Monday, April 18, 2011

5 Tips for Shopping at a Consignment Sale

1. Make a list. Don't go into the consignment sale without a plan. Write down what you need, whether it's Christmas gifts, games, snow boots or sandals. You don't want to forget something important!

2. Write down sizes. If you're like me, you probably remember your kid's clothing sizes. That's pretty easy. But, you may forget their shoe sizes. For some reason, I never remember what size shoes any of my boys wear. Maybe it's because that number changes so frequently. I always write it down before I go to the consignment sale, especially if I'm planning on buying footwear. Even if it's not part of the plan, it's nice to have the number in case I see pair of soccer cleats or some other thing I think we need.

3. Be a seller or a volunteer. At most consignment sales, people who sell get to shop before the sale opens to the public. Likewise with volunteers.  At the sale I participate in, volunteers shop first, then sellers, then the general public. Being a participant is a great way to beat the crowd and find the best stuff!

4. Be prepared with the preferred payment method. Check the consignment sale's website or Facebook page to see what credit/debit cards they accept and whether or not they accept checks or cash. If you're unsure, cash is a safe bet for most sales.

5. Find out the policy on children and strollers. If you've got small children, double check before bringing them along to the sale. Some consignment sales don't allow children on shopping days. If they do allow children, they may not allow strollers. It's typically easier to shop without children anyway, but I have to bring my youngest with me when I shop. That was easy when he would sit in the umbrella stroller. Now that he's  bit older, he doesn't like to sit. However, the stroller makes a handy place to carry merchandise that I want to buy. Due to space considerations and crowds, some sales don't allow strollers. If you are bringing young children along, be sure you can bring your stroller.  

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