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consignment

It’s my favorite time of the year, Consignment sale season!!  You will find awesome sales all over the country almost every weekend for the next few months.  For parents this is stock up time on all your summer needs.

I have been a consignment sale girl ever since I helped run a local sale through our Mother’s of Twins club.  When I first started though I had no clue what I was doing and would come home with a ton of things we didn’t need just because in the moment they looked cute or I thought they would fit.

For anyone that is going to venture out to sales this season here are some of my top tips for shopping, saving and keeping your sanity at a consignment sale.

  • 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. You’ll 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.)

Get Started Now::
The spring consignment sale season is upon us and great sales are popping up every weekend.

My all time favorite sale is this weekend! If you are in the midlands of South Carolina we can have a shopping party. It’s The M.O.M. Sale a non-profit consignment sale put on by the Greater Columbia Area Mother’s of Twins Club (of which I’m a proud card carrying member). Everything starts Saturday (3/17) at 7 am, get more details and directions here.

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

    • cvslady

      Thanks, Jenny :)

    • Lindsay

      I always try to take someone with me.  They are able to look over what I have picked out and see the imperfections I didnt see that I am not willing to pay for.

    • Donnalynn316

      Check out thebargainwatcher.com.  Its a great website to find out what sales are in your area & also gives you a link the individual sale website for more information.

    • bits

      Look up a size – clothing shrinks!

      Also, as a mother of 2 boys, I got always had both black dress pants and khakis in today’s size and in a size bigger than they wear…they always need both for at least one school function a year and never tell you they need them until the last minute!

    • Azwildcat2001

      We just had one here, I got a bunch of clothes for my LO for about 2 bucks a piece. most of it was like new! Only thing is I thought I’d be good for a bit, he’s in the middle of a crazy growth spurt and will probably only spend a very short time in this size. :(

      • teach

        Then you can always become a consigner and resell them when he grows out of them:-)

    • TracyMichele

      The only thing I would add about the for-profit and non-profit is that the for-profit sales are generally more selective in the quality of items they allow into the sale. While at non-profit sales you can find some lower prices, the quality isn’t always great – at least that’s what I have found in my area. Just something to keep in mind when shopping both these options.

    • generally consigners get to shop before non-consigners – and people who work the sales often get to shop earlier!  If you are serious about it — be a part of it and you’ll know where ALL the best deals are!

      • Ilovewdw

        I was going to suggest the very same thing….the best bargains I’ve gotten is when I worked the sale and got to shop first…with less people looking at the same time….so you don’t feel as rushed.

        I also come back if theyhave half price sale day….never know what you might find real cheap that can be upcycled (I sew and fabric is high) or just makes good for play in the mud clothes. I tend to buy a lot of books 1/2 price they don’t sell as well used.

    • Catherine

      If I’m looking for a specific toy, or larger item, I often look it up to see how it’s priced new on Amazon.com, and set a price in my mind that I’d be willing to pay for it.  Because there are some things that I have compromised on.. like an Exersaucer that had a couple of pieces missing for super cheap rather than a perfect one that was priced significantly higher.  There are also percent off days that are awesome to go to.

    • Southernbelle1861

      Make sure you thoroughly check out the pants in pant/shirt sets. I just bought two pajama sets and only looked at the tops since the pants were underneath on the hanger. On one set, the pants were a completely different size and the elastic was shot. On the other set, the bottoms had a hole in it. I was not a happy camper! Overall, though, I’ve had a lot of luck with the sales. 

    • KPM

      I went to a great consignment sale this past weekend called Wee-Runs and got my son everything he needed for the summer of just $57 and the clothing was in excellent condition and were all big name brands.

      • Vankirkstacey

        I went to Wee Runs too. I love it :)

    • britters

      Love consignment sales. I just proudly dropped off 150 items. That means I’m allowed to go ahead and pick up 150 more, right?
       :p

      • mommyof1

        so funny!   we just donated a ton of clothes (and have 3 more bags to drop off this weekend!) to a local thrift store ..  this means more room in the closet for new spring/summer clothes! hehe 

    • Kwikqs

      Do any of u know of any sales in the wilmington or myrtle beach area? Thanks for your help.

      • britters

        Theres one in Florence on Saturday.

      • wilmMOM

        you’re just in time…starts tomorrow morning :)
        http://kidsexchange.net/wilmingtonnc/

      • NancyB

        kidsexchange.net/wilmingtonnc

        I love the one they have in Raleigh every year….should be a good event!  Good luck

      • BargainBabyG

        Check out ConsignmentMommies.com…They usually have a comprehensive list of all sales just by typing in zipcode =)

      • mamabelbel

        There was just one in Wilmington last week.  I think the Cape Fear Mothers of Twins sale is coming up very soon in Wilmington.  They have a website you can check out.  Think it might be March or April but can’t remember.  Sure there are others out there. 

    • Julie A.

       I’m actually going to a consignment sale on Saturday so article is perfect timing. I usually have more success with yard sales, but I’m going to try to go to a few consignment sales this year and follow your tips. thanks Jenny!

    • Savyredhead

      Just in case you are in Spartanburg area there is Switcharoos that starts on Friday and runs through Sunday 1/2 price day is Sunday.  Good luck everyone—we all need bargains.

    • Kristen

      Our big Spring consignment sale starts this weekend – perfect timing!  Our sale suggests taking an index card and tracing your child’s foot on it for variation in shoe sizes.  On that same card, punch a hole and attach a ribbon  the length of your child’s arm and/or leg.  Helps with off-brand sizing!

      • Katie Hedges

         I do the foot trace too! Only I do it on cardboard and cut it out. That way I can slip it in shoes or boots.

    • Stephany

      Great tips thanks!!!  Love the measuring tape idea!!  Consignment sale season is my favorite time of year too!!  I get the biggest thrill over getting such great quality stuff for dirt cheap.  I always take a stroller to load my stuff on.  Helps when pushing through the crowd too. :)  I took my double stroller &  2 kids last time, 3 weeks old & 2 years old, would NOT recommend that.  This time I plan to shop alone. :)

    • Nicole

      Great tips!  In the deep south, our spring/summer sales are sometime between late January to mid February.  Heck, it’s already 84 degrees here by mid March. :-)

    • Celeste

      Don’t take kids with you!  It makes it take twice as long, not just because of their interest (or non-interest) in being there, but also makes the aisles harder to get in and out of with an entourage!

    • Ctomblin

      Triangle Mothers of Twins & Triplets is a non-profit and will be having their sale at the Fairgrounds in Raleigh on March 24th at 7:30 am.  if you’re in the Raleigh area, this is one of the best consignments sales around.

      • Dpbarney

         This is a great sale!  I never miss it! :)

    • Jkeels

      Yes!!! The Spartanburg Switcharoos sale is this weekend at the Memorial auditorium and they have TONS of awesome things!! Lots of things are new with tags or look brand new! Don’t miss this one!

    • Kristin

      Bring a snack and some water with you too!

    • Jbpersson

      Consignment sales aren’t just for little kids. The Teens Going Green sale (www.teensgoinggreen.com) in Cary, NC caters to the tween/teen market that many other sales neglect…

    • Bethpark888

      Great tips. I’m going to a sale tonight. I also grab my first instinct items. Then when I have make it through the racks, I regroup and hold up each item and ask myself “Will she wear this?” “Does he need this?” “Is the price worth it?” I usually eliminate about half of my stack (and I do put it back in the appropriate section!)  Don’t overlook shoes, either. I’ve founds boots, Crocs, Keds and other great brands for dirt cheap.

    • Shoppersave

      I dont shop in those stores too much ( but I do like to donate thu) because in my area sometimes jcpenny is cheaper believe or not. two days ago by the way jcp i found a lot of clothes marked 2 dollars a piece  for girls size 2 to 16 pijamas and other stuff and for 18 months and younger 1 dollar a piece so why buy old and sometimes  the price is 4 dollars or more( in my area) when you can buy a brand new and save it for the next year .thats what I do!!! 

      • mommyof1

        i agree with those saying to check prices. Everytime i have been in a consignment or thrift store, i find clearance prices at major retailers to be LESS!  =)  good luck to all of yall hitting the sales! i might try some new (to me) stores around my area anyways.

    • Sonjaml_1999

      Go in with knowledge of actual retail prices of items. You don’t want to buy something used at a consignment sale for $5 when you know you can buy that same item on-line or on clearance somewhere for the same price or LESS.  With so many on-line discount shopping codes and free shipping now days, you need to be careful not to pay too much for the used items. My favorite thing at consignment sales is finding the items still with the tags on them for killer cheap prices.

    • Zstankard

      M.O.M sale Chapel Hill/Durham, NC  (of which I’m a proud member) consignment sale  starts Saturday (3/17) at 7 am at Yates Baptist church in Durham!

    • Justlisa26

      Anything in central florida?

      • cm

        there is one that starts tomorrow in altamonte called just between friends.  $2.00 to get in…

      • zumnsi

        Boutique for a Week next week in Casselberry

    • lisbeth

      In my area, most pop up consignments sell things half off the last day, I like to pick up play clothes (t shirts and gym shorts) for super cheap!  Also found some more expensive baby equipment for cheap that way.

    • Kplara1

      Just shopped Weecycle in Greenville, TD center. Going on this weekend, 1/2 off day Sunday. Got 15 outfits for $55.00. Also got some leapster games for $3.00. Fun times. Checkout was so easy and went smoothly. Plan to go back again.

    • Sarah

      If you are looking for shoes- be sure to look at the BOTTOM of the shoes- at the tread. I’ve been misled more than once with shoes that looked almost new and clean but once I flipped them over the tread is nearly gone and that makes them wear out quicker or even slippery on some surfaces (esp in rain).  I’ve found nearly new and new stride rites for $10 or less, but be sure to check the tread on the bottom.

    • Lrmiller777

      Any sales soon near Marietta/Kennesaw or Conyers/Covington GA areas? Thanks in advance!

      • Flamingolady

        wildwood baptist church wade green rd acworth

      • Mer30080

        Kindermart in Smyrna on Friday and Saturday. 

      • LauraE

        Check out http://www.thebargainwatcher.com for a list of sales in your area.  Georgia has a ton!

      • Acdeb5

        munchkinsmarket.com  covington mar 24

      • Acdeb5

        munkinmarket cons sale in covington on mar 24

    • Olivia_clair

      If you want to find some consignment sales in your area, go to http://www.consignmentmommies.com and you can search by region to make it eaiser.

    • Know the consignment sale! Most will offer early shopping for volunteers or contributors. Also if it is a HUGE sale, wait for the 50% off days to shop (if you only need clothing). It’s more crowded, but actually easier to shop because some of the selection has been weeded out, plus prices are lower. If the sale is large enough there will be PLENTY to choose from.  This year we are shopping twice – once at the contributors pre-sale, where I can get the nicest clothing (and best priced) and then again with the whole family on 50% off day where i’ll get tshirts and jeans and things like that which are always in abundance!

    • Christy

      Two things I like to do:

      (1) Shop the 50% off day (usually the last day of the sale).
      (2) Check out the Thrift store after the consignment sale has ended.  I did this by chance one time and and found clothes with the consignment sale tags still on them for a fraction of that price.

    • Peg

      Jenny, this has nothing to do with consignment sales but just wanted to say thanks for a simple but great idea about the laundry basket. My mom is on a walker and even her occupational therapist didn’t come up with this great idea how to get her laundry basket from the washing machine to her bedroom.  Thanks again!

    • Sally

      A good site to look for sales is  http://consignmentmommies.com/SeasonalSales. I hit 4 sales last weekend, only 1 had stuff I wanted. But you never know. Got crib sheets for a $1 each. Got a car seat carrier stroller for 14 bucks. I will use it for the limited time I need it and resell it later probably for the same price. But you don’t use them long enough to justify paying 80 – 100 bucks for them. Got all my son’s bikes there, I get the next size then consign the last size.

      I will be at a sale at 5pm tonight for the volunteers. And if you consign, try to consign at 2 or 3 sales. That way your clothes are in more places so more sell. Its way better than a yard sale.

      I love consignment sales. My cousin got a bag full of clothes and toys at Christmas from the sales for her infant. I still paid less than others did for her toys + got lots of things for her to wear. I had so much I made my mom a bag for her too.

    • LauraE

      Check out http://www.thebargainwatcher.com for a list of sales in your area.  If you have a specific item that you are really interested in getting, figure out how to get in early (consign a few things, or volunteer for a shift) so you can get in first.  Check for defects like holes and stains in a well lit area.  Most of these sales are large room or gym where teh lighting isn’t great.  Take your pile of potential items into a place where you can really examine and sort through them.  I agree with waiting till half price day for clothes.  You can still get a great selection.

    • Tracy Lee

      I like the measuring tape idea.  But lately I have been taking a pair of pants/leggings & shirt that I know fit my girls with me – I mark them with our name so they know they are part of the sale & safety pin them together.  That way I can just hold up my clothing to the sale stuff & know for sure if it will fit.  The whole sizing things DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!  Plus my girls are long torso’d.  It has really cut down on the wrong size purchases.

      Dbl check size on clothing vs. size on tag – often they do not match.  Same with outfits – often the top & bottom will be different sizes whether because (like my girls) they wear a different top size than bottom or the seller made an error.  REALLY dbl check shoes – that both are same size and that tag matches bag.

      Also – many sales will let volunteers shop early.  This is the ONLY way I shop.  The one at my church has levels – 14+ hours and you get to shop the day before at 3pm, then depending on hours volunteered one can shop at 4pm, 5pm and then consignors at 6pm.  My hubby helps with set up and tear down so right there I am almost at my 14 hours.  It is so much easier, faster, and you get the best choice on items and less crazy.  And the sales always need the help.

      IKEA bags are awesome for sales.  

      • Melissa Diskin

        YES to the IKEA bag! (if you don’t know, it’s those blue bags you can get at IKEA, sort of plasticky woven ones with big handles.) Seems like they hold everything and then some. Much easier to carry than a laundry basket in some cases. I put smaller cloth shopping bags inside that one in case I want to separate clothes or throw a toy in, or put my larger full bag down somewhere safe and shop with a smaller one.

    • Chickens, Cows & Children

      I’ve been shopping consignment sale for nearly a decade now.  At the larger sales the biggest thing to remember is if you think you like something grab it when you see it because it won’t be there on a 2nd trip through the rack.  Plan to grab lots of stuff and then weed through your pile once you’ve hit all the areas you needed.  I’ve blogged several times about consigning and shopping at sales on my blog.

    • Diana

      I live in Port St. Lucie Florida. Where would I find a good consignment to shop at? Thank!

      • Amy L.

        consignmentmommies.com is an awesome way to locate consignment sales. All you do is select your state and all the consignment sales in the state are listed. Most have the information listed on the site, if not a link to the website is given so you can find pretty much everything you are looking for. Hope that helps and good luck!

    • Psbuwalda

      I’ve shopped, sold and worked sonsignment sales for the past 11 years.  One thing I didn’t see mentioned is to look over each item carefully.  We are all human and can miss spots and tears; whether you are tagging your stuff or checking in stuff.  If you want it just for play, then it doesn’t matter, but if you are looking for an Easter dress, then you might not want a spot on it.  Definitely graba anything you are interested in and then go back and decide what you really are buying.  Here’s the big one, out of consideration to the seller if the sale does not have go back racks please return the items to the correct size.

    • Psbuwalda

      I’ve shopped, sold and worked sonsignment sales for the past 11 years.  One thing I didn’t see mentioned is to look over each item carefully.  We are all human and can miss spots and tears; whether you are tagging your stuff or checking in stuff.  If you want it just for play, then it doesn’t matter, but if you are looking for an Easter dress, then you might not want a spot on it.  Definitely graba anything you are interested in and then go back and decide what you really are buying.  Here’s the big one, out of consideration to the seller if the sale does not have go back racks please return the items to the correct size.

    • Always_3xa_lady

      take the clothes closer to the windows and you can see faint stains.

    • Our church has two huge consignment sales each year.  Two things I learned are that if you volunteer to work the sale you get to shop earlier than the regular customers, so nothing has been picked over yet.  Also, you get an idea of how things are priced at that particular sale and what the overall quality of goods in that organization’s sales are.  -Not all consignment sales are created equal.  

    • Gamblesonsfarms

      MommyMart in Greenhill, AL starts Saturday morning!!! 

    • Leigh

      Someone may have already said this – but always check snaps and zippers to make sure they work!  I both consign and shop the sales – I try to make sure my things are in good condition but as stated, sometimes we miss something.  Also – if you do have to bring children to the sale – please don’t let them play with toys you don’t intend to buy – They can break them or get things dirty and then the consignor is the one who loses.   

    • Lauren

      Winchester Tennessee has a huge sale really soon. drop off starts sunday and the sale starts next saturday. http://marketplaceconsignment.com/ they are also on facebook.

    • Brassssy

      I bring my stroller with stroller hooks for the big terms. With toys, I use my smartphone to check online prices and reviews. I also make a point to turn the toy on and play with it to make sure it works. If the batteries are dead, I put it back.

      • April

        A lot of the consignment sales in my area won’t allow strollers. Just want to put that out there so people will know to check with their local sales before bringing one. Or have a basket on hand just in case.

    • April

      A few things I’ve learned:

      1. Any laundry basket will do, but I prefer the tall taller type. I don’t have to worry about a belt anymore and simply pull it by the handle. It also allows for clothes to hang from the top edge without dragging the floor. If an item is too big/wide to fit inside, I get the folks to put my name on it and stick it in the hold section (which most sales have for bulky items and furniture). I also bring a large, canvas shopping bag to put lightweight items in and carry it over my shoulder.

      2. Instead of dealing with a purse, I use a small, zippered  cosmetic bag that has a carabiner clip on one side, so that I can hook it to the inside of my basket while I shop. It keeps my money, a few Kleenex, gum and cell-phone secure, without letting the bag end up at the bottom of the basket. You have to be careful of it once the basket gets full, but it’s not a biggie. 

      3. Eat before you go! If possible, bring a tiny bottle of water with you. Particularly if it’s in a place without water fountains. If the sale isn’t huge, you can skip bringing it, but the BIG sales will wear you out! LOL

      4. Make use of your smart phone. I see items all the time at these sales that I have either never heard of, never seen, or the BRAND is new to me. I love being able to look those items up to see whether they’re priced to sell. I use my phone to look up the going rate of everyday toys/clothes, too. Not just the rare stuff. Even more importantly, I have used it numerous times to simply check out ratings on Amazon, etc.  Who wants to buy something that has an average rating of 1 out of 5 stars? Cheap or not, I ain’t buyin’ it!
      :-)

    • JR

      Those are all great ideas. If you are looking for a great sale in Canton, GA shop the Hide and Seek sale at Mt. Zion Baptist Church(4096 East Cherokee Drive) March 23 9-1 and 5-7PM and March 24 9-2. Some items are half price Sat:)

    • Katie Hedges

       I consign & shop at the Wee-Sale Consignment sale in Annapolis, MD. It’s next weekend – see http://www.weesale.com. I also shop the Annapolis Mothers of Multiple sale, April 14th this year – see http://annapolismoms.org/Moms_Club/Yard_Sale.html. For me, the best part of consigning are a) someone else gets to love the clothes I love but my kids can’t wear anymore, b) it makes me feel like I am doing my part for the environment by reusing, c) I get all my kids’ clothing, equipment, shoe, toys, birthday, Christmas needs done in two days, and d) last time I made almost as much as I spent! Love, love, love it!

    • Acdeb5

      consignmentmommies.com will list all states, and then breaks down into zip code,miles, and exact weekends.

      must check out!!

    • Amreid

      Learned the hard way. Double check that all pieces of clothing (individual or as a set) are the size that is stated on the tag.

    • Lylazparker

      For all of those looking for sales, try the Bargain Watcher website.  It’s the best way to find out about all the sales in your area. 
      Shop with detailed list of what you are looking for.  Also, when you are done shopping for your child’s sizes, look the next size up.  They will be in that size eventually and I have found lots of great things without the pressure of needing to buy yet. 

    • Sam

      Winchester, Tennessee has a large one the sale starts march 24th. marketplaceconsignment.com

    • Ttomison2

      If you’re in the Greenwood, SC area. Grace Children’s & Teen Consignment Sale is going on now thru Sat. They are at Grace Community Church at 1611 Woodlawn Rd. Saturday is 1/2 price day. Facebook: Grace Consignment Sale 

      • guest

         My pointer… check in the opposite sex size clothing for your child. Some things may be considered unisex or could be that the volunteer putting out the item couldn’t tell whether item was girl’s or boy’s.

    • Jen

      If your in Colorado this Saturday the 17th, checkout the MOPS Consignment sale at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch!! It’s huge!

    • teach

      TOTTRADE is a AWESOME consignment sale that starts Tuesady March 20th at Jamil Temple in West Columbia SC..they sell only the best all clothing are inspected and this year is they are celebrating their 15 year birthday so they are having their biggest sale ever!!!

    • Ctrinkle

      Charlotte area Moms – The Weddington United Methodist Church Consignment Sale is this Saturday, March 17th starting at 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..  Half price is from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.  Or pay $15 to shop Friday, March 16th from 5:30  to 8:30 p.m. Please come join us! 

    • Melissa

      Anything in the Jacksonville, FL area?

    • memphis, tn

      We have three Rhea Lana’s events in our area – within 30 minutes of me! Love them – everything – quality, prices, friendliness, consigning is easy… the list goes on. They are the only sale I shop & consign b/c of experience!! These are great tips too! Thanks! Memphis, TN