Consignment Sale season is upon us! I love this time of year because I can start putting aside a few bucks each pay check to get my children a new wardrobe for the Fall/Winter. And when I say a few bucks, I mean only a few…about $15 a pay period (and my husband only gets paid once a month). By the time the sale rolls around at the end of September, I usually have $30-50 and that is more than enough to buy wardrobes for BOTH children.
This fall, I am planning on selling at one of my favorite consignment sales as well, Best Dressed For Less in Burlington, NJ.
I became a consignment sale connoisseur when David was about a year old. You see, my children are exactly 18mos apart, we are on one income, and my husband only gets paid once a month. We don’t have a ton of money to spend on children’s clothes, and since we were the first of our friends to have children, there were no hand me downs. We were on our own.
If you plan on hitting up the consignment sales this fall, follow a few tips so you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
Leave the children & the stroller at home. Many consignment events do not allow strollers at all during the pre-sale, and some do not allow them during the first day of the public sale. Even if the event that you would like to attend does allow strollers, it is very difficult to shop and get around with the number of people, merchandise, and your stroller.
If at all possible, shop without your children. These events can be over stimulating for the adults, just imagine what it would do to your kiddos who are hungry, haven’t napped, or are teething.
Make a list! Know what clothing and other items you already have at home, and what you need to buy. Stick to your list! If you only need 3 pairs of pants for your daughter don’t buy 7 just because they were a”good deal.” I try to make a list of the number of each item that I need, and if there are special occasion outfits that I am shopping for so I know what my mission is while I’m at the sale.
Set a budget. I only bring cash to consignment sales because it keeps me accountable for what I want to buy and what I can afford to buy. Whether you shop with plastic or cash, know how much you have to spend before you walk in the door. There are a lot of great deals to be had, but don’t go overboard.
I am gearing up for the fall winter sale. I have 2 children, so my budget for Best Dressed For Less is $100 (total) to get 4 pairs of pjs for each child, snowsuits, 3-5 pairs of pants each, 2-3 skirts/dresses for Emily, 5-8 shirts each, a Halloween costume for David, Christmas outfits for both children, an area rug for their bedroom, and misc toys and outdoor equipment. Since I have a little extra in my budget, I may buy a few extra clothing items for each child so that we are set for the entire winter, and I don’t have to do their laundry every 3 days.
Since I am consigning during the Best Dressed For Less event, I am eligible to participate in the pre-sale. If you aren’t consigning, you may want to check out pre-sales for new moms and military families. The benefit of the pre-sale is that you get to shop before everyone else. This is especially useful if you have large ticket items that you are hoping to get.
Many consignment events also mark down merchandise on the final day. I like to shop again on the half-price day to find the best deals on clothes. However, at the spring events that I went to, I learned that my son is now in a very popular size and there weren’t many choices for him on that final day. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to get everything I needed, but I didn’t have as wide of a selection as I did shopping for my daughter. This is not necessarily a bad thing either since.
This time around, my plan is to check out the large ticket items and boys clothing during the pre-sale, and do a quick glance at the girls clothing. Then do the rest of my daughter’s shopping and another glance at the boys clothing during the half price sale.
It may seem like a lot of work and a few extra visits to hit up the pre-sale and the half-priced sale, but the amount of money that I save overall is well worth it!
The last two sales I attended, I was able to get everything on my lists for both children for under $70! On that alone, if you have never checked out a consignment event, you should this fall!
I will be sharing my consignment sale finds on Raising A Family On A Budget later in the month, so make sure to check back and share what deals you have found too!
Stephanie is the mom behind Raising A Family On A Budget. Check out her monthly posts, Thrifty Thursdays, each month on Montgomery County Moms