8 Tips for Shopping Children’s Consignment Sales
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After an informative LIVE Facebook chat event with Lynn Payne of Just Between Friends, we posted 11 secrets for consignors. Now it’s time to arm all of you who will be spending money at Triad-area consignment sales. Here are our tips for shoppers.
1. No Kids Allowed
While your main objective will most likely be to find great clothes, toys and furniture for your kids, do not bring the kids with you. Do know your child’s sizes and measure your child before you leave. Then, when you find clothes, measure the clothes. Even though the sizes might match up, you’ll want to compare the measurements of the clothing items with your child’s measurements to ensure a proper fit and comfort.
2. Buddy System
While taking the kids is not a good idea, you do want to bring a shopping buddy. Shopping as a team, you can help each other find items, hold items for each other while considering and measuring and you’ll have a second pair of eyes to check for tears, stains and other deal-breaking irregularities.
3. Budget & Prioritize
Before heading out, create a budget and shopping list and then stick to them. Bring a calculator so you can keep up with how much your items will cost. Bring a stroller or basket so you can hang onto all potential buys. Then, before you head to the check out, divide everything into two piles: “can’t live without” and “maybe.” Then prioritize based on your budget, shopping list and the “can’t live without” pile.
4. Specials & Sales
Make sure you know when, if and what the sale administrators will markdown. Typically it will be 50 percent off select items during the last hours or last day. However, don’t expect to get the best items during the last hours. For the best, you have to work the sale for access to a “preview” sale or pay for the privilege to shop early. Early sales typically charge $5-$10 admission.
While some consignment sales check for recalls while checking in consignors, go ahead and bring your smartphone or tablet and be prepared to check for recalls before making a purchase. To see if a product has been recalled, visit cpsc.gov/en/recalls.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act prohibits the sale of items that exceed the limit for lead content, however, there is no provision that requires consignors to test items. Pick up a lead testing kit for about $10-$12 and bring it with you. Don’t hesitate to pull it out and use it before making a purchase decision on a painted toy or piece of furniture.
Be prepared to spend lots of time shopping. It takes time to sift through rack after rack and peruse table after table for items you need and want. If you’re shopping for toys or furniture, it takes time to check for safety. It also takes time to calculate what you’re spending and pare down your purchases. And, after all that shopping, you and your friend might want to stop for coffee and decompress before heading home.
8. Feel Great
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, about 85 percent, or 10.5 million tons, of used clothes end up in landfills. Therefore, you can feel great about shopping consignment sales. It not only saves you money, but it is also an environmentally sound, green practice that will reduce your family’s carbon footprint.