The Just Between Friends consignment sale is coming up this month on March 26-28. I’ve said before that this is probably my favorite sale of the year and I’ve been going for about 4 years now.
We all know that shopping second hand can be a little bit chaotic and that is why a lot of people avoid it. But I’ve learned that there are some tips and tricks to scoring amazing finds, saving yourself time, and keeping you and the kids (if you have to bring them) sane and of course I am going to share them with you!
1. Shop Early. The thing about shopping second hand, consigning, or thrifting is that it’s all ‘one of a kind’ and once it’s gone it’s gone. To be able to have the best selection you want to go as early as you can to have the most to choose from. You also want to get there early so you can beat as much of the crowds as you can.
2. Leave the Kids (If you can). I realize this is not possible for everyone. In fact every time I have gone to this sale my kids have been with me. I always think about how much easier it would be if they were with a babysitter and how much quicker I could get things done.
3. Check sizes on your kids. If the kids are with you then make use of them! Sometimes sizing can be a little off when you are shopping second hand. Clothes have been worn and washed and that can change the size of them. There are also so many different brands so everything can be off just a bit. I usually shop about 3 different sizes when I’m looking for each of my kids. And I always check to make sure shoes fit. Last year I got two pairs of the cutest shoes in a size 5 that my daughter was wearing at the time. Well, they were a small size 5 and never fit her! Lesson learned.
4. Bring something to hold all the clothes in. I always bring along my little fold up laundry hamper that I got from Ikea. I just like to be able to toss everything in the bag and then I can grab it and carry it along with me. It makes it way easier than trying to hang on to a bunch of hangers! You could use a big shopping bag, hamper, and extra stroller, etc.
5. Bring a stroller for the kids. Like I said, it can get a little bit crazy at these sales (everyone loves a deal!) so I like to keep my kids contained in a stroller so I know where they are at all times. There is PLENTY of room at the venues where the sales are held and I never have a problem getting my wide double stroller around.
6. Bring treats and entertainment for the checkout line. The checkout line can be hit or miss. I’ve been to sales where I walk right up and checkout, and other times I am in line for (gasp) maybe an hour! The line usually weaves through the sale so I can still browse toys, books, games, and accessories while I am waiting. This is the part where I plop my kids back in the stroller, give them a sucker, and hand over the Ipad. I have made the mistake of going right before lunch time, having no treats with me, and kids were in full on melt down mode! Luckily I was surrounded by awesome and very prepared moms who were willing to step in and help frazzled old me. (It takes a village, people!)
7. Bring a friend. A good way to combat the wait of the checkout line is to bring a friend with you. One of you can wait in line while one shops and then switcheroo! If you didn’t bring a friend it’s always nice to strike up a conversation with the moms in line next to you. Obviously you both like saving money on kids clothes, and you have kids so you already have two things in common! Make that wait worth it and maybe make a new friend!
8. Set a budget. Since you are getting such amazing deals it can be easy to go crazy. I always give myself a budget of $100 (give or take a few dollars). I can easily stay within that budget and come away with some amazing finds. Last spring I was able to get both my kids almost their entire summer wardrobe for under $80. I know I could have bought WAY more but I knew what I needed and I stayed firm on my budget.
9. Be kind and courteous. I always make it a point to thank all the volunteers who make this sale possible. If you are tired from standing in that line to checkout, just imagine how they must feel! They organized for days, stayed late, and will be checking people out for hours! Kindness always goes a long way.
Okay, there you have it. My secrets and must know tips for surviving a consignment sale. Finding amazing second hand deals is my absolute favorite way to shop and I can’t wait to see what awesome pieces I can find this year. Hopefully these tricks helped you out and you can score your own amazing deals this year at the Just Between Friends Sale. (P.S. If you are not in Utah, there are sales held ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! Just check the Just Between Friends site for all the details and sales near you!)