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10 Tips for Successful Shopping at a Children’s Consignment Sale

The best advice for consigning and shopping comes from the savvy mommies who have been consigning for years and years!

If you are looking for ideas for shopping this weekend, here you go!  Here’s a great list of shopping tips from Jennifer Upton at Kentucky Kids Sale.

1.  Assess your needs

Before you even think about shopping, check to see what you already have.  What did you buy on clearance last season?  Can she still wear those jeans?  Does he have hand-me-down soccer cleats packed away somewhere?  Find out what you need most before heading out to shop.

2. Dress for success

Comfy clothes and shoes are definitely the way to go.  Some shoppers spend a few hours at our sale making sure they survey all the options, so comfort is key.  Tuck your driver’s license & money into your pocket so you don’t have to worry about a purse while you shop.

3. Leave the kids at home

It seems ironic to shop for the kids without actually bringing the kids, but we all know it’s much easier and more efficient.  If you’ve properly assessed your needs, you’ll know what sizes to look for.  If you absolutely must bring them along, make sure you know the sale’s rules about strollers and keep older children with you instead of turning them loose on the toy area.

4. BYOB – Bring your own basket or bag.

Many sales offer shopping baskets or bags, but it’s always best to have your own just in case.  Ikea shopping bags are great.  We’ve also seen shoppers with laundry hampers and even clean, wheeled trashcans!

5. Do unto others – Basically, play nice.

Everyone wants the best bargains and most sales have enough to go around.  There’s no need to push & shove or take items another shopper has reserved.  If you choose to shop at peak hours, expect to wait a little while in the check-out line, the workers are likely volunteers and are moving as fast as they can.

6. Plan the shop, shop the plan

Often, sales have photos of past events on their websites so you can see where specific items usually are located.  If you really need a stroller or a Little Tikes kitchen, find out where they will be so you can head there first.  If your child has a wide foot, you may want to start with the shoes.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, find a volunteer worker and ask!

7. Think outside the box

Look for items new with tags that could be used for baby or holiday gifts.   Check the teen book section for the latest in that series that is your guilty pleasure.  Many sales now offer more than just children’s items, some accept adult clothing or housewares as well.

8. Check & double check

Most sales are unable to accept returns, so check all items closely before getting in the check-out line.  Even the strictest inspection procedures aren’t perfect, so if you find an item that is stained or damaged, give it to a volunteer worker who will remove it from the sales floor.

9. It’s always worth a second trip

Many of our shoppers return each day of the sale and find new bargains.  Some sales have a re-stock day where sellers bring in additional items and nearly every event holds a discount day where selected items are up to 50% off the marked price.

10. Volunteer your time & shop early

Volunteers are the key component of any sale and are rewarded with early shopping.  Volunteer presales are often less crowded than public shopping times and offer the best selection of merchandise.  Our volunteers tell us they love the change of routine and meeting other moms while working at the sale.

Kentucky Kids Consignment Sales has offered smart moms the best way to clear out the clutter & bring home the bargains with events in Elizabethtown, Louisville, & Lexington, Kentucky since 2004 and plans for over 50,000 items at the upcoming Elizabethtown Fall 2010 Sale.