T-shirts, jeans and pajamas … the cost of clothing those ever-growing children is going to get a little higher. Well, for some moms, at least.
As experts warn of rising retail prices due to limited cotton supplies, increased transportation costs, and general inflation, the nation’s most savvy moms aren’t getting their cotton panties in a wad. Why? They’ve got a little secret ... and boy, is it a good one!
Throughout the US, smart mommies are saving money, going green, and cleaning out their kiddo’s closet with these seasonal consignment sales. And with some moms making hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars each season by recycling their children’s gently used clothing and toys, it’s no wonder that these sales are popping up around the country!
What is a Consignment Sale?
Years ago, groups of moms would gather together and trade their hand-me-downs with each other. Today, there are websites, barcode systems, Twitter feeds, and even seasonal sale franchises to manage the growing network of savvy shoppers. Sales range in size from small church sales with twenty or so sellers, to huge super sales that boast thousands of consignors and warehouses full of gently used clothing and toys.
How Do You Find Sales?
Ask other moms, check out Google, or visit ConsignmentMommies.com, a national directory of consignment sales.
What Are the Secrets to Shopping These Sales?
- Leave the kiddos at home: Many of these sales are like the Boston Marathon of shopping. No one wants a whiny three-year-old to slow you down!
- Volunteer to Get the Good Stuff: At many of these sales, you can volunteer for a shift and then you get in early on the coveted pre-sale ... it’s where you’ll find the really good stuff.
- Come with a List: These sales can definitely be overwhelming—so you want to be prepared with a list of wants and needs. I trace my kiddo’s foot on card stock and then write wants on one side and needs on the other. It’s a great tool for sizing up shoes and keeping me on track!
- Look High, Look Low: As we all know, children’s sizing can be all over the place! Look in the sizes immediately above and below your child’s so you don’t miss something spectacular. I always have “perfect fit” pieces (a cotton top and bottom with perfect length) in my bag to compare against pieces with questionable sizing. You may also want to shop for next season. There may be a stellar deal on a beautiful boutique dress for the perfect price!
- Gather like Crazy, Then Filter: When shopping, I first grab everything that catches my eye. Then, I find a corner and filter my selections. This is where having a buddy is helpful. My mom always brings me back to reality: “Do you really need another pair of khaki pants?” Once you’ve filtered, return your pieces and do another quick sweep to catch what other moms have returned.