***This post about how to smartly shop consignment sales is sponsored by JBF Reading.***
Long about oh, 7 years, 9 months, and 16 days ago, as I was well into my first pregnancy and solidly representing a whale, a startling realization occurred to me, “Oh crap! Kids need stuff!”. In an effort to manage the shock, I went the route of any sensible 21st century mama and took to Google. No doubt, phrases such as “I have no money”, “knocked up” and “do I really have to pay for diapers?” factored into my carefully calculated search. Several hours of obviously well spent time later, I’d reached a solid conclusion: the only way I’d survive the stymieing cost of child-rearing was to shop consignment sales.
Yup, forget trolling Saturday yard sales or dedicating myself to a solid tour of local children’s consignment shops. If I was smart and hit up a well-stocked, well-established sale such as the Just Between Friends Reading Sale, I could knock out the purchasing stress in ONE DAY. Yes, true story.
Why is going to the JBF Reading Sale such a great way to shop consignment sales?
The Just Between Friends Reading, PA Sale is Berks County’s largest resale savings event. The selection of clothing, shoes, coats, toys, books, games, baby gear, strollers, swings, playsets, nursery items, kid’s furniture, room decor and more spans over 40,000 square feet! Everything is organized by size, gender and category for your convenience. For payment of these items, cash, VISA, M/C or Discover are all accepted.
Everyone can save! Children and strollers welcome all public sale days (I strongly recommend leaving the kids at home or carrying your baby in a backpack if you must take her so it’s easier for you to focus on shopping and navigating through the aisles, but children are welcome at JBF!).
Yup, the JBF Reading Sale is fantastic, and the opportunity to score big and save a ton is huge if you shop consignment sales like this the smart way!
5 tips to smartly shop consignment sales:
- Get there early. I’m the Queen of Lateness. That understood, trust me: this is the one time my delayed start gift definitely does NOT shine. In the world of consignment shopping, get there early. Get there earlier than you think you should ever possibly get there. Minutes matter in consignment time. The earlier you get there and get in line, the better the selection of goods you will have. Even better, if you can get into the presale (by being a volunteer, a consignor [selling your items at the sale], winning a special pass, etc), DO IT. It is completely worth it. Why? Two reasons: the selection is prime before others touch down on the goods, and it’s far, far less crazy to shop during limited times than when the sale is fully open to the public.
- Go with a list. Too many times I have foolishly shown up to a sale with an foolish blasé approach: whatever strikes my fancy, I’ll buy! WRONG!!! Wrong because I end up buying thing I don’t need (just because it’s super cheap doesn’t mean it’s something I should buy), wrong because I forget items I actually do need for my kids, and wrong because I arrive at the sale scattered and spend undue time casually perusing aisles vs. zeroing in on what I need to buy. Understand, to smartly shop consignment sales, every minute matters. Seriously. Those indulgent 5 minutes you spent crushing on cute toddler girl shoes? They may have just cost you snagging a pair of sneakers your son needs because someone else grabbed them first. Have a plan, be efficient.
- Get the logistics in place. JBF sales are always uber-accommodating, offering shopping bags for your use during the sale and credit card-payment options at check-out, but take a minute to case out the sale you’re hitting. Make sure you have adequate bags to tote your purchases (I always take my own), that you have means to pay for your finds (some sales still only accept cash payment!), and that you have basic knowledge in place (i.e. directions to sale, parking information, knowing the hours the sale is open). Getting organized ahead of time can make a HUGE difference in the success of your shopping experience.
- Grab a ton and sort later. How does this work? You are an overwhelmed gal presented with a boss ton of fab discounted choices, and you are human. You will want to scoop up all the things, and in the heat of the euphoric money-saving moments won’t be able to ascertain what you actually need or don’t need. No sweat! Here is my #1 trick: pile up that shopping bag then find a sweet, dark corner of the gymnasium and SORT. I literally lay out all of my items on the floor, assess them, fret about my budget and what we can afford, then regroup and decide what I will actually buy. Take your time doing this. It’s okay and all the other shoppers understand–smart shoppers need space and time to execute their money-saving genius!
- Be flexible. Here’s the deal: you are saving a boatload of money by shopping consignment. The sacrifice for the family-budget win? That sweet Under Armour shirt you’re crushing on? You might not find it in the color of your choice. As in, your son might end up sporting a green top-brand sweat-wicking tee vs. a blue tee. He will survive, trust me. Remember your ultimate goal: Get your kids clothes and the stuff they need for far, far less than retail price.
A final tip to leave you with? Have fun! I LOVE consignment sales and the bargain-shopping high they offer. Relax and appreciate the game as you play. It’s a blast! Enjoy, friends, and I’ll see you at the JBF Reading Sale!
***Thanks to JBF for providing compensation for this post so I could tell you all about my favorite consignment sale!***
First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:30392209, copyright:andresr