My best tips to help you save money and shop strategically at your next kid’s consignment sale! No need to feel overwhelmed. With a little planning, you can get the best deals without a lot of hassle!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Just Between Friends Lower Bucks. All opinions are my own.
My son who is now 9, was just a little guy when I shopped my first consignment sale years ago. I was so excited, because I love a good deal, but I remember so well how quickly my excitement turned to overwhelm!
And while I did find some good buys, I ended up leaving that sale discouraged and uncertain that I would ever shop a consignment sale again!
I had totally underestimated just how much stuff would be at a consignment sale. I mean there are literally racks upon racks of clothing.
And then, of course, you have the tables full of shoes, toys, books, baby gear and lots more! Combine that will many other moms and grandparents out trying to find a good deal too and you have a busy, full sales floor!
So even though the consignment sale itself was well organized and the items were nicely categorized by sizes etc., the combination of everything was just overwhelming to me and I felt unsure how to shop the sale well and make the most of it.
Thankfully, I changed my mind and decided to give consignment sales another try! But, that first time taught me some important things and since then, I’ve always shopped kid’s consignment sales with some preparation and a plan of action.
And those two things have made an incredible difference!
Let me explain more!
How to Shop Kid’s Consignment Sales like a Pro
1. Create a Detailed Shopping List
Before I shop, I always look through my kid’s clothes and figure out exactly what they need and then I make a detailed list for each child.
For example, my list for my son will note that he needs 3 pairs of good jeans, 2 pairs of jeans for playing at home, 3 short sleeve t-shirts, 1 Sunday dress shirt for the summer and one for fall/winter and 1 pair of dress pants.
You might even want to note which items are most crucial to find so that you can prioritize your shopping successfully. (See #4 below.)
Pro Tip: It’s good to also think about what clothes your kids might need for the next season as well as upcoming special occasions/holidays. And don’t forget all the toys, games and gear! Check out this checklist of items that will help you save money as you prep for summer!
2. Get Your Child’s Measurements
The same size in different brands can vary quite a bit and there’s nothing more frustrating than buying a piece of clothing that you love, only to realize that it doesn’t fit- and of course, with a consignment sale, you can’t return it!
The easy fix for this is to simply get specific measurements of each child (arm, inseam, length) and jot them down on your shopping list. A friend also recently suggested tracing around your child’s foot and taking that tracing along to make sure shoes will fit well too!
Pro Tip: Make sure you put a measuring tape in your purse before you leave to shop, otherwise all your measuring will be pointless! 🙂
3. Go Without the Kids
Trust me, sorting through racks of clothing in a crowded space with lots of other people is just a million times easier if you don’t have little kids to worry about too!
4. Take Along a Laundry Basket|Large Bag
This was something I hadn’t thought about the first time I went, but it sure makes things easier if you take along something to put your purchases in as you shop. Many people like to take a laundry basket (you can even attach a leash to make dragging it around easier) or a large reusable tote.
I’ve even seen people use wagons or empty strollers as their shopping carts. Basically, anything will work…you just want to go prepared!
5. Go Early
The earlier you can shop a sale, the more chance you have of being able to find amazing deals and the things you really want. In fact, I know a lot of people that have become regular volunteers at consignment sales just because it gives them access to pre-sale shopping and they can save so much more money as a result. Also, if you consign, you typically can get into the pre-sale event as well, so that’s always a good incentive to declutter
6. Prioritize Your Shopping
At the sale, start out by looking for the items you need the most first, that way you have more chance of being successful and finding your most needed items before someone else does! 🙂
Pro Tip: It seems like there is typically way more girl’s clothing than boys, so if you are shopping for both, it might be good to start looking for your boy’s stuff first. Also, big play items and toys like Legos usually sell quickly too, so if you are wanting those, keep that in mind.
7. Grab Potential Options and Sort Later
Like I mentioned earlier, the huge selection of clothing can be so overwhelming! I’ve found that it works best to just collect anything that I think I might want to buy and then sort through it all later. This helps me shop more efficiently and just make wiser shopping decisions all around!
8. Sort Your Purchases
When I’m finished looking for clothes and other items, I find a quiet corner and sort everything. I like to first put everything in piles by size. Then I work through the stacks and make sure that each item will fit, using the measurements that I took as I talked about in #2 above.
Once I have that taken care of, I go through each pile again and divide them into a “Like” stack and a “Love” stack and then refer to my shopping list and figure out which items to keep and which to leave for someone else.
Pro Tip: Before keeping an item to buy, look it over very thoroughly. This is used clothing and equipment, which means there may be things that you don’t notice at first glance. Does the zipper work? Are all the buttons there? Are there any holes, tears or stains?