Consignment sales offer a great way to save money on kids’ clothes, toys, nursery items and maternity wear, and they’re springing up all over the country. Seasonal consignment sales are increasingly popular as a way to replenish the kids’ closets with gently used, good quality children’s clothes for the new season, without paying full price for items the youngsters will quickly outgrow. If you’re looking for back-to-school clothes, more than 50 consignment sales are scheduled throughout the country this weekend, Aug. 9-12.
Moms-to-be can find baby gear at a fraction of the retail cost, from strollers, car seats, high chairs and cribs, to kids’ furniture for the nursery, as well as maternity clothes that (let’s face it) will only ever have been worn for a few months. And who wants to splurge on new maternity wear when you’re busy saving money for baby’s arrival?
Children’s consignment sales (no, you can’t consign the kids, but you can pick up a bargain) also fit the green living trend — recycling perfectly good clothes within the community and reducing our use of resources. Once upon a time, it was the norm for kids to wear hand-me-downs from siblings, extended family and friends, but with today’s smaller families and urban communities, it’s a bit trickier to connect with the neighbors who have the stuff you want. The consignment sales make it easy in a one-stop shopping event, usually over a weekend, and these sales are often massive!
According to ConsignmentMommies.com, a resource to find children’s consignment sales in your area, more than 9 million children’s clothing items and shoes found a new home in consignment sales in 2011. The most popular purchases included shoes, outdoor toys and playhouses, and baby gear.
In addition to shopping the sales to save money, moms can make money by becoming vendors. Each sale has its own system, but in general you consign your goods in advance, and take home a percentage of the sale price. It’s a lot easier (and more fun) than hosting a garage sale, and you don’t have to invite strangers to your home. It’s also a friendlier, more community-oriented alternative to selling through online sites such as eBay, saving any bother with listing and shipping items.
Clothes should be clean and in good condition, and often items are new or barely used (think of that toy a child looked at twice but never played with). And when shopping for kids’ costumes and dress-up gear, it’s a no-brainer. Some sales also include general household goods, electronics, CDs, DVDs and books. At the end of the sales, there is often a clearance with remaining items sold off at half price or even steeper discounts.
Admission prices vary but generally range from FREE admission to a few dollars, and some sales offer coupons with admission discounts. Expect to pay a little more to attend a presale event, but then you have first pick of the bargains, which can save dollars in the long run. New or expectant moms or military moms often receive a price break or can register FREE for special presales, and volunteers who help out at an event also benefit from FREE admission or presales.
You can also check out our other tips for clothing your kids without busting your budget.