Thinking about shopping for kids items at a seasonal consignment sale for kids? Before you go, read my Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips!
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I’ve been shopping at Seasonal Kid’s Consignment Sales since before my first daughter was born – so for about 8 years now. When I first started, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and had no idea how valuable these sales could be to my family in terms of saving on quality merchandise.
We’re blessed to have several amazing, and very large, kid’s consignment sales in our
area that occur twice a year. We utilize these to save money (typically 50%-90%!!!) on high-quality, good condition items for our kids and our household. They have saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
This post will teach you all of my best Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips that I’ve learned over the years and help you to make the most out of your local sale! These sales can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re getting into, and being prepared can make the difference between snagging the best deals, and missing out on hot items altogether.
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Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips
Sign Up To Volunteer or Sell To Shop Early
Most consignment sales will allow consignors (that’s what they call people who sell items at the sale) to shop early before the public. These consignment sales are not a giant, traveling company. The items for sale at these consignment sales are all brought in and priced and sold by local families from your community. Anyone can sign up to sell, but there may be some limitations as to a minimum number of items you have to have to list for sale etc, so be sure to check on that before you register to sell.
Alternatively, if you want to shop early, but don’t really have anything to sell, most consignment sales will allow you to volunteer to help out with the sale for a few hours in exchange for a pass to shop early before the public. Volunteering is normally simple and is a lot of fun! I did it for a few years and loved it! Check with your local consignment sale and see what options they have available.
Why Shop Early?
Shopping early is a game-changer and is one of the best tips I can give you in my list of Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips! I spent the first few years shopping with the regular peasants during the public sale hours, and had no idea what I was missing out on until I got to shop early. Shopping early is how you get the best deals.
Most consignment sales will have a pre-sale day where they will allow special goups of people to shop early, like consignors, volunteers, military etc. In my experience, HUNDREDS of people come and shop on this night and will snag most of the best deals and get first pick of all the sale items. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be plenty of deals and amazing finds to be had after the pre-sale day, but if you get to shop the pre-sale, you get the cream of the crop.
On top of this, there will be less of a line to get in the door (yes, there are lines), more room to shop, and better parking spots. Pre-sale is fantastic, and is something you should try to get in on if you can!
What to Buy?
When I say that I was overhwhelmed the first time I shopped, that’s an understatement. I was anticipating a yard-sale like atmosphere on a slightly larger sale. The sale I went to has items from more than 400 families, and was like 75,000 square feet packed to the brim with kid’s clothing, toys, shoes, furniture, baby equipment, outside toys, books, dvds, decor, bedding and more. I think I left with like 4 items, and resolved to have a better plan for the next sale.
What you buy, is totally based on what you need. Every year, I make a list of exactly what I need or am looking for, so I don’t over-buy, or forget to get things I needed. Much like the grocery store, it’s important to not only make a list, but to actually bring it with you. Lists left at home on the dining room table help no one. My husband says I should make the list digitally.
I make a list of how many pairs of jeans I’m looking for, how many dresses, if I need a specific color of shirt, or a specific holiday outfit etc. This gives me a guideline of what areas to shop first, or where to look for the items I actually need, before just browsing other items. If you have a specific, special item you’re looking to find something to match, just bring it with you.
Bring A Rolling Cart
Or a wagon, or a rolling laundry basket, just something with wheels that can hold a ton of crap. When you get to the back of that giant building and you’ve been going through clothing racks for over an hour, with 75 lbs of clothing on hangers on your arm, you’re gonna remember what I said about bringing a rolling cart, and you’ll wish you had listened. I’m speaking from experience here. Just do this. This is one of the Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips you don’t want to skip. Carts like THESE are very popular and I see them used a lot.
Leave the Kids at Home
If you have no choice but to bring them, just take them, but you’re all going to be miserable. I’m just being totally honest. I have brought my kids, not brought my kids, and have watched other people who have done both and OVERWHELMINGLY the concensus is that you should leave them at home if you can.
For a large consignment sale, it will take you 3-4 hours to shop the whole thing and go through all the stuff to find the best deals and most amazing finds. By the end of hour 1, your kids will be exhausted and whiny and your patience will be gone. You will have told them to stay out of the clothing racks, and not to play with the toys more times than you can count and your patience will be exhausted. Save yourself the pain of this experience and just leave them at home. This is one of the Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips you should really listen to.
Utilize the Sorting Area
My husband and I always shop this sale together for our two girls. We don’t debate and decide on each piece at the clothing racks, because that would take forever. Instead, we both just go through the clothing racks separately (you can also do this alone if your husband isn’t awesome like mine and doesn’t want to shop with you) and grab any clothing item we think we like enough to buy.
After we’ve gone through all the clothing racks and shoes, we then move on to the sorting area. Most consignment sales will have this, and if they do you need to utilize it. DO NOT wait until you get to the register to sort your items and decide what you want to buy. Not only is that rude, it’s incredibly frustrating to your cashier, even if they do smile sweetly and tell you it’s okay. They’re lying.
Sort all your items out in the sorting area. We have a yes, no, and a maybe pile. We add up items from the yes pile as we go, so we’re not surprised by the total at the end (which you should also do, because again, your cashier doesn’t want you sorting through what you want to put back or remove from your transaction because you’re a poor planner). Be sure to add in applicable sales tax, as the large majority of consignment sales will charge it.
Those are all my best Kid’s Consignment Sale Shopping Tips! If you’re a seasoned consignment sale shopper, what are some tips you’d add that I missed? Leave them in the comments below!