Late in my pregnancy, I discovered the world of consignment sales. These sales bring together hundreds of moms who are selling their used baby clothes, nursery items, toys, stollers, you name it.
The first one I went to was thrown by a “multiples” group. Moms who all have twins or triplets or possibly more. It was held for one day at a big community center.
I got there when tickets went on sale to the public (I think it was $2 to get in but you could get in for free with a donated baby item). Little did I know that almost 100 other people would already be in line to buy a ticket. Yikes!
By the time I got to shop, the sale had already been going on for about four hours. The big ticket items were gone. I had no expectations or shopping list, and my inexperience showed. I walked in and slowly wandered through the gym filled with baby items. Car seat base for $15. Moby Wrap for $12. Racks and racks of like-new clothes for $1. I was in awe. But I also hadn’t had any of my baby showers yet, so I didn’t really know what to buy. I settled on a bag full of clothes in the 6-12 month range and a couple bottle drying racks.
I learned from watching the experienced moms that if you think you might want to buy something, grab it. You can always put it back before you check out. But if you don’t grab it right away, it’ll probably be gone when you come back for it.
I’ve since been to three more consignment sales put on by various groups. And I just signed up to be a seller at an upcoming spring sale with Just Between Friends. I’ll share more about that experience in a couple weeks.
Here’s my advice on getting the most out of shopping consignments:
• Bring a list. The amount of items at the sale is overwhelming and a list will keep you focused.
• Do a price check. When you make your list, include the price of the item if you were to buy it new. Then you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal or are just getting caught up in the fun of the shopping.
• Plan to spend at least an hour shopping/standing in line. That’s a conservative number.
• See if the sales in your area have special early shopping hours. Many let first-time moms, sellers and event volunteers shop the night before.
• Find your big ticket items first. Things like jumperoos and play kitchens go quick.