And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tips for Shopping at a Consignment Sale

I told you a couple of weeks ago how to prepare for a consignment sale. Today I want to share some tips with you on shopping at a consignment sale. Whether you are looking to find whole seasonal wardrobes or just a casual shopper you want to keep some things in mind.

1. Carry a list. Make a list before you go of sizes and things you are specifically looking to find. If you are wanting to buy a lot of items then put your list in order of importance. I usually take my mom with me and we divide and conquer. She hits the girls section while I hit the boys section then we go to shoes and then onto ourselves, household items, etc. At a big sale, it is easy to loose focus in the hustle and bustle so a list is a must for me.

2. Carry a basket or wagon or bag. Many sales have a limited number of laundry baskets for customers to use but they are generally very small and there's no guarantee one will be available to you. So carry your own laundry basket (make sure your name is on it) or a big bag. I find my Thirty One Large Utility tote is perfect. I can carry it on my shoulder and it holds lots of stuff.

3. Don't stand in the aisle and examine every item. As you look through the clothes, if the size and price is in your range and you like the item then toss it in your bag or basket. Before checkout find a corner or unused area and then examine each item. At the sale we attend most often you will find lots of ladies along each side of the gym sorting through their finds. It is very important to check the items over for stains, holes, etc.

4. While we are talking about checking items over.....be sure you smell them. This is a new tip for me starting after the most recent sale. I smell things by nature and I have a very acute sense of smell. Normally I don't have to pick up an item and put my nose near it to detect a foul odor. However I was foiled this time! I got home with my purchases and discovered a very nice, name brand purse that I purchased smells of cat. Sigh. I'm still disappointed. I put laundry sheets in it and zipped it up for a couple of days. Didn't help. Now it's hanging on my line outside. Has been there for days. Still hasn't helped. I'm thinking it is going to the trash. Not only does it smell but I'm grossed out by it now. (Side note: Don't sell items that smell of cat. Or smoke. Or dog. Or anything else icky.)

5. Have fun! Shopping as a mom can be tedious. Try to enjoy yourself. Go with a friend or your mom or a shopping buddy. I always see several friends at the sale and it's fun to chat for a moment and compare good deals. Find yourself something. The prices at consignment sales are generally very reasonable and I always find a few items for myself. After you've gone through your list take some time to browse. The best deals I find are usually something I wasn't even looking for. This year I found a really nice green metal towel rack with a shelf underneath. It was exactly what I needed for our bathroom and for only $10 it was a great bargain! That wasn't on my list but I'm so glad I found it!

6. Check for bargain shopping times. I always recommend you sale items or volunteer so you can early shop at regular prices. It's also a good idea to shop the discount times. Your selection won't be as good but you can get even better deals! My favorite local consignment sale does a 50% off sale on the last day. I don't always go but I like to go when I can.

Do you shop consignment sales? If you do what are your favorite tips?

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