Recently, a dear friend passed on an extra ticket to a local baby and children’s consignment sale slated for the end of last week. I had known about the sale for a few weeks and thought I would check it out, but honestly wasn’t sure of what to expect. This was certainly the case since for many of the items we have needed for our daughter since she’s been born, I’d much rather have new simply because we want more children and I feel they’ll have a longer shelf life that way. Further, I think I have had a mental block against ‘gently used’, one that wasn’t always rational! Still, there have been a few things that as she’s grown we have wanted to try out, but, honestly, didn’t want to pay the price. Enter consignment sale.
I went on Thursday and all in all, it was a great experience! We came away with some nice items, some of which were still in their boxes and looked like they had been used, at most, twice, including the major coup: a Beaba baby food maker for one fifth the usual price tag (as an aside, I’ll have to give an update on this post at some point, because everyone’s comments were really helpful, we are doing a mash of a few different ‘schools of thought’ now, and she’s thriving). In the end, we found everything on our list for a fraction of what we would have paid otherwise, making this momma very happy.
Which leads to a few points of advice for anyone who is contemplating trying one out (and for those who have already tried and liked consignments, pass on your tips too):
- Make a list and a set budget. I’m not sure how other sales work, but ours was HUGE. It would have been really easy to get distracted by things we didn’t really need. The list still allowed for a quick browse of a non-list section (where I found the Beaba!), but kept me focused from the front end on getting in and getting out without utterly ruining Pia’s naps, feedings, or our budget.
- Go early, if you can. I’m not talking about standing in line at the wee hours of the night like its Black Friday. At ours there are ‘public days’, ‘consigner days’, and ‘volunteer days’. I was going to go on a public day, but my friend had passed an extra ticket for the consigner sale since she was trying to sell things. Had I not gone then, I wouldn’t have found some of the things on my list…I know because I went back on the public day just for one last browse for one forgotten item! Next time, I’ll consign too since I’m sure there are things I have that I don’t want to save but someone else may want.
- If bringing children with you, bring entertainment and plan for things like diaper changes and snacks…ours had a long line and, though worth it, checking out was a longer process than anticipated. There were several mommas around that got “trapped” by the line and children were dropping like flies right and left.
- Think big(ger) picture and anticipate needs. There were some every day items on the list, but we also have two of our Goddaughters coming for Thanksgiving. I told myself that if I could find two booster seats for only a few dollars, that I would purchase them. I found what I needed for $4, and it will make our lives easier when we have Thanksgiving as well as future visits from friends with kiddos.
Long story short, I’m very bullish now on children’s consignment sales. If you haven’t tried one and have some needs to fill, you may want to see if your area has one. Happy shopping!