When my daughter was born, I bought or was showered with EVERYTHING under the sun for a baby. I thought I needed it all and that it had to be fresh from the stores. As she was growing up, I found that most of what I had paid all that good money for BRAND NEW wasn’t ever used or wasn’t really necessary for my lifestyle. AND through Mama’s Little Helper, I discovered I could buy what I needed or wanted slightly used or even NEW for a LOT, LOT LESS. Which is why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVEChildren’s Consignment Sales! Shopping at consignment sales has saved me a TON of money over the years. My family is full of women who love to shop and it is inevitable that one of them comes home with something new for my daughter. She has been one of the best dressed kids I know. I held on to most of her clothes, shoes, and girly toys knowing that someday we would want another child. As my luck would have it, we were blessed with my BEAUTIFUL BABY BOY and all of those bins and bags full of girly things would now have to go!
And while I love to shop and sell my things at consignment sales, I have to admit that the pricing, organizing and tagging can be a bit of pain. It’s no fun trying to hang clothes and pin tags holding a 4 month old! Which leads to me the first reason I am raving over JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS CONSIGNMENT SALE! They have VIP TAGGING SERVICE!
Here’s how it works: Bring your clean, sorted clothes/toys/items to the designated VIP tagger. The VIP tagger prepares and tags your items (you have 2 days to approve the tags), takes them to the sale, puts them on the sales floor AND you still make 50%!! You pay a $20 supply fee when you drop off your items (additional $8 for every 50 items over 200), and a $10 consignor fee will be deducted from your check. You will be given a pre-sale pass to attend the consignor pre-sale Thursday, April 4th @ 2:30pm and you get to bring 1 guest. Enjoy your clean closets and drawers and cash your check! Sign up ASAP! Limited spots are available.
Email DanielleKunkel@JBFSale.com for your spot.
Why sell your items with Just Between Friends?
As a consignor you make 65% of your sales and you set the price of each of the items you put in the sale. Your $10 consignor fee will be taken out of your check and volunteers make 70%-75% of their sales! Another great thing I love about this sale is that Just Between Friends has NO LIMITS on how much you can sell! So turn that clutter into cash!!! They also have a SPRING SWEEPSTAKES going on where you can win some FABULOUS PRIZES!
I shopped this sale in the fall and was impressed with the quality of the items, the layout of the location and Danielle was such a fabulous person to deal with. Some things you can expect to see at the upcoming event:
30,000 sq.ft. of Fabulous BARGAINS
Spring/Summer children’s (size newborn – teen sizes) clothing.
Maternity clothing – all sizes and all seasons
Baby equipment—strollers, high chairs, bouncers, saucers, diapers, bottle warmers, car seats, swings and more
This is the season for children’s consignment sales. Seasonal consignment sales offer a unique venue for families to sell items their children no longer use and others a chance to purchase the same items at a fraction of regular retail prices. Sales set up shop for a weekend or a few days in the spring and fall. Some sales also offer a holiday sale around December that specializes in toys and holiday clothes. Here are some tips for successfully shopping one of these events. Mark your calendars for the Kidzsignments Fall/Holiday event (November 17-19 at 76 Reaville Avenue (next to McDonalds) in Flemington). Check out our website at www.NJKidSale.com for more information and complete sale schedule.
Find a Sale
Pick a sale that best fits you. Consider how far you’re willing to travel, sale hours, how popular the sale (the more popular usually means the more crowded), what they sell (not all sell car seats or maternity clothing), what payments they will accept etc. A large sale is usually worth the drive, but don’t rule out smaller less popular sales that may not have a large quantity, but will likely still have quality items for sale. Google your area using keywords ‘children’s consignment sale’ to find one in your area. If you find a sale you enjoy, join their email list to stay informed.
Make a List
Like grocery shopping, it’s never a good idea to walk into a consignment sale without a list – your plan. Take a few minutes prior to the sale to write out what you’re looking to buy. This goes for clothing, sports equipment, books etc. Don’t forget to specify sizes too.
Set a Budget
Walking into a consignment sale for the first time can be overwhelming. There are thousands of GREAT things to buy and the prices are always great. If you don’t set a limit, you will likely over spend. Consider shopping with cash to avoid the urge to buy more with a credit card. Please note that not all sales will accept credit cards for payment.
Leave the Kids at Home
Some sales restrict if or when children may attend. It’s never a great idea to bring your children even if a sale allows. It’s usually stressful to shop anywhere with a child but a consignment sale can be even tougher because of the crowds and lines. It’ll be more fun for everyone if you can leave the little ones at home.
Most sales allow sellers and volunteers to shop before the public. This can be the difference it makes to ensure you get the ‘best’ deal, and not just the ‘good’ deals. You don’t have be a consignor to shop early. Check sale websites for opportunities to volunteer a few hours to earn a preview shopping pass. Some sales offer First-time moms an opportunity to register for an early shopping pass (rules will vary per sale). Visit the sale website for specifics on early shopping opportunities. If you plan on shopping the first public day, be sure to arrive early, up to an hour, to get in line.
Grab Your Tools
Having the right tools will make your shopping much easier. Use string to measure your child’s waist and length to use when shopping for pants/skirts. You can use cardboard to trace an outline of their feet to help with shoe or snow boot sizes. You can also keep a list of clothing and shoe sizes when shopping. If the sale allows, bring a wagon, basket or rubber bin to hold you items while you shop. It is also a good idea to come in a vehicle large enough to hold your purchases (especially if you are shopping for train tables, infant gear or furniture).
When you first arrive make a beeline for the items you want most. Ask about ‘HOLD’ areas or marking items ‘SOLD’ to avoid carrying (or dragging) heavy loads. When shopping for clothing hold an item if it is a “maybe”, instead of returning only to find it gone. Don’t forget that the last day of a sale is usually a discount day. And don’t make the assumption that nothing good would remain on the final day of a sale. Many overpriced items can be snatched up on half price day when the price is right.
Think Outside the Box
Most people think of consignment sales as a less expensive way to buy clothing, toys and baby gear for their family. But consider buying birthday, holiday and other gifts at a consignment sale. Many consignors are selling brand new items – similar to what you may find at WalMart or Target. Some larger sales offer brand new products lines like Melissa & Doug for sale at a discount. You may also find vendors at some sales selling homemade items or hard to find items.
Know Your Prices/Brands
Consignors are usually responsible for setting their own prices. Don’t assume every price is a ‘good price’. Know the higher end brands (i.e. Baby Gap, Gymboree, Janie & Jack) which will be priced higher AND the lower end (i.e Jumping Beans, Circo, Kid Connection, Faded Glory) which should be priced lower. Take advantage of your SmartPhone to check Ebay or retail store websites (i.e. Target.com) to compare pricing. Remember, consignment stores will not negotiate pricing or take items back if you find them cheaper somewhere else.
Inspect Your Items
Be sure to double check your finds before paying for them. Check the sizes on the garment label. Be careful when buying clothing sets to ensure all pieces are the same size. Most sales inspect items during drop off, but it’s always a good idea to look for stains, holes or make sure toys work and have all the pieces. Double check your movies to make sure the correct DVD is inside and check books for tears and writing. Remember, most sales don’t accept returns.
Laurie Owens lives in Flemington, NJ and is the mother of 3 children and owner of Kidzsignments Childrens Consignment Sale. She organizes semi-annual events in Edison and Flemington (Nov 17-19). If you’d like to learn more about her consignment sale, visit her website at www.NJKidSale.com.
Halloween is just a few weeks away! Have your kids picked out costumes yet or come up with any clever ideas? Do you buy costumes or make them? My son has changed his mind at least a half dozen times about what he wants to be. He is four this year and is finally understanding more about getting dressed up, although he keeps asking if he can wear the same costume he wore last year, a mail carrier. Then he wants to be a fire fighter, or an Imagination Mover! We have an assortment of costumes at this point, so he will be able to choose what he wants to wear from what is available when Halloween finally arrives. A tip I learned was to buy Melissa and Doug brand dress up clothing for costumes, because then the costumes can be used all year long as dress up and they come with all the accessories needed. Using a coupon at A.C. Moore made the fire fighter costume I bought a great deal!
There are several costume swaps going on this month, so check with your schools, churches and moms clubs to see if they are hosting one. A costume swap is a great way to get new to your kids costumes without spending a dime. Usually you are able to bring in as many gently used costumes as you want and bring home the same number of “new” costumes from the event. (There was a Philadelphia Costume Swap held last weekend, did you go??) Another great way to go is to swap costumes with a bunch of your mom friends to see if there is another way to recycle last years costume. Local consignment shops and Goodwill/Thrift stores often have great choices at low costs too.
So what are your favorite kids’ Halloween costume ideas?
Have you ever consigned? How about used any type of consign business?
If you are a family with children, then you are always looking for ways to save money. Consignment Sale, Thrift Shops & Stores are a big way you can find savings for your family. Sometimes they are called Thrift Stores or Good Will, whatever they call them, you need to be shopping there. They usually have limits the consignor must follow as far as what shape the product is in, so you can usually trust what you are buying will holdup for some time.
‘Tis the season for spring consignment sales! If you’ve never shopped at a consignment sale, you are in for quite an experience. Consignment stores, open year round, are different from consignment sales, which are typically held for only a few days or a weekend and are usually held bi-annually. Consignment sales are a fun way to purchase the next season’s clothing for your child at great prices. The clothing is gently used and priced by the original owner/seller, whereas at a consignment store the prices are set by the shop. Many people are familiar with consignment stores, which are similar to shopping at a boutique or small shop only the items are second hand. There are some fantastic consignment stores in the Bucks and Montgomery County areas and New Jersey. Consignment sales are held seasonally and are another way to shop for your child while staying on a budget.
While many shoppers go to consignment sales and shops for new kid wardrobes at a good price, they are also great places to pick up those baby items that are only used for a short time period and sold gently used, such as bouncy seats, play mats, bumbo seats, swings, co-sleepers and pack and plays. High chairs, strollers, baby gates, toddler beds, books, cloth diapers, feeding supplies, and bedding for babies and toddlers are great finds at these sales and also found for good prices. Outdoor toys are another great buy, since many times these items are only used for a season or two before being outgrown.
Consignment sales can be overwhelming if you’ve never been to one. Here are some shopping tips to help get you started to a successful shopping experience:
Know your kid’s sizes, including shoe size and bring them written down, especially if you are shopping for more than one child. Remember that you will be most likely purchasing clothing for the next season. If your child is currently on the border of a size it may help to buy the next size larger. Sometimes bringing your child’s 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.
To make shopping easier, leave your kids home, if possible. It really makes it much easier to shop. Consignment sales are often huge and crowded. I’ve been there when kids have been lost and that isn’t a good experience for anyone.
If you can, bring a laundry basket 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? Consignment sales are wonderful places to pick up dress clothing, shoes and accessories. They are often only worn once, so can be resold for like-new at a fraction of the original cost.
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 aware of brands and pricing of items. You do not want to overpay for an item that you could get brand new on sale or at Marshall’s. I’ve often found what I thought were great buys only to be disappointed to find out I could have purchased an item new at Kohl’s on sale. Typically, if an item is in like-new to good condition, expect to pay about 25 to 33% of the original price. Many times there are items for sale that are new with tags. Expect to pay a bit more for brand new items.
Once you have picked out the items you are interested in buying, really check them out in good light, if possible, 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. Usually the consignment sale’s rules 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!
If you are looking to purchase a car seat, check the expiration date on the bottom of the seat. When buying, you are taking a slight risk that the seller is honest and that the seat was never involved in an accident.
Are you interested in consigning items at a local sale? Being a consignor has some great advantages. Besides getting rid of kid-related clutter in your house, saving items from a landfill by recycling them and making some money off of them, you can shop at the sale early, before the public, to get some great deals. Here are some tips for being a consignor at a local sale:
Check out the consignor agreement or rules for the sale you are interested in participating. Sign up early for the sale, since many sales limit the number of consignors due to space constraints. Each sale has its own rules regarding what can be sold, how it should be tagged, how it should be hung on a hanger and so on. Read the Rules!! Not following them means your items will not sell. The rules will also cover what percentage of the sales you will make and what the consignor fees are, if any.
Consignors are usually assigned a number for selling. It helps to keep the same consignor number from sale to sale. When signing up to consign at a sale again, check to see if you can keep your number. That way, if you pick up and keep your unsold items at the end of the sale, you can easily relist them at the next sale without having to re-ticket them.
At the end of each season when you are sorting through your child’s clothing, sort the items into piles…one to keep, one to donate, one to sell. Be picky about the ones that you sell. Make sure they are in good condition, not torn or stained. Think, would you buy the item used?
Found some great items but they have stains? Try treating the stain and washing the items again. Many times this works. Also, iron or steam out the wrinkles of your clothes. Button the buttons, zipper the zippers. A nicer presentation will sell more easily. Clean up shoes and tie the laces. Selling used toys or baby goods? Wash them too. No one wants to buy a toy covered in juice or crayon. Often toys are easily cleaned up with a magic eraser sponge or soap and water. Keep in mind the condition of the items that you are willing to buy and be sure that your sale items are in just as good condition.
If selling a two piece outfit, it helps to make sure both pieces are attached well so they will not separate during the sale. Safety pin the pieces together and wrap a rubber band or twist tie around the two hangers to keep them attached. When selling toys with many parts, place the parts in a sealed plastic bag and tape it shut. Clear packing tape works great to keep toy parts together that do not fit in bags. Use plastic bags (such as Ziploc) to contain onesies, socks, underwear, shoes, or other small items. Tape the bags shut so that buyers are not tempted to take the contents apart, resulting in loss sometimes.
Price your items to sell. Set aside your emotions for a cute outfit, as the buyer will not know that the sweater your little one wore in his first photo was special to you. If an item is priced too high, it will not sell. Also, consider the brand. A Circo brand tee shirt that was $4 new will not sell for more than $1 usually. On the other hand, a higher end sweater that cost $25 will not sell for $20. A general guideline for pricing is 25-33% of the original selling price, depending upon brand and condition. Selling a new item with tags could fetch 50% or more of the original price. Always keep in mind when pricing, “would I pay that for this item?”
If you are unsure of how to price used toys, baby equipment, outdoor equipment, and so on, check out prices on Craig’s List or Ebay to see what used items are going for currently and use them as a guideline.
When packing up your items to take to the sale, it helps to have a hand truck and those stretchy jump cords. Use plastic totes or boxes and stack them. It makes it much easier on your back to bring in your items. Many sales also require that you distribute your items on the sales floor. Having your items sorted by size and sex ahead of time makes the distribution process much faster.
This list of tips is certainly not inclusive. Please feel free to leave your own tips for buying and selling at consignment sales in the comments section to help others out. Happy Shopping!
Mama’s Little Helper is a free resource website for parents in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and the surrounding PA/NJ areas. One of the goals of this site is for parents to have a place on the net to access information regarding activities for children, including Indoor Places to Play, Outdoor Places to Play, Classes for Kids, and Consignment Sales. Mama’s Little Helper includes a calendar listing daily activities in the area, most of which are free. The site is updated frequently with new information, so be sure to check back regularly to find out the latest events. Mama’s Little Helper is also a useful tool for Grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters/nannies, and teachers who are looking for fun activities for kids while in their care. The Mama behind the site is Chrissy Cannavo-Glen, who can be contacted via email or on the site, on Facebook, or Linkedin. Mama’s Little Helper also has a Facebook page and Twitter feed that you are encouraged to “like” or “follow” for even more frequent updates and links to useful information. Be sure to let us know if you have an event you would like to share with Mama’s Little Helper readers!