Would you like to take this journey with me? Subscribe by email to join me on my path to finding joy in the midst of this Crazy Amazing Life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crazy Amazing Consignment Shopping

As you know from my previous posts, I love shopping for my daughters' clothing at seasonal consignment sales. However, while "retail is for sissies" as Jennifer the owner of the Once Around the Block sale says, then consignment shopping has a definite competitive sport quality. After several years of shopping these sales, I have come up with some tips that may help you get the most out of your consignment shopping experience.

1. Bring a Basket
You are likely to find a lot of really great stuff from toys to clothes to baby gear at a consignment sale. The easiest way to keep up with your loot is to bring some kind of shopping basket or bag with you. I generally bring the largest laundry basket I have with me, but I have even seen women pushing strollers (sans children of course) piled high with clothes.
2. Bring a Buddy
This is especially helpful if you are shopping for more than one child. I like to bring my mom with me. I make lists of what I am looking for, and she takes one list. While I head to one clothing size, she heads to the other.
3. Grab It
If you see something you like grab it. Remember, this isn't Macy's. There aren't 5 of the same item in the size you need, so if you pass it up chances are someone else will grab it. Once you have looked through everything available, find one of the discard racks and look at what you have grabbed. Pick out your favorite things and put everything that you decide you don't want back on the discard rack.
4. Leave your kids at home
You know how hard it is to concentrate when you are trying to attend to your children. If at all possible plan to leave your children at home while you are shopping so that you can focus on the great deals to be had.
5. Shop Early
Of the many sales that are in my area, I have narrowed it down to my 10 favorite sales. These 10 have divided into three categories: Shop Only, Consign, & Volunteer/Barter. The more involved you get with a sale the earlier you get shop meaning the better selection you get. I volunteer and consign with my 2 favorite sales and I consign with 3 others. This means that I get to shop at pre-sales before they open to the public. The other 5 I only shop at, but I still show up for the opening of the public sale.
6. Don't Get Overwhelmed
As I said before, consignment shopping is competitive, ESPECIALLY pre-sale shopping. I told one friend that it's kind of like shopping at Best Buy on Black Friday. You better be prepared. My best advice is to hit up sales on the public dates first to hone your skills. Once you feel more confident, get more involved so that you can get into the pre-sales.

Do you love consignment shopping too? What success tips do you have?


  1. hey cate
    check out my sale coming up, might be fun for you or a friend
    link is on my profile to evite

  2. I saw the Evite for it the other day on FB. I wasn't sure if it was open to the public or not. I did want a little clarification. For example: If you bring 10 items does that mean you can pick 10 items?

  3. my tips are to go to 1/2 days if you are over budget or are close to it...you never know what will be left. I got Sophie's beautiful crib, great brand, white, shabby chic for $40, her new nikes for $6, and many many other steals. I look through everything, I sometimes find things to give as baby gifts that are in fantastic shape and are something the mom wants that I couldn't afford to get otherwise.

  4. Great tips! I have also found great baby gifts BRAND NEW! I have a bad habit of not heading back for half-price day, but last fall I did get some precious designer shoes for LC for $4 on one of the half-price days. A lot of sales let volunteers and consignors in early for half-price sales too. Just another reason to volunteer or consign :)

  5. Wow, Kiddo! Who knew Becky and I would have started such an incredible trend with you being the expert du Jour for the strategies of navigating these sales. I take it as a great compliment that you also think this is smart way and a "green " way to be a mother. You go girl!

  6. You are making me proud, Cate. Who knew something I conceived in the 1980's would become such a great big thing? So proud of you for taking it to the next level.


  7. Have you checked out Consigning Time - THE Place To Find Consignnment Sales in Middle Tennessee? I created this website to help all moms in our area find all of the great sales.