Friday, July 25, 2008

Top Ten Children's Consignment Sale Tips

These are becoming big business--or, at the very least, much more common than they used to be. Carrie and I both have gotten the majority of our children's clothes at these sales for so much less than retail! Some sales run every fall and spring with appropriate seasonal clothes; others are a once-a-year-event with all seasons of clothes. These are great places to pick up barely worn, nice name brand clothes; they're also great places to stock up on pajamas and play clothes. A few tips before you venture out to the mass confusion of racks and racks of individually priced clothes and toys:

  1. Write down what you already have (especially if you need to find a matching shirt or something)
  2. Write down/make a note of what you really want to find (perhaps a winter coat or a couple of church outfits)
  3. Take note of current sizes and coming seasons/sizes; you can shop ahead at these sales
  4. Pick your shopping time carefully (the first day and the last day--which is usually 1/2 off--are the busiest; leave your children home; plan on a couple of hours)
  5. Think through pricing before you get to the sale (for instance, can you get brand new sweat pants at Wal-Mart for $3? Then, only buy sweat pants less than $3 at the sale. What is your limit on any given item? What will you be willing to spend for a dream outfit?)
  6. If you're looking for big items (furniture, strollers, big high-demand toys), you'll probably want to go early, if possible.
  7. Make sure you scan the toys for future presents for your little darlings. They won't know it's used (I got an easel for $6 that has a dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other--it's darling!).
  8. Take a laundry basket or large tote to stash items in as you shop.
  9. Look over EVERYTHING you pull off the racks (check for stains, small tears, etc.).
  10. Take someone with you: it's more fun and it often helps to have a second opinion.
Enjoy your shopping!

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