We are well into one of my favorite seasons of the year, and no, I’m not talking about the weather. I’m talking about consignment sale season!
If you’re a mom and you’ve never been to a consignment sale, you’re seriously missing out. They’re typically held in the spring and fall of every year, and one of the benefits of living in the DC area is there are TONS of them. The majority of Abbie’s clothes have come from consignment sales. I hit at least one every season, and usually more than one. They’re also how my mom clothed my little sisters! Since we’ve been going for so long, I’ve got a few tips for having a successful shopping trip.
Bring a buddy, but not your child. Your buddy can be a friend, a family member, or your spouse. When you have a buddy with you, that person is essentially your teammate. They hold your stuff while you run off to a different section. You divide and conquer with the toys and big items. If one of you is done but not quite, the other can go ahead and get in the line (which always seems endless). They also see things you may not! As for not bringing your child, well, it just makes things easier on you. You then have the freedom to shop for what you need without worrying about them!
Know exactly what you are looking for, and prioritize. Need a high chair for Grandma’s house? Hit that first. Looking to score a wagon? Same. Really need to stock up on pajamas? Head straight for the clothes. Figure out what’s most important to you, and make sure you go in that order.
Be prepared. This goes along with number two, but make sure you have all the supplies you need so you don’t have to stop while shopping. Make sure you bring your own bags (I usually bring reusable grocery bags) so you can haul your stuff around. Make sure you have water. Make sure you hit the bathroom before you get there! Simple things, but if you don’t do them, it can distract you from what you need!
Set a budget. You have things you need, sure, but know how much you’re willing to pay for them. I recommend setting an overall budget as well as a budget for individual items. I may plan on spending $100 total at a sale, but I may also say I refuse to pay more than $8 for a dress, or $3 for a shirt, etc. Prices will definitely vary depending on the area you’re in and the brand of the item itself. My parents live farther from DC, so it’s cheaper to live there, and the prices definitely reflect that. My max shopping at a sale there is lower than my max when shopping close to DC (where I often find higher end brands in these sales).
Volunteer, consign, or pay so you can shop early. Most sales offer an option to let you come in early if you do one of these. Volunteers and consigners usually get the earliest access, then people who pay. I’m not at the point that I’m consigning yet, but I try to volunteer when I can. Since I’m usually at work during volunteer times, I often just bite the bullet and pay for early access. It’s been worth it every time since the sale isn’t picked over yet, and I always get better stuff!
So there you have it – my top tips for shopping at consignment sales. Do you shop consignment for your kids?