I love consignment sales and really any kind of thrift shopping in general! However, it is very easy when you are in a room with hundreds of really cheap, cute clothes, shoes and baby/kid gear to get out of control. Here are my top 5 tips to make the most of your shopping experience!
1. Know when to go! This all depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking to get big ticket items or clothing like Christmas dresses, bathing suits, snow clothes and jackets, it is best to try to shop at the pre-sale or at the very least the first day. This is when the big stuff goes and if you wait until the end, or even later in the first day, it is going to be picked over or worse, gone. On the other hand, if you are just browsing and have nothing specific you need, go on the last day when you are going to get the best deals! Many offer 50% off during the final day!
2. Don’t plan anything else that day! This is important as many times the line to check out is over an hour long! If you are not the kind of person to spend time going through rack and racks of clothes, shoes, toys and other gear and then stand in line for an hour to get unimaginable prices, then consignment shopping is just not for you! Stick to store sales or thrift shops!
3. Know Your Product!!!! I think this is the most important of all. If you don’t know what sales are like in local stores, you may be getting a bad deal. For example, if you see a Children’s Place tee shirt for $6 from two years ago that would be a bad deal since the Children’s Place currently has a deal on tee shirts for $6 brand new. However, if you see a pair of pajamas from the Gap for $4, grab them immediately, those suckers are ridiculously expensive!
4. Leave the kids at home or bring someone to watch them! Nothing is worse than having a full shopping bag full of clothing and a total meltdown that results in you having to go to the car for the bottle the baby needs because you grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take you to shop. Of course they will hold the stuff for you until you run out and back in, but it causes unnecessary stress and can ruin the shopping experience. Likewise, most places don’t let kids play with the awesome toys and I have seen many a toddler lose it because they can’t play with that really cool basketball hoop.
5. Go with a friend! It is so much more fun to have a shopping buddy anywhere you go, but especially at big consignment sales. There is so much product you are definitely going to want someone to run things past as you make your decisions. And even if you don’t want help making decisions, it’s a pretty boring hour-long wait to check out when you don’t have anyone to talk to!
Kind of a bonus personal tip.. I try to only buy brand names when buying second hand for two reasons: the first is usually they are better quality and last through more washes and more spills and secondly because I think you are getting the best deals on brand name. At any time you can score some seriously cheap clothes at Walmart, but when is the last time you got a pair of Gap pajamas for $2 at the Gap? Happy Shopping!