Monday, September 9, 2013

Consignment Sales: This Means War

Today was my first consignment sale as a mom (I had attended one while pregnant but was unprepared & overwhelmed). As anyone who has ever been to a good consignment sale knows, they can be war. People come in with one agenda, get the deals & get out! If you have never been to a consignment sale let me tell you it is an experience. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for battle.

1. Do your research before. That means look up any toys you know you are on the lookout for and know your prices. Sometimes people have overpriced items. So know how much something is in new condition. You can look up prices on your smartphone, but do as much research beforehand as it can be hard to look things up on the move.

2. Know what size clothes you need. This is not the time to hold things up to your kid. Most sales are a madhouse with as much stuff shoved into as little space as possible. People will have strollers & bags and it will be hard to move around. Most sales only do in season clothes. So the fall sale will have fall & winter clothes, and the spring sale spring and summer. Don't buy clothes too far ahead, kids grow at odd speeds and they might not be in the size you think next year.

3. Arrive before they open or early if you can. The earlier you can walk through the doors the better. You get better parking and see the deals earlier. *Note: Most sales offer their volunteers and consigners early shopping days, so if you can volunteer or want to sale stuff, that's the way to go.

4. Bring your own reusable shopping bags and cash. You will need the bags they do not provide any. Most consignment sales only take cash or check (very few take credit) and some take cash only. Plus, if you only take cash it might keep your eyes from getting bigger than your wallet. It can be overwhelming and seeing other people go after something might make you buy something when you don't really need or want it.

5. If you think you want something grab it!  People grab and go this is no time for leisure shopping.

6. Most consignment sales have a half off day and will have the consigners mark their tags if they are not eligible. So pay attention to the tags and if it's something you are iffy on, and it's not marked no discount "nd" or however your sale marks them, put it somewhere you will remember and come back for it on the half off day. Just keep in mind it might sale so get important items now.

7. If you can, leave the kids at home. This is a hot, crowded, crazy environment and they (and you) will be happier. Plus, they might go crazy for the toys and wind up melting down on you. Or in my case my little one would not wake up early, even after I made the bed around her.

8. Look up the website for your favorite consignment sales, learn the rules, and sign up for their email reminders if they have them. Most sales have a fall & spring sale. You can Google consignment sales near you.

9. Have a plan of of attack. Big toys and items (strollers, carseats, high chairs, etc) go fast so check them first. Then if you want small toys hit that next. Then clothes.

10. Be prepared and try to have fun, you're saving money!

I feel I did very well on my first consignment sale spree. I got a Handy Manny Work Bench, a Sit & Spin, an Art Table/Easel, a Hammer Bench, a Spin & Speak, a Little People Farm Toy, a Pull Chattie Phone Toy, a Christmas Dress, 2 Pants & Shirt Outfits, 2 Long Sleeve Shirts, A Sweater, and Jeans all for $53. I will use most of the toys for Christmas so I'm very happy. Just the toys bought new would have been over $200.

Share your consignment sale experience in the comments.

You can also find me on  Pintrest @DairySoyFreeMom