how to shop at kids consignment sales

Well, it’s that time of year again. Kids consignment sales are in full swing! In fact I am headed to one this afternoon. I have been shopping at consignment sales for almost four years now and I have learned a lot along the way.  I thought I would pass along some helpful tips in case you are planning to attend any sales this fall.

1. Take inventory of the clothing items your children have and don’t have for the upcoming season. Do this BEFORE you go to the sale so you can make a list of the items you need. It’s always a good idea to write down the sizes of the items too. {For example: Rain jacket- 2t} It’s easy to get overwhelmed at a large crowded sale. I always refer to my list as I shop so I can make sure I am not forgetting anything I need.

2. Prioritize! Decide ahead of time which item on your list you would most like to find. Maybe you really want to find several pairs of shoes for your child.  When you arrive at the sale go directly to the shoes before you look at anything else.

3. Know what prices different brands/ items retail for. If you have a good idea about what most items you need retail for then you can make smart decisions while shopping. DON’T assume that just because you are shopping at a consignment sale that you are getting a good deal. There is nothing worse than getting home and realizing you didn’t get as good of a deal as you thought you did.

4. Think outside the box. While clothing is definitely one of the most popular items at a consignment sale there are many other items that are worth checking out. Think ahead and buy for birthday and Christmas presents. You could even look for baby shower gifts if you think the mom-to-be wouldn’t mind second hand items. Also look for costumes that could work for halloween or your child’s dress up box.

5. Consider volunteering or consigning at the sale. Every kids consignment sale I have ever been to lets you shop early at a “pre-view” sale if you volunteer at the sale or have items that you are consigning. Also some sales will give you a higher consigning amount if you volunteer for a 4 hour shift. This might be worth considering if you have the spare time and you want a higher return on the items you are selling!

6. Take a friend to the sale. If possible try to enlist a friend to go with you. My friend and I always shop separately {she has girls and I have boys} but then we meet again before we pay to go through our items together. Find a quiet place {if possible} and go through your items one by one.  Ask each other’s opinions on items if you can’t decide if something is a good deal or not. It’s also nice to have an extra pair of “eyes” look over your items so you make sure you don’t miss and rips or stains.

7. Make shopping easy and stress-free. Leave your kids at home!! Most sales don’t let you bring in a stroller which I actually like. Consignment sales are often crowded with people not to mention all the items being sold. Make sure to bring a large bag {think large blue ikea bags} or a large rectangular laundry basket to hold all your finds while you shop. My friends make fun of me when I show up to a sale with a laundry basket but it’s so  helpful to have somewhere to put items as you shop. I put the basket at my feet while I am looking through clothing and then I can drop things down in the basket as I find them.

8. Have fun and enjoy the thrill of the hunt! Don’t stress if you don’t find everything on your wish list. Often times I don’t find everything I need but I usually end up with some pretty good finds. I love saving our family money!


2 thoughts on “how to shop at kids consignment sales

  1. Pingback: consignment sale finds | eatrunteach

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