Moneywise MoM: Shopping Consignment Sales

It’s almost that time of year–the spring consignment sale season! If your multiples club holds a sale, I’m sure you know it’s a great place to get gently-used baby equipment, strollers, kid-sized furniture, and lots of clothes. Oh, the clothes! Shopping the kids’ consignment sales is one of the ways I keep my twin girls and their big brother in great clothes for very little money.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of shopping the kids consignment sales in your area:

  1. Make a shopping list. Just like shopping at the grocery store or Target, you’ll avoid impulse buys and overspending if you shop from a list. Check your children’s closets before you shop; you may have plenty of summer pajamas socked away from a clearance sale or that were handed-down.
  2. Think ahead. Since most sales occur in the spring and fall, try to think ahead 6 months for what your multiples will need. What phases are coming up–highchairs? potty training? Now that mine are older, I focus on seasonal items like raincoats, boots, and holiday dresswear.
  3. Prioritize your list. You know how crowded these sales can get! If you really need a double- or triple-stroller, go to that section first. Shop for your big-ticket items first; there’s plenty of time for smaller items like clothes and toys.
  4. Learn the sale’s rules and procedures. Most clubs put a lot of information on the sale section of their website, so understand how to “Hold” an item and what forms of payment are taken before you arrive. If you’re shopping a neighboring Club’s sale, you may be able to shop early by showing proof of your membership. There are often guidelines on how to shop if you’re largely pregnant as well.
  5. Prep yourself.  I usually bring a laundry basket or large IKEA reusable tote to carry my finds around. I also bring water and a granola bar to get me through the morning.Don’t bring your children! Strollers will slow you down and make it difficult to get through the aisles.
  6. Go shopping–and have fun saving money!
What are your tips for shopping a kids’ consignment sale? What do you usually shop for?

If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, stop by my blog for a list of upcoming sales. If you live elsewhere and your Club doesn’t hold their own sale, try Googling “twins club” and “consignment sale” to find one in your area. Happy shopping!

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8 comments

  1. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and myself have practically made an art out of buying things at consignment shops. We go to "Once Upon a Child" which is a national franchise and get excellent buys there–especially at their 50% off sales. Last time I went though, I saw a toy that I just bought my twins for Christmas at full price for less than half that! So, there is still a lot to learn! Sometimes, it's all about luck. We recently picked up a jumper there and a highchair at another local spot for a 3rd of what it would have cost in the stores (both items in EXCELLENT condition)! Score!!

  2. Thanks for the great advice!

  3. I can't wait! Open, Open, Open! I'm going to volunteer if I don't have enough to sell this year, so that I can go a day early to the sale! Thanks for the great info!

  4. Dianna@KennedyAdventures

    Yeee hah! I'm not selling in my local Twins club sale, but I plan on hitting it as soon as we are allowed in, with my mom in tow. I don't need ANYTHING for my boys — they have grown so slowly, I have loads of clothes with the tags still on them for this summer. Only things I'm looking for are sandals and hats for them, plus a summer wardrobe for Rachel.

    Starting this coming weekend, we have consignment sales every week for about 6 weeks in our area! Yee hah!

  5. ConsigningChrissy

    Awesome tips & advice! My best tip is LEAVE THE KIDS at HOME!!! This is the superbowl of shopping and you want to make sure not to have a whiny 3-year-old slowing you down!

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