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?