While there are entire stores open year-round dedicated to children’s consignment items (including goods for moms-to-be), annual independent consignment sales also present great opportunities.
Many organizations spend months collecting goods and have a big sale once or twice a year. For consignment newcomers, it’s important to know that consignment sales are not garage sales. Most stores and consignment events are picky about what they will sell. Items are generally in good condition and range from Halloween costumes to products that still have tags intact.
Here are some tips if you’re planning to hit one of these sales:
* Some annual sales are huge, so remember to bring something to carry your finds. A laundry basket or something that rolls (such as a wagon) are both good options. Just make sure it’s something easy to walk with and hold for an extended period of time.
* Bring a list of your children’s sizes and measurements. Because sizes can differ among brands, a measuring tape helps make sure you’re buying something you can use. Remember, there are no returns.
* For shoes, consider tracing your child’s foot on cardboard and cutting it out. The cardboard can be slipped into shoes, or used in place of a child’s wiggly foot.
* Consider volunteering at a sale. Often the volunteers get first choice of the items in a presale. Because the best bargains get snatched up early, volunteers can also beat the crowd.
Internet-savvy parents might consider using sites such as eBay (www.ebay.com) and Stork Brokers (www.storkbrokers.com). Both sites allow you to buy and sell gently used items at a deep discount. But there is a greater risk when buying used goods online.
For more information on shopping at consignment sales, check out ConsignmentMommies.com and KidsConsignmentSales.com. Both sites are full of tips, and have up-to-date listings of consignment sales by Zip code.
Upcoming consignment events:
*The Roanoke Valley Parents of Multiples Club presents The Great Kids Sale
When: Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
Where: Vinton Baptist Church, 200 E. Washington Ave., Vinton
What: This event will focus on spring and summer items from infant to preteen. Cash only.
*New Vista Montessori Preschool’s Consignment Sale
When: April 16, 8 a.m. to noon
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, 2015 Grandin Road S.W., Roanoke
What: Featuring clothing for children and infants, maternity clothing, baby items, toys and books.
Do you know of any other tips we missed? How about some sales coming up? Tell us about it below.