This weekend I discovered the consignment sale. It was good, let me tell you – silly good.
Why shop consignment sales? My reasons are:
- To save money on children’s items that will be used for a short time
- To reduce the environmental impact of creating more goods for purchase when we have an abundance already
- To help the local economy and families by buying stuff from local consignors
I have been to Paddington Station in town, but this weekend I went to the Just Between Friends sale at the Dulles Sportsplex. I got in early on the sale – Friday night – because I was a first time mom. Finally, monetary reward for giving birth! The public sale started on Saturday, and on Sunday everything left was 50 percent off.
When I arrived Friday night at 6:00pm, I was told I could “window shop” until the official entry time of 6:30pm. Holy cow was there a lot of stuff! About a dozen exersaucers, 20 Leap Frog tables, 10 pack-n-plays, and about five long and full racks of clothing sorted by gender and age. There was a section for strollers and one for toys, and even another for Halloween costumes. If I knew now what I knew before being a mom, I would have bought much of my baby goods here. Things were so cheap and barely used!
I had expected it to be frenzy and mayhem, but it was all quite civilized and calm. When it was time to wait in line, I chatted with people around me – both moms and dads – about the sale and what we found. We even helped each other out: the people in front of me were happy to put my stuff in a double stroller they were buying for just $65, so that I didn’t have to carry all my wares.
And just what were my wares? About 15 pairs of pants, five outfits, a Halloween costume, a winter coat, overalls, two dresses, two hats and 10 awesome toys – all for $220. One toy I have seen online for $38 – I paid just $12 and it looked like new!
Here are some tips I learned about shopping a consignment sale:
- Get in early to get the best stuff. You can get in early because you’re a pregnant or new parent, member of the military, volunteer at the sale or a guest of any of the preceding. I registered weeks ago for the sale I went to.
- Only pick up what you intend to buy. Otherwise you spend time sorting and putting things back. It’s also common etiquette at these sales to take only what you will buy.
- Expect to wait in line. It took me an hour to go through the line to pay. Here’s where having a guest with you may come in handy – one can wait in line while the other finishes shopping. I was at the sale a total of three hours.
Apparently fall is consignment sale season. Here are some schedules for upcoming sales:
Happy shopping! And saving!