I’m so excited to have Lisa Hadro of Joie de Vivre guest posting today to share her consignment sale advice! I’m looking forward to giving consignment sales a try!
Many thanks to Stefanie for inviting me to guest post, and allowing me to add my 2 cents to her helpful series, Keep Your Change! If you haven’t read her series before, you should check it out! You’ll find creative ideas and thrifty spending tips.
My husband and I have two little girls. Our first-born arrived in August of 2011, and since then we have learned a thing or two along the way including: A. babies stain their clothes a lot, B. they grow out of sizes faster than you can organize all the cute clothes, and C. with each stage of child development you graduate to different toys/ baby equipment. That left me wondering how does one manage all that turnover? My older sister always raved about how great consignment sales were for finding kids’ clothing and paraphernalia on the cheap, but in good condition, so I started looking around for sales in my area. Now, I don’t consider myself a consignment sale expert, but I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to share with beginners. 😉
1.Keep your ears open.
Most consignment sales advertise online or local papers, so they should be easy to find. Some even have email lists, so you can get alerts when sales are coming (the one I regularly attend is held quarterly, so I’m on the lookout for the email each season).
2. Be familiar with your brands.
You don’t want to pay several dollars for a pair of secondhand toddler pants from say, Wal-Mart, when you could buy them new for just a dollar or two more. On the other hand, consignment clothes from Gymboree or Janie and Jack? Sign me up! I love finding brands like that secondhand since they are pricey bought in-store and good quality clothes.
FYI- Some sales have a general pricing guideline for consignors, but others leave it up to the consignors to chose their price-point. I realized this after attending one sale where a toddler dress was priced for twenty-some dollars, when most things were priced much less! I checked the website and found they allow consignors to price however they want.
3. Have a plan of attack.
Seriously. These sales can get more than a little crowded and busy. I’d advise to know which areas you really want to scour (toys, books, maternity, furniture, etc.) and head there first.
Which leads to…
4. Make a list.
Know what you’re looking for! Consignment sales have massive inventory of everything from sippy cups to big ticket items like strollers and cribs. The first time I went I was blown away by all the inventory and thought, “I can buy EVERYTHING for the baby!”. Soon I realized I had no way to transport large items, and some baby gear would get more mileage if purchased new.
But my mom babysits a lot for the grandkids in our family (all are under 6), so she decided it would benefit her and my dad to purchase things like toys, bumbos, and booster seats consigned.
5. Know the ins and outs of the sale.
What form of payment do they take? Do they allow strollers? Is it held in a place that can accommodate kids? Some sales open to new moms a day earlier than they open to the public (you probably have to pay for a pass, but it can be worth it!).
6. Check clothing for stains, tears, holes, etc.
The items are usually all gently used (or even new), but it never hurts to double check.
7. Wait for the sale’s sale day.
If you’re just looking for a few general items of clothing or kiddo paraphernalia, some sales may have a half price or even dollar day towards the end.
That about wraps it up! If you have any other tips for navigating consignment sales, I’d love to hear them!
Thanks, Lisa, for sharing your helpful tips!
Lisa blogs over at Joie de Vivre about the fun and craziness of life with her husband and two little girls and things she enjoys, like shopping for little girl clothes.
This post is part of my Keep Your Change series. For other money saving posts, click here!