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Friday, September 14, 2012

Consignment 101

I love consignment sales! You've heard me go on before about the awesome benefit of hitting up consignment sales - its the easiest, cheapest way to outfit your kid(s) with clothes, toys, and gear.

The next three weekends, there are sales across the area and I can't wait. This morning I stopped by one of the smaller sales this season and made out like a bandit - I was quite shocked. I was on the hunt for fall/winter clothes, wooden puzzles, shoes for C and gender neutral sleepers for the newbie. I ended up getting:

Two pairs of track pants, Dr. Seuss Converse sneakers, four long sleeve shirts, six onesies, three sleepers, one two piece outfit, a hanging closet organizer, a Melissa and Doug wooden puzzle, a Lego Duplo table with a ton of blocks, and a Little Tikes easel.....all for $56. Can't beat that! All of the clothes for C were good quality brands like Osh Kosh, Gap, and The Children's Place and the baby clothes were all Carter's.

You can find consignment sales near you by checking your local Craig's List or the Kids Consignment Sales website - a national listing of sales. There are usually fall and spring sales, so plan accordingly!

Here are some of my favorite tips for shopping consignment sales:
  1. Check what forms of payment they take before you go. Some take credit/debit, but smaller ones may only take cash. Be sure to bring enough money!
  2. Try not to bring kids with you if possible. I had to bring Charlie this morning and while he was well behaved, it was hard to tote around my loot and push his stroller all while keeping him occupied. 
  3. Bring a large bag or laundry basket. Some sales have big bags (like Ikea bags), but some do not. 
  4. Write down the sizes/seasons and items you're looking for before you go - especially if you're keeping your eye out for nieces, nephews, or friends. 
  5. Find out if you can shop early! First time or pregnant Moms, volunteers, and consignors can often per-register to shop before the general public.
  6. With few exceptions, if there are more than 3-4 of any one kind of toy on the table, chances are its an annoying or uninteresting toy that parents were happy to get rid of.
  7. Be picky about clothing brands. Don't spent $2 on a Granimals shirt from WalMart when it costs $3 new. $4 for a pair of gently worn Osh Kosh or Levi's jeans? Much more worth it. 
  8. If you find a large item you want (stroller, big Little Tykes play set, etc.) pull the tag off and bring it up to pay. You can physically pick up the item later on after you pay. 
  9. Consider what can be cleaned and what cannot. Stains in clothing are probably set, but most toys and baby gear can be thrown in the wash or wiped down to look like new. 
  10. Check for recalls. Typically, consignment sales and children's resale shops are not permitted to sell recalled items. If you have any concern about an item, however, (especially if it looks old or worn) check recalls on your smart phone or don't buy it. Its not worth the risk.
  11. Most sales have a 50% off day on the last day. I usually try to go to sales the first day and the last day to cover my bases for selection and deals.
What's the best steal you've gotten at consignment? What are your favorite consignment shopping tips? Happy shopping!


  1. We hope to do some of this in the future. Thanks for the tips!

    1. You're welcome! We're actually going to swing by a sale going on next weekend midway between the ceremony and the reception. lol You're welcome to come with us!