Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Consignment Shopping Love

I've been meaning to post about my love of children's consignment sales for a while now, but since I've not been the best blogger lately....Anyway, better late than never ;) 

Last week was my favorite local childrens consigment event.  It's a huge sale that happens twice a year.  I very much look forward to it and joke to my friends that it's like Christmas for me.  And it really is, I get way too excited :p 

If you're a mom, you know that shopping for a whole new wardrobe for your child/children every season can get very expensive!  I love to dress my kids in nice brands and to some it may seem like I spend a lot on their clothes but I don't.  My secret is consigmnent shopping :)  I know it may not be for everyone and it can be a lot of work (especially if you consign and work the sales) but it's worth it to me.  So if you don't mind buying gently used clothing and a little bit of extra effort, it can save you lots of money (and everyone loves that, right?!) And I will say that I don't buy all of their clothes/shoes at these sales but definitely the majority.  I still buy some new items for each of them every season but I shop sales/clearance racks.  The only time I pay full price for their clothes is if it's for a special occasion or something that I just can't resist but that's not very often. 

I had quite a haul this past sale but I won't list everything I bought.  Basically I got most of the clothes and shoes they will need for the spring/summer season. Here are some of my fav or best deals....

Wooden Eddie Bauer baby-seat-that-attaches-to-chair-thingy: $10

Pottery Barn Kids chalkboard/easel: $15 (I was pretty excited about this one!)
Couldn't resist this little plush rocker for Ava Kate: $20 (sell for about $70 new)

Sperrys in the box (look brand new) for $10!

Hayden saw me taking photos of the shoes and said he wanted to pose with them....crazy kid.

RL polo shirts for $4-$6 each.

Leapster games $4-$5 each

Batman scooter (he requested a scooter when I told him I was going to the sale) :$7
Not really an 'amazing deal' but just a cute find.  Bow tree for baby girl's bows. $3
Two of my fav dresses (I picked up lots for her!) These are from Children's Place and I think they were both $6 each.
And these two little Childrens Place halter tops were sold together. One of them still had the "2 for $15" tag and I got them for $1!!! 
I got so many other things but I just wanted to give some examples of deals that can be found! 

My kiddos as I was photographing a few items for this post...  Sillies.

Most cities should have these seasonal consignment events twice a year.  They will have a spring/summer sale and a fall/winter sale.  Do a google search for your area if you aren't sure when/where a sale is. 

Some tips if you are new to consignment shopping, want to try it, or have been to one of the huge sales before and gotten discouraged.

1) WORK the sale so you can shop the early (private) sale. These giant sales can get crazy when open to the public and things are often picked over quickly so you can avoid all of that by shopping the private sale for consigners/workers.  They need lots of volunteers to run these sales and you can get lots of benefits (including passes for the private sale and at some sales passes to avoid long lines at checkout) if you work.     

2) Consign.  If you sell your kids' stuff from last year, you can put that money towards purchasing new items!  I don't save/store my kids' clothes even though we will probably have another kid.  I don't have the storage space and also, I want to be able to 'trade' it for new things I need for them.  

3) Plan to spend lots of time tagging, dropping off, working, shopping, picking up unsold items (if you've chosen not to have them donated.)  This might not seem fun but it's something you've got to be willing to do if you want to take full advantage of the sale.  It's worth all the work to me.  And I actually enjoy most of it (although I do hate tagging.)  I love the whole expericence but maybe I'm crazy.  I know it's not for everyone and that's ok :)  I, however, think it's great and love it.   

4) Bring something to put your items in.  These sales aren't Wal*Mart and they don't provide shopping carts so you'll have to bring something to haul all your stuff in.  Some use strollers, laundry baskets, hampers with wheels, etc...  The best one I have seen is the wonder wheeler beach cart.  They have lots of room and of course wheels!  I hope I can get my hands on one before the next sale, they are awesome. 

5) Make a list.  I always try to make a list of specific things I want to get at the sale but I would recommend (if you were super organized, unlike myself) making a list of everything you want to get.  That way, you won't get home and think "I should have gotten more shorts and pj's" or realize you forgot some things.  I always get so into my shopping and looking at things that I lose track of what I have/don't have.  It's good to have a list.

6) Set a budget.  This is also something I'm not so great at.  I'd recomment maybe bringing a calculator (or using one on your phone) to keep track of your total.  I always get nervous when I'm done shopping and just hope that I didn't spend some crazy amount.  I could avoid that by just setting a budget and keeping track of what I buy.  A budget will also help you not make impulse buys (which I am terrible at!)

If you have ideas you'd like to add, please comment below!  I know there are probably lots of things I am forgetting or haven't thought of :)  Just wanted to share some things I have learned in the 3.5 years I have been shopping these mega sales.  Hope that some will find it helpful!  Happy shopping!

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!