If you’re a seasoned consignment sale shopper, you’re probably familiar with some of these. I see clever new ideas each time I shop and thought I’d share some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Consignment Sale shopping.
Consignment Sale Shopping Tips and Tricks
- Brings wheels. Whether you pull a wagon, push a stroller, use a laundry basket strapped to a dolly or buy your own garment rack on wheels from Wal-Mart, you will appreciate not lugging your items around all day. My favorite thing for the huge consignment sales is a tall (new) trash can on wheels. I just toss clothes, toys, shoes, books, etc. into the trash can and then find a corner to sort everything out later.
- Bring a sheet (and possibly a camping chair) to sit on. If you’re shopping for a lot of items, you collect everything first in your cart and then sort later. Have a sheet to spread out and organize your items on. The sheet will keep you and the clothes from getting dirty on the m(often gross) floor. I like to make piles for each of my children and then remove duplicates, items that aren’t as nice as I initially thought or are overpriced. I also like to drape the sheet over my cart/trash can if I need to run to the bathroom or grab a drink. It’s sad how many shoppers will grab something off another person’s unattended cart just because they want it. I hide my items and try to hurry back or will ask someone sorting beside me to keep an eye on my items.
- Bring Cash. A lot of Consignment Sales charge a handling fee for accepting debit and credit cards and some charge a fee for accepting checks. One huge local sale had their credit card connection knocked offline last year. They couldn’t accept cards for almost an hour and the line of shoppers with credit cards had over 100 people by the time they could take cards again. Those of us with cash were able to pay and head on home.
- Bring a snack, a packed lunch, water bottles and/or change for drink and snack machines. Even if you think you’ll only be shopping for an hour or two, you may end up being there much longer. The first time I shopped a huge consignment sale, I planned to be in and out in 2 hours. I didn’t make it home for 7 hours. The crowds, amount of items, and lines to check out can all extend your trip by hours.
- Wear comfortable shoes. No one will care how cute you look. They won’t even notice you unless they need to push you out of the way to get to a great deal. (Kidding!) (Kind of.)
- Do NOT bring your children. Your kids won’t like it, you won’t be able to shop like you want and it can be difficult to keep your eye on children with so many racks of clothing and other people in such close proximaty.
- Bring your own large shopping bags if possible. A lot of sales now charge a fee for shopping bags, so if you can bring your own you’ll save money.
- Bring a shopping list. Know what you want before you go in or you can be easily overwhelmed by the selection and number of items. Plan ahead for what you’ll need until the next sale: sizes to grow into, costumes, holiday clothing and gifts, items for school, camp, etc.
- Do not carry a purse. Keep essentials in your pocket (cash, phone, ID)
- Because sizes of kids’ clothing aren’t always consistent, it may be a good idea to measure your child or a piece of clothing that fits well. Bring the tape measure with you to double check the clothes you want to buy.
- Trace your child’s foot on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Bring the cardboard foot with you to the sale. Make sure it fits well inside the shoes that you are considering buying for your child.
- Familiarize yourself with the sale area. Many consignment sale coordinators will post maps online before the sale starts. Know which areas you want to go to so you’re not wandering around all day. Big toys and furniture are often the most popular, so those are great places to start. Girls’ clothes are more popular than boys’ clothes, so if you’re buying both, head to the girls’ stuff first. I usually save the shoes, books, small toys and small gear for the end, unless there is something important I can’t do without.
- Think about where you park. Some people like to park close to the exit, so they don’t have to haul their purchases very far at the end of the day. Some people like to be close to the entrance so they can quickly stake out their spot in line and get in to shop earlier.
- Keep your receipt. You’ll want proof of your purchase if you’re stopped by the event staff and you may be able to use some of your purchases as a tax deduction.
- Wear layers. You may get very warm walking around and carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. all day. Bring a light sweater or jacket instead of wearing thick clothes or a coat. Even if you have to walk through snow to get to the sale door, leave your coat in the car. You do not want to be carrying it around all day.
- Relax. You will find some amazing deals, but won’t get every single item you want. You’ll see other people with items you wish you’d found first. Just remind yourself to relax and have fun. Remember the great deals you’re getting and stay positive!
What about you? Do you have some great tips for Consignment Sale shopping?