Consignment events – ever heard of them? They are events that allow parents to consign old, no-longer-used items to other parents who are trying to save money! It’s a win-win! Consigning is hard the first few times you do it, especially if you consign with different events. Today we’re going to talk about shopping these events.
All the feelings start bubbling up: the exhilaration of finding a great deal on THOSE toys that your kids have been begging for months to have, the excitement of being able to completely replace your child’s oh-so-too-small wardrobe for less than $100, and the joy of knowing that you can find those big items (strollers, rocking chairs, cribs and toddler beds to name a few) for much less than retail price. All of this just gets me jittery even writing! I get so excited about these events because I know it’s a great way to help my family save big money. My kids’ clothes are 90% consignment clothes. The rest are usually items that were purchased by family for a gift.
I have been using consignments since my first pregnancy. We went and got such amazing deals on items we needed, I was hooked. I have mainly shopped at Kid’s Closet Connection events and Rhea Lana’s events. There are many others out there, so just search to see what’s close to you.
Here’s some terminology and hierarchy info to help better understand the event.
Franchisees: Consignment events are run by business franchisees. These people work with the brand and host the events. They earn a commission off items sold at the event. They have to find a space, provide supplies (like racks, tables, etc) and promote their event. This is A LOT of work!
Workers/Volunteers: Then you have the workers/volunteers. These are typically people who also consign. They check the items before they go to the floor to sell, they set-up, tear down and work during the events as cashiers and clean-up crews. They are usually offered incentives, like pay or early entry, to work the events. This is great for moms who are looking for part-time, non-permanent work!
Consigners: Then you have consigners. These are the parents, grandparents, guardians, etc that have items their kids no longer use. This can be toys, clothes, books, games, etc. They have to organize all their items, follow the rules set-up by the event hosts (tagging, hanging, cleaning, pricing, etc), take their items to the event and pick up or donate what doesn’t sell. Typically consigners get an early pass to access the sale before open to the public.
Buyers: That’s us! The parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. of kids who want to save a buck on items. Below are the worst and best practices of event buyers!
- Shop unprepared. These are events for a reason. They are typically only twice a year, sometimes thrice. So there are items galore. Its great to stock up, but easy to get overwhelmed.
- Impulse buy. Because the events have so much stuff, it’s easy to go overboard. You will want to get a lot of items that you may not actually need or use once they’re home.
- Bring the kids. I know, I know. Sometimes it’s hard not to bring them, however for this event, it can be difficult with little ones in tow. This also goes back to the second item. If you have your kids, you’re more likely to impulse buy. Do what you can, but if you have to bring them, jump to my DO’s to help you.
- Wait until the half-day sale. Wait… what’s this? Usually with these events, they have a day where consigners can opt to mark their items for half-price. This is a great way to save even MORE, but don’t expect those hot items to be there by this day.
- Plan ahead. Good shopping always starts with a plan. Check the dates of the events. Research items online so you know if what you’re getting is a good deal. Bring large bags or even a cart if allowed.
- Set a budget. Make sure you set a limit on what you want to spend. These events are easy to go overboard and buy more than intended since there is so much in the store.
- Make a list. About a week before the event, go around your house. Check your kids’ clothes, toys, etc. Write down things you need for the next 6 months. Again, since these events are typically about twice a year, it’s important to think ahead.
- Get to the early sales. Most of these events offer a pre-sale event day. These days are usually free if you’re pregnant (or have a baby), in service, a teacher or foster parent. If you are not one of these things, there is usually a small fee or donation to get in early. Also, if you consign items, you can usually get in early for consigning.
- Let others know! It’s fun to shop with friends. It’s even better when you can help their family save money too. It also helps these sales continue. If the franchisees can’t generate positive sales, it’s hard for them to continue.
Many of these events have Facebook pages and online resources to stay connected. Also, the franchisees will usually email you if you opt in for emails. I do only because some offer chances to win early passes or even money for the event!
If it’s your first time, enjoy the experience! It is amazing how much money you can save by shopping at one of these events. But beware – that excitement can get to your head and cause you to overspend, even at a discount!