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Looking for a guide to shop a kid's consignment sale?  Here ya go!

As a mom of three messy little people I rarely buy new clothes.  We do a majority of our shopping at consignment sales.  If you are a newbie to the world of shopping consignment sales it can be very overwhelming.  Thousands of garments, toys, books and shoes (not to mention equipment) overflowing from gyms and expo halls.  Many times there isn’t room to even turn around, you just have to keep going forward!

How do you figure out what to buy and still leave with your sanity?  How do you not over buy? It is a fine art of thinking quickly before someone else takes that hand smocked dress, and not leaving with 14 pairs of pants all the wrong sizes for your kids.  I used to help run a non-profit sale in our area and here are the top things I learned from watching others:

  • Have time to spare. Slow down and really look, not just fly through the racks.  Since there typically aren’t large amounts of one item, there are a lot of items to choose from.
  • Wear the right shoes.  Simple but often overlooked.
  • Know what you need. Go through your kids drawers the day before make a detailed list, also put clothing and shoe sizes on your list.  I’ve seen some shoppers write this on their hands since your arms will filled with items.
  • Measuring your children is often better than knowing sizes. A Gap size 6 isn’t the same as a Gymboree 6 etc.  I take a cheap cloth measuring tape for each child in my purse with painters tape marking dress length, waist, foot size, and pant length.  You won’t need to pull it out for every garment but it will be there if needed as a reference (your kids will probably enjoy helping you make it too).
  • Go early!! If the sale starts at 7 am people line up at 6 am.  Really they do.  The best equipment and clothing goes first.  Often the best quality is priced the same as some of the worst, so the first folks in the door not only get great condition items, but they get great deals!
  • Take a laundry basket or rolling basket. You will not be able to carry everything in your arms.  If you don’t have a basket with wheels loop a belt around the handle of a regular basket and pull it behind you.  (I know it sounds funny but you won’t be the only one doing it).
  • Be okay with lines. Just go prepared for a wait.  Wait to get in and to check out.  There are great deals but most of the times consignment sales have way more shoppers than volunteers so be patient and kind.
  • Do a little research on the sale. This is an inside tip…  consignment sales that run as businesses usually offer the sellers a lower percentage of their earnings over non-profit sales.  Because of this your non-profit sales have much lower prices for the same item (held mostly at churches etc.) .  The mom’s selling their clothes don’t have to mark the clothes at a higher price to compensate for the decrease in commission.  (Sorry if you run one as a business, but it’s the truth.)

 

Do you have any big tips for shopping consignment sales??

    • If you are in the North GA area sign up for Little Lambs consignment sale! http://www.thespringschurch.org/LittleLambsMain.html
      We are taking new sellers! Our sale will be September 16, 17, and 18!

    • Rebecca27

      There is a great site for finding sales in your area. I always search by state, may be willing to travel further for a really large sale! http://www.thebargainwatcher.com

    • Happymommy3

      If you are in the Upstate this weekend there is a great consignment sale in Anderson, SC. It is called switcharoos. It is great. Awesome prices and great items. Last year I found a ton of name brand clothes at great prices. I found Limited Too shirts for $3 each. You can go to the website switcharoosconsignment.com Have fun shopping.

    • Alison

      HUGE Consignment Sale in Birmingham this weekend! Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church http://www.libertycrossings.com

      Check it out!!

    • Angie

      For TN readers there is a consignment sale coming up go to http://www.everyonewinskidsale.net. I have been going every year and this year I am consigning. The prices are very reasonable, plus the last day everything is 1/2 off. The turn out last year was amazing and this year is suppose to be even bigger. If you have kids this is a must to come to. They only except clothes that are in good shape, and toys as well. It’s held at the First Baptist Church in Dickson. Plus part of the money you spend goes back to the church, for youth missions.. Come and have fun…

    • Erinkguy

      For Middle Tennesseans, visit: http://plus.calendars.net/consigningtime

    • Akumphrey

      BIg Sale in Gadsden, Alabama this weekend August 26-28. http://www.fivelittlebees.com

    • hjs mom

      Chattanooga Area Mothers of Multiples Club Fall Consignment Sale, Sept 16-18
      http://www.chattanoogamothersofmultiples.com/Welcome.html

    • GlennMama

      One of the largest in Atlanta Sept 24 & 25! http://www.glennclothingsale.org
      For other areas, look in http://www.thebargainwatcher.com

    • Holly

      http://www.consignmentmommies.com You can just plug in your zip code and how many miles to search w/in, and it shows you a map and everything! It’s a great resource for all things having to do w/consigning, plus they cover the entire US!

      If you live in the Atlanta area, Atlanta Parent magazine does a compilation in the spring and fall of all the metro area sales and it’s in the back part of the issue.

    • Jennifermathis24

      There is a fantastic one in Anderson, SC coming up Upstate Kids- September 10-12 @ the Civic Center. Love, love , love this sale!!!!! http://www.UpstateKids.com

    • sarahinNC

      In Fayetteville, NC there’s also the Twice is Nice consign. sale on Labor Day weekend (Fri for volunteers and consigners, and Sat. 8am-12noon for public and later it’s 1/2 price). http://www.northwoodmops.com The stuff fills up a gym and a cafeteria. A small percentage benefits the MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Teen MOPS groups.

    • Jennifermathis24

      here is a great website for finding sales in your area….
      http://www.kidsconsignmentsales.com/

    • Curls4christ79

      consignmentmommies.com

    • DianaY19

      I am on the consignment sale board at our church (University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC – at intersection of Harris Blvd. & Sugar Creek in Univ. area).

      Some of my tips. Be a volunteer. If you volunteer hours for the sale, you get to shop 1st (before consignors and public). If you can’t volunteer, consign..you still get to shop early. I am not biased to say that we have the BEST sale in the area. We quality check everything and off a 70/30 split. It’s true what Jenny says about getting there early. We open our parking lot at 5am (the sale starts at 8am) and there are already people there to get a ticket. Search online for sales in your area. They are usually held in the spring and fall. We are even venturing out and doing our 1st ever TEEN GIRL/WOMENS consignment sale on Oct. 9th. We are taking volunteers/consignors now. Just go to our website http://www.ucumc.org and click on the serve tab then consignment sale. Be happy to anwser any questions about our sale or sales in general. I never buy new clothes…I get them all at our sale.

    • DianaY19

      There’s a BRAND NEW Teen Girl/Womens sale Oct. 9th at Univ. City UMC in Charlotte, NC. http://www.ucucm.org (click on serve tab)

    • Jenirizarry

      I own The Savvy Mom Sale in Spanish Fort, AL (www.SavvyMomSale.com) & I started this as a hobby and offered up to 80% back to consignors because in this economy everyone can use ALL the extra funds they can get their hands on. Although, I did have to lower the highest earning potential to 75% (due to higher overhead costs than I budgeted for – oops!) – but the consignors are still able to get a great deal.
      I tell consignors that if they earn enough to pay for most of the items for the next season, then you are doing AWESOME! Plus, you are getting rid of so much clutter, too!
      VOLUNTEER! Most sales let you shop before the public & not only do you get giddy watching your items get sold, but volunteers are always the BEST bargain finders! There are little treasure everywhere, but yes, usually covered up by something that is overpriced. PRICING: consider what YOU would pay for that item AT a consignment sale – NOT what you paid for it at the store (even if it was on sale/clearance). Most of the shoppers are savvy enough to know that they could go straight to Gymboree and buy a brand new item off of their clearance rack for cheaper! So, price to sell – the consignors who follow that rule put more cash in their pocket & have very little to bring home!
      And shoppers, if you find something you really like BUY it, once you get home you’ll be kicking yourself & you’ll probably wait for half-price day & it won’t be there! If you like it, someone else will too – even if it doesn’t work out you can still resell it at the next sale!

      The Savvy Mom Sale will be hosting their next one Oct. 7-9 (so if you’re in the Baldwin County or Mobile County area) – stop by! Thanks & good luck to all you savvy shoppers!

    • Vicky

      There is a great consignment sale in Aiken, SC at First Baptist Church on Sept 17 – 18 with Saturday everything 1/2 off. http://www.passitonaiken2.com

    • Lane

      I just went to a great consignment sale in West Columbia, SC. It is called Tickled Twice. It is now through Saturday. They are open today and tomorrow from 9-6 and Saturday until 5. They are having a huge half price sale on Saturday (some items are excluded). It is located in the Woodmen of the World building right next to #1 Flea Market. I bought a ton of Gymboree and boutique clothing for next to nothing! It made me one happy mom!!! :)
      Their website is http://www.tickledtwice.com.

    • Tara

      Southeast GA has a great sale in Brunswick! The new website will be up and running by Saturday 8/28. http://www.goldenisleskidsconsignmentsale.com The sale is the last week in September.

    • I have compiled a list of the local consignments in Montgomery. You can view them here http://www.faithfamilyfrugality.com/category/local/

      These are my favorite times of year! I made over $400 last year consigning clothes, and in turn purchased some clothing for my son through the spring and summer, and saved the rest of the money.

    • wendyc33

      lol pooping up..

    • Emcelwain

      Jenny–I find that consignment sales in my area are very over priced compared to shopping at the end of the season sales for clothes that are new. Sometimes I find good deals at the Consignment sales, but not until the end when things are marked 50% off or more. Do you have a best price list or recomendations as to what is too much to pay for something that is used?

      • Gingiraffe

        I agree that a lot of times things are overpriced. I sell at consignment and I try to mark my items to sell quickly to make sure I get money, but mark it just high enough that I make something, but not so high that it sits around until the half day sales. One thing I always look for at consignment are shoes (a good brand), jeans and jackets. Those are items that typically can take more abuse, and are usually more expensive to start, even at close out prices. If they are still in good shape then they will probably last another season with my children. And because I mostly let my children wear these things to daycare, I know I haven't spent a lot on items they are going to mess up anyway.

    • monasimmons

      I would add consider being a volunteer. Generally you will be allowed to shop before the general public. This really helps me because I have older children (usually not as much to pick from in the larger sizes)

      • Gingiraffe

        And usually volunteer/consigner sale nights have a “no children allowed” rule (at least mine does) so this makes a much better shopping experience, in my opinion. You don't have to worry about stepping on a child in a cramped space!

    • No tips really, but there's a children's consignment sale here in Rock Hill, SC coming up Sept. 9-12 at the Rock Hill Galleria Mall. More details here… upscaleweesaleDOTcom.

      • Katrina

        Get out!!! I am actually traveling to Fort Mill/Rock Hill that weekend. def going to check it out!! Thanks, John!!

    • momof3inATL

      I created a swap with a group of friends from our Montessori school. We have kids of various ages, sex and sizes. From there, we bring our goods and swap, barter or sell amongst ourselves.

    • Seporter818

      There's a huge one next week in Fayetteville, NC. It's called Hugs & Kisses and it's grown so much that they've moved it to the convention center. First time moms, military wives, and consignors get first dibs before the whole thing opens. Check out their website hugsandkissesDOTcom

    • Fullhouse

      I love volunteering! It is fun and I get to shop early and get to get the best of the deals. Also, I have my “buy” price for clothing such as no more than 3 dollars on a shirt, usually no more than 5 on an infant or toddler outfit etc. I put everything I really like in my basket, then when I 've completed shopping, I find a quiet corner and then re look at everything, checking carefully for flaws in the items, etc. I also usually put some things back after I have gone over what is in my bag. I also allow myself one “splurge” item per child. Something that is above my buy prices but that I just love. Usually it's a complete outfit from a higher end store. Also, my secret to success in consignment sales is to consign and shop, knowing what I have put into the sale and trying not to spend more than what I have consigned, which allowed me for several years to basically trade out my children's outgrown items for new sizes.

    • Jennifer Crowell

      Volunteer to work the sale and/or put stuff in the sale if you can. I put my items in a consignment sale twice a year and they always let consigners shop a day early, but they let the workers shop 2 days early. This year I worked the sale and I got first dibs at the best stuff, and I also get to have my 1/2 price day a day early too. Plus when you are working you are usually organizing stuff people throw everywhere and you find other good deals you may have missed and other people may have missed. The sale I do also gives 10% more on your sales if you work the sale. I love consignment sales, as a stay at home mom these are a way for me to get a little spending money that I earned on my own. =)

    • Wschurlk77

      There will be another gret one in Jenny's area called Tot Trade. I've sold/bought for several years/seasons. If you want to get the jump on early bird specials then not only be a consigner but volunteer. Sometimes sales will offer these position without having to be a consigner. I little forwarning though, those spots fill up super fast! I would also suggest not taking your kids with you!! It not only makes you crazy but others around as well. Some ladies get down right mean to get a deal. Most sales also have spots where you can look through the items in your basket before checkout to make sure you want the item and there are no tears, spots, buttons missing, etc. I love these kind of sales, happy shopping. If you can't make it to the one this weekend Tot Trade will be around Setember 15th or so. Happy shopping:)

    • Consignmentsalequeen

      Check out: http://www.consignmentsalequeen.com/p/links.html for a link to the consignment sale search sites nation-wide.

      I always read EVERYTHING on the sale’s web page before I shop. Even the sellers requirements. Look at the number of sellers, the percentage they receive, the min. price, what check in is like, and any photos of past sales. This usually gives you an idea of how much will be there, how great of a deal it is, and what quality to expect. The last thing you want is to go to a ‘consignment sale’ just to find a ‘glorified garage sale’.

      If you’re planning to shop at the preview sales I suggest taking a small folding stool (like one you might take camping) and water/snacks. There’s no telling how long you’ll be waiting in line ;)

    • Jewel74

      Sometimes they can be overpriced & you have to look through, but I LOVE consignment sales too! :) You can find loads of great deals if you really look. I just determine what I will spend on a product before I go in. If I don't want to pay more than $5 for a used pair of jeans, then I don't. It's that simple. I consign at one starting this weekend & I can't wait for the consigners sale on Friday night. Right now my poor son doesn't have enough clothes to last a week – he grew out of them all! LOL! So, I think I'll be racking up this weekend!

    • Kimboone123

      If you can, get another adult to come with you to help…i.e. Grandma, Aunt, Sister, etc…so that one of you can go to one section of the sale while the other goes to another section.

    • Abjevans

      Bring non-messy snacks and drinks for the little ones as Jenny said the lines can be long. Because sizes are different, take some ribbon and a pair of shorts/pants or whatever has a waistline that fits your child well. Lay it on a flat surface and measure the ribbon from left to right and cut for exact size (frontside of waistline only). Bring your ribbon to the sale to make sure clothing isn't too small or too large by laying the desired item down and fitting with ribbon (again frontside only). Measure socks by placing sock over the fist of your child. The fist is the size of the foot.

    • Kdgqueen

      I want to add that before you volunteer to help at a consignment sale, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. See what the benefit is and make sure it is clearly worth your while. I just helped at a major one in the suburbs of Atlanta and I will NEVER do it again. I worked 4 shifts (the most I could work as a newcomer) which equalled about 25 hours. I received $50 credit and I was able to shop 4 hours before the “Sellers Preview Shop.” After how hard I worked (standing on my feet, sorting clothes and toys during cleanup, handing out remaining items), I just didn't feel like it was worth it for 50 bucks and early shopping. I worked harder than I ever have in my life!!!

      • RebeccaFer

        This is wonderful advice. I didn't realize how lucky I am at the sale that I volunteer at here in the University City area of Charlotte, NC. Our directors are awesome and provide childcare during our shifts for $1 per hour per child. We have to work 14 hours and we get a night to shop as just volunteers. If we consign too, we get a second night to shop OR we can give a buddy pass to a friend if we don't want to shop. Not only that but we get to shop the 1/2 price sale early too! I LOVE UCUMC Consignment Sale! It's definitely a ton better then the one you slaved at! :D

        • DianaY19

          I second that RebeccaFer

        • Bev

          Rebecca, I live right around the corner from UCUMC and have heard rave reviews of their consignment sale from friends. I still haven't been to one yet, because it never falls on a good weekend for me. Plus I've got kids clothes coming out my ears (b/c of generous friends and grandparents). But one of these days I'll get over there!

          • RebeccaFer

            Hey neighbor! Lol. :D It is definitely worth checking out. They are going to be having a Teen and Women's Sale October 9th so you might want to check that out if you're like me, dressing your kids to the nines and not having a thing to wear for yourself, lol. :D

    • I would LOVE to go to one of these sales! How can I find out if there is one in my area?

      • Nitroxrunner

        go to http://www.thebargainwatcher.com/ and click on the “Sales” tab at the top left and enter your state to find local consignment sales in your area.

      • J A Loy

        Try looking on craigslist to find local consignment sales.

      • Shaire

        go to kidsconsignmentsales.com to find sales in your area

      • GeorgesMom

        thebargainwatcher.com has a list for the Atlanta area.

      • Zombiemommy

        Try here.. They have some sales besides Georgia listed…

        http://www.thebargainwatcher.com/index.asp

    • Amy

      What time are you going Saturday? Maybe I can meet you there? – Amy

    • Mommyon731

      I've also found it helpful to trace the children's feet on a piece of paper, because not all shoe sizes are the same either.

      • Emily

        This is a great idea! Thanks!

    • Emily

      How do you find out about local sales ahead of time? I always seems to find out about consignment sales (both church and for-profit) when they've past or are wrapping up.

      • KDD

        bargainwatcher.com is a good website that organizations can post upcoming sales

      • Moore102001

        Ask if they have a mailing list you can get put on.

    • Akumphrey

      Twice as Nice Sale in Irondale, AL (Birmingham) this weekend at Zamora Temple

    • Spiritled76

      I went to my first consignment sale in GA in the Sugarloaf fairgorunds last week. WOW!!!!!! It was amazing. Of course, I went unprepared and had to buy a bag to carry my things($1.00 for 12 baby diaper cloths, a snowsuit for $5, etc) AMAZING!!! I look forward to going in February. Same place, ladies.

    • Missthemister

      I didn't know they still had “Mother's of Twins Clubs”. My Mom was a member. My sisters (the twins) are now 48 years old.

      • Annaforcoupons

        I wish we had a mother of twins club where I live! If anyone knows of one around Lawrenceburg, TN….I'd be happy to know of it!

        • BrandyK

          I don't, but the fact you're in Lawrenceburg is ironic! My absolute favorite Shift Supervisor at Rite Aid, was just offered the Store Manager position at a store in Lawrenceburg. After four weeks of training, he'll be the SM there! His name is Spencer, tell him Brandy sent you. ;)

        • Carriep

          There is an organization in Nashville called POTATO — Parents of Twins and Triplets (organization?). I have a friend who is a member and sells in their consignment sale every year. It may be a little far, but perhaps you could find out about something closer to Lawrenceburg?

    • momof3

      My one issue with these is that typically I find new clothing for less than consignment. We have an outlet mall here in NC, and even at our regular mall, I can find incredible prices….

      • Aschinc

        I'm the same way. I pretty much buy only Children's Place clothes (I can shop online, they are good quality and they have cute things). It has been my experience that when I use coupon codes plus my place rewards card, I can get new clothes for less than $5 each. I think consignment sales are great, I'm just not patient enough to hunt for the deals (hence my love for online shopping). For the folks who like the consignment sales; happy shopping and may you find lots of great deals! :-)

    • Amy

      Is there a website that lists consignment sales in different areas? I used to go to these in Dallas, but I don't know of any in the Orlando area, where I live now.

      • Jessica

        use http://www.thebargainwatcher.com you can search for sales by state.

      • DonnaTN

        kidsconsignmentsales dot com

      • Odessa

        I think there is a JBF (Just Between Friends) sale in central Florida, Maitland in particular. Not sure how far that is from you. You can check it out by going to http://www.jbfsale.com & click on “Find Event” and choose Florida & it will show all the sales in Florida.

      • Cat

        I like these 2 sites also to see what sales are in my area:

        consignmentmommies dot com

        thebargainwatcher dot com

    • Tjensen0728

      take a look at the requirements for sellers. Some have an inspection process and anything that does not meet a certain standard is rejected! These are the best to shop at! If there is no inspection process, buyer beware!

    • Aimeemohler

      Buying at these sales is great but selling is even better, especially at the ones you can price yourself and if they give back 65-70%. I make back my money to buy next seasons clothes every time.

    • Elizabeth

      We have an upscale children’s consignment sale in our area, Peachtree City, GA, called Boutique Repeats. It is September 10-11 with Preview Night on Sept. 9th. This sale carries boutique, trunk show and custom clothing and accessories so it is ALL good stuff! The website is http://www.boutiquerepeats.net

      I always consign and/or volunteer at sales so I can shop before the sale is open to the public and get first dibs. After I have gone through the racks and narrowed down my selection, I always go back through to see what others have put back. At most sales, the lines typically start getting long around one hour after the doors open so I try to limit myself to 45 minutes to avoid the long waits. And I must disagree with Jenny on the percentage given to consignors at profit vs. non-profit sales. It depends upon your area. We have several of both types in the Newnan and Peachtree City areas and I receive the same percentage at all of them.

    • Ekate

      A great thing to keep in the back of your mind is…Be mentally prepared before going! Hopefully you will have heard of the upcoming sale in advance and will have the chance to prepare. From my past experience shopping yard sales, consignment shops and sales, Goodwills etc…I have not done very well if I do not plan to go. If it is just one of those spur of the moment decisions to go or to stop by I end up getting frustrated b/cuz of the unorganized chaos!lol With that kind of shopping it is really hard to to find things set up the way they would be at a regular store. Making it really hard to find what you are after or just trying to find something! I do know however, if I am preapared mentally to do this kind of shopping my outcome is a much more postive, exciting, and beneficial shopping excursion! I find that I end up will the awesome deals to go home and brag about b/cuz I am prepared therefor my patience level and attitude are right where they need to be!
      Also if it is an outdoor sale and the temperatures are uncomfortable make sure to take all the appropriate accomidations to keep you comfortable b/cuz as stated earlier w/ the right shoe and such being uncomfortable will make things harder and extremely aggravating in turn causing you to end up losing! Good luck and may the bargains be with you!

    • Snowski824

      I am due in December and have been checking out these sales for some things and the first large one that I went to almost gave me a panic attack! So many choices, same things at different prices, what do you even really need!?!?! It was so overwhelming!

    • Couponbhumi

      also be prepared for people to cut in line, or adda bunch of their friends in the line before you

    • JaxCinderella

      For Floridians….google Florida children consignment sales. They make a current listing of all sales in the state….which they break down by area.

      Also many sales down here let you volunteer 3 hours and get a volunteer pass to go in early. I try to do this as much as possible because you get first dibs on everything!

    • Beth

      Thanks for the plug! Look forward to seeing you at the sale! :)

    • Gamego71

      I absolutely LOVE selling and shopping at WEERUNS in Spindale, NC. We are a small town so it's hard to find a lot of these sales close by. They have one coming up September 18th through the September 26th. I always make enough money to cover the expense of what I buy. I volunteer to work for 4 hours and consign so I get to shop early and even earlier. I always plan to spend the whole evening. If I see clothes I like I put them in my laundry basket. Before I check out I go back through all the stuff and compair prices to find the best items at the best price. I usually put at least half of it back before I check out. Check out WEERUNS.COM.

    • Blakely

      I love consignment sales. I try to leave my little one at home whenever possible to give me the time to actually look at the items. I try to have a list of what I need before I get to the store with the sizes for this season and sometimes it if it a nice item for the next season. I also have an idea of a price list in my head about what the costs would be new on sale. I also look for play clothes verses school uniforms/church clothes and pay much less for play clothes of course. Watch for the spots, seams, buttons etc. Be prepared to wait and enjoy talking with the other Moms (and sometimes Dads or Grandmas).

    • Connie

      Looking forward to seeing you there!

    • Amy

      Woohoo! I'm a proud GCAMOTC member, too; thanks for the shout-out!

    • There’s a very big list of consignment sales at http://www.thebargainwatcher.com

    • Sara Stephens

      My advice is buy brand name – especially boutique brands, because you can resell for pretty much what you bought them for if you keep them in good condition. The nicer “church” clothes also tend to be in better shape because they havn't gotten much wear and they are still cheaper than buying on sale at Target!

    • maomao

      Are these used clothes, toys, etc?

      • itismedia

        Yes, they are clothes, toys, furniture, etc…that has been gently used. They tag it and take it to a sale. The person who runs the sale gets a percentage of whatever the price is (70/30 – 60/40). These are big and can be fun. Also look for club sales like Junior League, Girl Scouts…

    • Lindseywilder

      I have become a consignment sale expert!! I always go w/o my children (unless I'm just going to browse, not seriously restock the wardrobe.) If I like something, I grab it, then before I check out, I review it. Check for stains, tears, missing buttons, AND if it's a set, make sure the top, bottom, sweater are all the same sizes!!! I learned that lesson the hard way! Keep a budget in mind. Ex. I won't pay more than X amt. for pants, shirts, dresses, etc. Only make exceptions if something is brand new or exceptionally cute! Also, keep your budget low! With the economy the way it is, you can get many things on clearance at retail stores for less than some people price their used items!

    • Kalenachar

      I love shopping at consignment stores too. I've found some quality clothes and shoes for my granddaughter.

    • JDmom

      Many shows will allow either consignor's or those that worked a shift to shop the pre-sale. I do my best to get into the pre-sale so I can snatch up the hand smocked dresses/rompers. In the south, there are usually plenty of these to go around, but because every mom prices her clothes differently, you can be the first to scoop up the nice outfits priced on the lower end.

    • Odessa

      Not sure if this was mentioned but there is a FANTASTIC consignment sale called Just Between Friends (JBF) and they have sales all throughout the U.States. You can check to see if they have one near you by going to http://www.jbfsale.com & click on “Find Event” and look under your state. I have been selling & shopping at this particular consignment sale here in Chattanooga, TN for 5 yrs now & LOVE IT!!! Not only do I make great $$ in selling my kids outgrown clothes, but I find gently used clothes for them as well…check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

    • Anonymous

      My favorite season…consignment season! Went to two tonight! Scored a gorgeous wool PBK rug for my nursery for $50 not to mention other great finds!

      THE BEST TIP I CAN GIVE …use the blue IKEA bags to carry your loot! You can carry a ton, it’s comfy, cheap and heavy duty! No need to do the hamper and belt trick with these babies!

      If you are in the ATL…check out http://www.atlantaparent.com for a great list of the sales. I finished early at my first stop tonight and had a while before my daddy curfew and was able to hit another sale thanks to the list.

    • After I pick up everything I want, I take a seat in the corner and go over every piece. I do not want to pay and get home and have a button missing, a zipper that won't zip, a tear, or a stain. It is well worth your time to go over the items before you purchase.

    • Kat12345

      I have two tips in addition. Come to the sell with a game plan, as in toys, shoes, clothes. There is such a huge selection of clothes that I go there last and get the great deals on shoes & toys. The other tip is volunteer to work if you are selling. You get the earliest possible shopping time before the public and get some really great deals!!

    • Shaire

      Golden Isles Kids Consignment Sale in Brunswick, GA
      google us! Our sale is Sept 30 – Oct 2

      • Shaire

        P.S. Jenny – love this article – added a link to our consignment sale Facebook page!!!

    • GeorgesMom

      A couple of helpful hints…1) be prepared to be handsfree (have a fanny pack or lightweight purse that won't keep falling off your shoulder). 2)most consignment sales have a 1/2 off day on the last day of the sale. It is usually up to the individual consignor on whether they will take 1/2 off and it will be marked on the price tag. A piece of clothing that wasn't such a great deal at $5 yesterday may look a whole lot better at $2.50 today!

    • Deb

      I have 2 children and consign my clothes in these sales twice a year – however I don't purchase much if anything at all from these sales. I agree with some of the other posts – in regard to the fact that you can buy brand new items at clearance sales or at stores such as Gymboree, The Childrens Place etc. for less then you can at these sales. clothes are all too often over priced at these sales. I myself shop a great deal at Gymboree and utilize the big discounts during their big red ballon sales and combine coupons with sale items and then earn gymbucks for future purchases. During gymbucks redemtion time – I only buy clearance merchandise. I can wind up getting a lot of items for under 3.00 each. Becau Gymboree is a respected brand – I can easily sell the items at a consigment sale (usually for more then I paid) and actually make a profit. I have been doing this for years and don't actually pay for any clothes anymore – I just roll over (from season to season) what I make at each sale. If you are going to shop these sales – I suggest waiting until the last couple of days when items get discounted – this is when you really get thet good deals. Also – because each individual consignor is setting their own prices – often times the pricing can be inflated. Just be careful and check each item prior to purchase – all sales are final.

    • DianaY19

      Teen/Womens sale Oct. 9th in Charlotte, NC. http://www.ucumc.org Click on serve tab. check us out. Our chilrens sale is always the 1st weekend in March and the 2nd weekend in August.

    • me

      I completely agree. I shop at gymboree & JC Penneys,etc. & most always can pay less & then resell.Usually do to I buy a year ahead.It has always worked out so far.As my girls get older it is a little harder as they get pickier @ thier clothes.I have always found that when I go shopping in August those outfits cannot even be worn until usually October when the weather changes & just by waiting 4-6 weeks and going back with coupons & they are marked down 30-40% (especially Gymboree) I can save aprox. 60 %+.So even though she wants to help pick her clothes now,this makes a big difference on our OOP.It took me a few years to learn this with my oldest daughter (the hard way).Also I never buy the first time at the store, I always wait.This way I don't impulse buy.Most of the time when I end up back to the store I rarely buy that item. If I do then it was something I or she really wanted.This has saved alot of money over the years,along with reselling the clothes you really can about break even.

    • Pam

      I agree that you can buy new TCP and Gymboree on sale for less than you can find at consignment sales – but when you can find a $5 Hanna Andersson dress or $3 Stride Rite shoes – Yeah!!

    • frances

      When my daughter became a “tween” and preferred to have more say in the clothes she wore, I found it helpful to have her come to the consignment sale with me. My hint: have her wear a modest bathing suit under her clothes in case she needed to try somethings on in the store. Our consignment sale did not have fitting rooms.

    • Melody

      You can go to the website below and look for consignment sales by state and region;

      http://www.kidsconsignmentsales.com

    • Amysek415

      In addition to knowing clothing sizes, for the little ones I do research on age-appropriate toys. Since most consignors don't include the original box with the suggested age range, I research the websites of toy manufacturers ahead of time. I bring the pictures and descriptions with me so if I can't find the exact item, I can find something that does the same thing for his development.

    • The Donelson Christian Academy consignment sale is next week in Nashville, TN and it is AWESOME!! Link for hours of sale: http://dcanet.org/uploaded/PTO/salehours.pdf

    • Laurie

      I own a women's and kids' consignment sale (with a partner). These tips are all really great. Several things I do when shopping:

      1. Go through what they have, what they need, and what they want. Make a very inclusive list. It is definitely worth the time.
      2. Measure your kids in advance . . . inseam, waist size, arm length, etc. Because even if you know your chld wears a 7 Gap, the item you are looking at may have been altered, shurnk, etc.
      3. Make your selection, and definitely go to a corner with good lighting and inspect it thoroughly. As a sale owner, we look over every item as well as we can, but sometimes we miss something.
      4. If you have something in particular you are looking for, let the owners know! We are usually pretty familiar with what we've gotten. I have a day care customer who calls me before the sale even starts to tell me her wish list.

    • Kyladyslipper

      Love this article and the advice about the tape measure. I live in a small town and the big consignment sales are 1-2 hrs away BUT I have three small consignment stores in my town and a goodwill. The trick is finding clothes that aren't too worn looking. I visit them once a month and keep a list of what I need for my three kids.

    • luiza

      Check out Charlestonrepeats.com if you live in the low country area for a great opportunity to find great items as well as sell.

    • Lane

      If you are in the Columbia area, Tickled Twice is having their kids' consignment sale now through tomorrow. Tomorrow is theit 1/2 price sale (some items are excluded). They are open from 9-5. I found lots of great things!

    • snppmommy

      Madison Alabama Consignment Sale Tots2Teens. Has everything including adult and household items. 9/9-9/19. tots2teensalabama/dot/weebly/dot/com. Also of facebook look for tots teens.

    • Zombiemommy

      I just wrote about 3 sales in Marietta, GA tomorrow, Saturday! What a coincidence!

      http://zombiemommysaves.blogspot.com/2010/08/ne

    • Dvsmith63

      The Pass It On Sale in AIken, SC will be held Sept.17 & 18. This is a HUGE sale – this one will be my 28th sale I've done (2 a year for 14 years!) – Wouldn't miss this one for the world – Lots of people drive from Columbia, Augusta and all around. You can visit the website http://www.passitonaiken.com to find info on shopping, consigning or volunteering.

    • Skr6776

      I am a veteran consignment shopper and would offer 2 more suggestions. One, if you volunteer to work at the sale you usually get to shop early as “payment” for your time and can avoid long lines as well as the crowded first day. Two, as I am looking through the racks, I have a $5.00 and under mentality. Things get a lot cuter if they are less than $5.00! Plus, if you are primarily looking for play clothes, you can get new things on sale at Target, Walmart, and Kohls for $7.00 and under.

    • I don't have any shopping tips, but I would like to put a plug in for the volunteers. I would encourage you to thank a volunteer for helping. It encourages them and keeps them coming back to help, which in turn keeps all of these wonderful events around. Consignment sales are fundamental in helping their communities and the families that attend them stay within their budgets. Volunteers work diligently and tirelessly to ensure that the sales run smoothly, are organized and easy to shop. If you are interested in starting a consignment sale in your area visit http://www.consignamania.com

    • I never knew there could be so much to shopping consignment. I especially love the idea of taking your child's measurements. I always think sizes are pretty universal, but you never know. Also, the tip with the belt and the basket…I about laughed so hard, but it makes total sense if I have to go through all the clothes and then hold them too, yet alone if I have to access my measurements. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips!