Ahh yes. Fall is in the air. In Albuquerque, this means the aroma of roasting green chile, crisp days, cool nights, the state fair, the balloon fiesta. All of these are great, but you know what else I love about fall? CONSIGNMENT SALE SEASON!!!
The year before my daughter was born, my mom dragged me to a consignment sale for some used baby items. I went into it thinking, “Ew, used baby stuff? No thanks.” Once we got inside, I saw just how awesome these sales can be, and I found many nice things that I needed. And for WAY cheaper than buying any of them new.
Consignment Sale Convert
Now, four years into this whole parenting thing, and my kids’ wardrobes are built almost entirely through consignment sales. Aside from purchasing 90% of their clothing on consignment, I’ve also ventured into the world of toys, books, etc. Two of my proudest purchases: a like-new $20 jumper for my infant son (retails around $80), and a like-new $20 bicycle for my daughter (retails around $130). Aside from those steals, my kids look totally stylin’ in their Baby Gap, Gymboree and Ralph Lauren duds. No one has to know that I only spent $3 for the entire outfit! Except for those of you reading this post… our secret!
A Consignment sale can really pay off, but here are a few tips to make it worth your while.
- Plan to spend a couple of hours there – it can be crowded, and the lines are long (but efficient!)
- If you want big things (cribs, jumpers, etc.) consider bringing someone that can help carry things
- Make yourself a list of things you want/need, so you don’t forget to hit the sections you want to
- Leave the kids at home – this way, you can browse in peace
- Make sure you have plenty of space in the car for all your loot! You may walk out with more than you planned to!
Albuquerque has a whole handful of consignment sales to choose from, but today I’ll talk about my personal favorite: Mommy’s Market. My sister-in-law turned me on to this one. The organizers put a lot of work into it, and they never disappoint. Once in the fall and once in the spring, the gymnasium at Berean Baptist Church is transformed into consignment sale heaven. The clothing hangs neatly on racks that are clearly marked by gender and size. All of the other sale categories (games, books, feeding supplies, etc.) have clear signage as well, so it’s a breeze to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Becoming a Seller
After attending two years ago for the first time, I loved it so much that I decided to become a seller myself! I’m not going to sugar-coat anything: selling is A LOT of work. For me, though, the pay-off is well worth the investment. There is a bit of a start-up cost to becoming a seller. For Mommy’s Market, we have to purchase hangers for all the clothing. We also have to tag all our own items, so a tagging gun and sturdy card stock for printing tags are a necessity. Then there are the little things, like safety pins for items that won’t stay on the hangers, ink for the printer, etc. Once I had the first sale under my belt, it was easier. Now, I’m already stocked on most of the supplies I need.
Sellers get perks for participating, and if we volunteer to help, we can really hit the jackpot. I always work shifts in the sales I participate in. This grants me free, early access to the pre-sale (along with maybe 30-50 other sellers; it is so awesome to have first pick AND the whole place to ourselves!) I also make extra commission on the items I sell.
Mommy’s Market caps its sellers at around 150-170 sellers per event, and consistently fills up. If selling is something you’d like to try, I recommend getting signed up for their email list so that you can stay in the loop. This year’s fall event is already at its maximum seller number. If you want to shop, come check it out on September 30th and 31st. Visit the website at http://mommysmarkets.com/ for all the details.
Are you a consignment sale junkie like me? What are your favorite local sales?