll probably be lugging a bit of a load back home, so make sure you have the space in your car to do so. For that matter know the measurements of your car, in case you’re making a big purchase.

I hope my tips will help you either consider consignment shopping or come to your aide at the next sale you shop.

I made out like a bandit this year, more like Gordita did.  But how could you go wrong with a wooden changing table with drawers & changing pad for $35. Then there were all of the CA-UTE clothes for Gordita and Baby Boy.  Lil’ Giant wasn’t so lucky this time around, but in all actuality he’s already set with a summer wardrobe.

Happy Shopping Amigas!

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