This is consignment sale season and I’m looking forward to shopping tomorrow at the Just Between Friends sale in the Western Mainline/Oaks! This will be my third time shopping there and it is hands down my favorite sale. Besides being HUGE, it is incredibly well organized and check out is a breeze. In the past I’ve posted tips on how to shop at a consignment sale. Here is my updated list of tips!
- Know your kid’s sizes, including shoe size and bring them written down, especially if you are shopping for more than one child. Sometimes bringing your child’s exact measurements is easier, especially since sizing from different manufacturers varies. Bring a tape measure with you to compare your child’s measurements to the items you are interested in purchasing. Good measurements to have include length from back of neck to hem for dresses, pants length, inseam, waist, hip, and chest. Land’s End has a great sizing chart that may be helpful for obtaining and understanding your child’s measurements. If you are unsure of current shoe size, stop by a shoe store to have your child measured before the sale or trace your child’s foot onto cardboard and bring it with you to “try on” shoes without the child present.
- Consider bringing a laundry basket with a rope tied to it or large tote bag(s) to hold your items while you shop. Those blue Ikea bags or reusable grocery bags are great too. I’ve even seen people shopping with a clean large plastic trash can on wheels!
- If there are particular items you are looking for, it helps to make a wish list. Sales floors are often crowded and it can be easy to be overwhelmed. A list adds a bit of order to the trip and may help you stay on budget.
- Is there a special occasion coming up (Holiday, photos, wedding) that you will need dress clothes for your child? Those types of clothes are often only worn once and sell at a deep discount second hand.
- Shop early, shop often! Going on the opening day will give you a better chance of finding items that are on your wish list. Many times the last day of the sale is the discount day when most items are half off the listed price.
- Consider volunteering to work at your favorite consignment sale. Typically, volunteers get to shop first on a special night before the sale opens to the public. It’s a great way to get the first pass at the goods for sale. If you cannot volunteer, but are considering consigning some of your things for the sale, there is usually a sales time set aside for consignors to shop after the volunteers, but before the sale opens to the public.
- Make sure you have money! Check the rules of the sale you are attending ahead of time to learn what forms of payment they take so that you do not have problems making your purchases. Many sales are cash only, so if you are like me and use a debit card for everything, be sure to hit the ATM on your way to the sale. Using cash also makes it easier to stick to a budget!
- Be smart about pricing of items. Typically, if an item is in like-new to good condition, expect to pay about 25 to 33% of the original price, slightly higher if the item is a high-end name brand or new with tags.
- Once you have picked out the items you are interested in buying, really check them out in good light or even with a flashlight. Check seams and underarms for holes; look for stains that are unacceptable, zippers and snaps that work, or worn out knees/elbows. Consignment sale's rules normally restrict torn or stained clothing from being sold, but sometimes they slip in, so it helps to carefully inspect before you buy, since there is usually a no return policy. For purchasing toys, be sure all parts are included and in working order. I’ve had the experience of not carefully inspecting toys only to get home and find parts broken that were not obvious. If an item is taped shut, ask a salesperson/volunteer to open the item to let you inspect it. Be courteous and do not take apart taped up boxes or packages!
Have fun shopping at the fall consignment sales! If you are in the area, check out the Just Between Friends Sale in the Western Mainline (Oaks) on September 12 to 14, 2013 and the sale in Reading on September 26 to 28!