7 Tips To Win At Community Consignment Sales: Leah from www.suburbanimperfection.com shares helpful tips on how to save money and get the most out of local sales.
The city where I live has a large consignment sale every six months: the Wee Sale. And I anticipate it the way most kids look forward to Christmas morning. This sale is HUGE, and they have all sorts of items for babies and kids, at a fraction of the cost.
When I was pregnant with my first son, I dragged my husband to the sale, and scored about $1,000 worth of baby stuff for about $300. I got a (new) Boppy, a mobile, baby room décor, a baby bath tub, tons of clothes, and a few toys, among other things. Going to the Wee Sale is like going on a shopping spree for me. But getting the most out of this sale, without being completely overwhelmed, takes some practice. Read on for some things I have learned after attending about a half dozen of these sales.
7 Tips to Win at Community Consignment Sales
- Have a list.
This may seem obvious, but it is good to have a detailed list of things you need. Trust me, it is easy to get a little crazy at these sales and bring home too much. My list will include what I need, sizes needed, and average retail price. At the Wee Sale, items are self-priced by the consigners and there have been a few times that I found an item that wasn’t necessarily a good deal. I’m looking for things that are at least 50 – 60% off of retail. I keep my list as a note on my phone, because there is often not a good signal in the location where the sale is held (in my case, in a sports complex).
2. Stake out the place (i.e. get intel).
At this point, I have friends who volunteer to work at the sale each year, and they are usually in there before the general public. If I am looking for a larger item (such as a bike, crib, etc.), they can let me know what’s there. Then I know whether I need to get there early, and if I should bring a truck! Oh, and for our sale, consignors and those who volunteer to work during the event get early access to the event (I haven’t done this just yet).
3. Revisit on the last day.
At our local consignment sale, items are discounted as the weekend progresses. The first day is Thursday; by Saturday, items are discounted 25% off; and on Sunday they are 50% off. For items that there are plenty of, like kid’s clothes, I come back for the 50% and clean out what’s left – well, not exactly, but you get the point. The amount of inventory on day one can be so overwhelming, I may actually find more on the last day anyways.
4. Bring a bag, basket, or stroller.
Our sale allows you to bring in your own bags, a laundry basket or a stroller. This can be quite handy, as the space is large and your hands will quickly get filled up. Check with your local sale for rules on what you can bring in (and assume they will search anything you bring in with you).
5. Go with a friend.
This is beneficial for many reasons. If I have to go to the bathroom, my friend can watch my stuff. If we have big items to haul out, one of us can bring the car around to load things while the other stands guard. And it’s just fun to have someone along for the ride. Our sale recently moved to a location further from home and to a location I’m not super familiar with, and I was glad to have my friend there with me.
6. Become a consigner.
As mentioned above, for some of these sales, you can become a consignor. This obviously means you’ll need to have items to consign. But it can also allow you that early access, and the money you make off your items will offset the amount you may spend on ‘new’ items to take home. I have a feeling that a lot of the items at the Wee Sale are on their third or fourth trip through there. Also, if you plan to be a consignor in the future, keep this in mind as you store your own children’s used items. I hang on to boxes for larger items and toys, and I try to keep clothing sets together when storing them away. Additionally, I keep hangers from new clothes, as the sale requires most clothing items to be on hangers provided by the consignor.
7. Know the rules.
Each sale has its own rules, so be aware of them before you arrive. For example, the Wee Sale doesn’t allow children on opening day. I have seen them turn people away at the door who arrived with their children. Most of the larger sales have websites that outline their rules. The Wee Sale’s site is available here.
Other consignment sales include:
Rhea Lana’s (Franchise, in many states)
Consignment Mommies(Consignment Sale Directory)
A breakdown of the items I purchased at this fall’s sale:
- Gray Maternity Shirt: $10
- Old Navy Tee (2T): $3
- Janie and Jack Halloween Tee (18 – 24 months) $6
- Carter’s Onesie (3 months) $3
- Janie and Jack Brown Shirt $4
- Red and Black Hoodie (Circo) $4.50
- Four-Piece Set (two pants and two shirts – newborn) $3
- Oh Baby Large Hoodie $6.50
- Mom in Training Tee (Motherhood) $5
- 3-piece Gap Baby Onesie/Shit/Pants $6.50
- Disney Blue Monster’s University Rolling Suitcase $10
- Two-Piece Newborn Set $3
- Two-Piece Outfit and Onesie (0 – 3 months) $4
- Baby Gap Onesie (Green, 0 – 3 months) $3
- Gymboree Zip PJs Cute Monster (0 – 3 months) $4.50
- Striped Zippered Pajamas (set of two, newborn) $4
- Gray Patterned Tunic Sweater (maternity) $5.50
- Brick-Colored Sweater (maternity) $6
- Nursing Tank (Bravado, new in package) $5
- Maternity Jeans $9
- Liz Lange Long Sleeved Top $6
- Blue Maternity PJ Pants (Motherhood) $6
- Urban Bundle Me (link) $20
- Thomas Train Tracks $8.50 (probably about 1/3 to ½ of this set.
- Peppa Pig (stuffed) $5 (cause I couldn’t come home empty-handed as far as my toddler is concerned)
Looking for more ways to save?
Check out more money saving tips here.
Leah is a mom who works outside the home full-time, while also blogging. She blogs at www.suburbanimperfection.com on topics ranging from parenting and career challenges facing working mothers to infertility issues. Leah spends her ‘free time’ chasing her 2-year-old son up and down the stairs. After bedtime, you can find Leah on Pinterest and Facebook, as well.