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Tips for Shopping Kids Consignment Sales

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 for your cold weather 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 kids’ consignment sales, as well as how not to lose your sanity! I’ve also included a few pointers on how to navigate consignment sales during coronavirus.

Tips for Shopping Kids’ Consignment Sales

Have time to spare

Slow down and really look; don’t just fly through the racks. Since there typically aren’t large amounts of one item, there are a lot of items to choose from.

Go alone

I have found much better success when not taking my kids with me. Not only does it keep them from being tempted to drift toward all the inexpensive toys and games, but you might be able to pick up Christmas or birthday gifts for your kids if you’re alone!

Wear the right shoes

This is a simple tip, but often overlooked.

Know what you need

Go through your kids’ drawers the day before and make a detailed list. Make sure you 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 size 6, for example. 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. 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 items in great condition, but they get great deals! Note: In order to allow for social distancing, some sales are requiring you to sign up for a slot to shop, so make sure you know when you can first sign up to get a good slot.

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). An empty stroller also works!

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 time consignment sales have way more shoppers than volunteers, so be patient and kind.  Many are planning to limit the number of shoppers at one time, so this will add to the lines I imagine.

Do a little research on the sale

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. The moms 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!)  Non-Profit sales are typically run by local support groups, and churches.

Volunteer to help with the sale

Many sales reward volunteers with either a higher percentage of their commission and/or allow volunteers to shop before everyone else. Especially if your sale is limiting shoppers this fall, this might be the best way to have first pick at the best items.

Do you have any big tips for shopping consignment sales? Let us know in the comments!

Wanting to make some money selling at consignment sales? Check out these 11 shopping tips!

For anyone that is going to venture out to consignment sales this season here are some of my top tips for shopping kids consignment sales!