This guest post about kids consignment sales was written by Gail Roca, founder of The Kids Kloset, a semi-annual sale focusing on helping families in local communities, helping the environment with the concept of RESELL, REUSE, RECYCLE and helping put a smile on the faces of children.
Last week, I posted answers to the most common questions I am asked about participating in a kids consignment sale. This week, I am thrilled to be able to post some fantastic tried and true tips to make shopping a kids consignment sale a breeze and ensure you get the best deals and save a ton of money! Without a doubt if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to saving money, earning money and contributing to saving the planet at the same time.
Make a list
Like grocery shopping, it’s never a good idea to walk into a kids consignment sale without a list, mainly because the volume of available items can be very overwhelming. Before you go, jot down what your kids need, their current sizes (shoes too), their favorite likes/dislikes in toys, movies, etc. This will help you stay on track and not get too distracted by the insane number of items to choose from.
Set a budget
Walking into a kids consignment sale for the first time can be overwhelming. There are thousands of GREAT things to buy and the prices are always so much lower than retail. If you don’t set a limit for your spending, it’s very likely that you’ll overspend. There’s also the potential to buy things you don’t need, based solely on the deep discounts that are available! Consider shopping with cash to avoid the urge to spend more with a credit card. (Yes, most consignment sales do accept credit cards – just in case!)
Leave the kids at home
It’s never a great idea to bring your children. I’m not saying this is necessarily a BAD idea, but it’s just not a great idea. Shopping anywhere with a child in tow can be stressful, but a kids consignment sale can be even tougher because of the crowds and lines and the amount of time you will spend trying to look through everything that is available.
Most kids consignment sales allow consigners and volunteers to shop before the public. This can be the difference it makes to ensure you get the ‘best’ deals, and not just the ‘good’ deals. If you don’t have things to sell, volunteer a few hours of your time so you can earn a presale shopping pass – it’s well worth it to get those very popular items first.
Shop with a strategy
When you first arrive, make a beeline for the items you want most. The last day of a sale is usually a discount day, but DO NOT assume that nothing good will remain on the final day of a sale. Many higher priced items can be snatched up on half price day when the price is right.
Think outside the box
Most people think of kids consignment sales as a less expensive way to buy clothing, toys and baby gear for their family, but do you realize it’s a great place to buy birthday, holiday and other gifts? Many consignors are selling brand new items and there is usually even a boutique with brand new designer items. You can seriously stock up a years worth of party and holiday gifts – imagine not having to race to Target an hour before that birthday party for a gift? Now that is priceless..
Know your prices and brands
Consignors are responsible for setting their own prices, so don’t assume every price is a ‘good price’. Know which brands are considered higher end and will be priced higher (i.e. Baby Gap, Gymboree, Janie & Jack) AND which brands are considered lower end and will be priced lower (i.e Jumping Beans, Circo, Kid Connection, Faded Glory). Don’t be surprised but not everyone does their homework so not all consignors know these facts, which means that kids consignment sales are jam packed with crazy bargains! If I had a nickel for every time I hear “OMG…I can’t believe this is ONLY $2.00…this consignor is nuts”, I’d have a lot of nickels!
To participate in a kids consignment sale right here on Long Island, visit The Kids Kloset. Their next event is September 21 through 23 in Nassau County and November 9 through 11 in Suffolk County. Find them online at www.TheKidsKloset.com and on Facebook.