I used to be a little, um, snobbish maybe when it came to any kind of consignment shopping. Instead, I shopped retail and patted myself on the back for scoring a 30% off coupon or free shipping. Looking back, I must have believed that people tried to pawn off dirty, worn clothing to unsuspecting shoppers who were looking for a bargain. I am happy to say I was so way off base, I wasn’t even in the stadium.
A consignment event (different concept than a consignment store) is 3 days of pure fun! You will walk up and down rows or barely worn adorable boys and girls clothing that is – get this – primarily brand name, in excellent condition and incredibly priced. Incredibly! And tables and shelves will be filled with toys, DVD’s and books. There will be strollers, pack & plays, high chairs and swings. Two floors of this stuff – everything you can think of from tot to tween all organized by size and gender. This is not a rummage sale, oh no my friend.
The ChickenKidz Consignment Event is only held 2x a year, in the Spring and the Fall, for just a few days each. Let’s say you have 3 kids that need clothing and shoes for the upcoming spring holidays, this is a great place to find gorgeous dresses, pants, vests and collared shirts for a mere fraction of the retail price (and probably only worn once). Many Moms shops for their children’s entire spring and summer wardrobe in one weekend.
Consignment events can be overwhelming if you have never been to one. Here are some tips to make your shopping experience a fun one:
- Let your kids play … at home. Sales can get sorta-kinda, intense! Moms are on a mission, there is a lot to see and hold and let’s face it – kids get antsy. It’s not a bad idea to bring them, just not a great idea. If you can, let them bond with Dad or Grandma for a few hours while you run like hell.
- Make a list and check it twice … Trust me, your mind will go blank. List clothing and shoe sizes. Are you looking for an easter dress? How about shoes? Any particular books you know your child will love? Bikes or sporting equipment for the summer? Video games? Make a list of their sizes, their needs and their wants to use as reference. You will forget what you thought you were there for.
- Be Flexible … You will probably see a lot of stuff that you didn’t even think about. This event happens only twice a year and buying ahead is a great way to save money. Think potty training prizes? Rewards? Holiday gifts (kids have no idea it’s not straight from Toys R Us).Gorgeous spring dresses for Easter or Mother’s Day in the next size up? Which brings me to my next tip …
- Love it or Leave it … Be decisive. Don’t buy something just because it’s a fabulous price. If it’s not your taste or your style, walk away. On the other hand, if you love it, grab it. Because if you put it back to “think about it”, it will be gone, sometimes within minutes.
- Be Lean and Mean … ditch the extras. I like to shop with my ID, my credit card and my phone, that’s it (the sale takes cash, Visa, MC and Discover). The sale provides huge Ikea totes to shop with and I hate to be saddled with my own heavy bag on top of it. And along those same lines … come fed and well-hydrated! A hungry stomach is very distracting!
- Shop early, shop often … It’s like Disney World, you will never be able to “see it all” the first time around. Especially since the sales floor will be restocked with merchandise that couldn’t fit on the first day. So shop early to grab those must-haves but pop in again to see what you missed. And then always make time to come back on Sunday for those half-price steals.
- Have fun … It really is a lot of fun. And the best part … playing the “Price is Right” with your family and friends after you get home. Can you believe I got this for $2?? $2!!!!