Des Moines is having the Take 2 consignment sale October 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the Animal Learning Center. Here's how I'm gonna get ready:
1. Switch over Summer wardrobes to Fall and Winter clothes.
Around here the consignment sales are always well planned around seasons. The big sales are in the fall and spring so you can stock up for the change in weather. This upcoming sale is going to have all winter clothes. So, once I change out all of the summer clothes or clothes that are too small and put in the winter clothes, I am ready for my next step.
2. Get clothes form outside sources.
If you are lucky like me, you have friends throwing kid's clothes at you. I just brought home a van full of clothes for my three kids from three different families whose children had outgrown them. I of course always pass mine on too. Some of your friends may want them back, and some just want to get rid of them, but either way it is definitely worth the effort to get them. And, it doesn't hurt to ask. If you have friends with children around the same age as yours offer to take some clothes off their hands, they might say yes!
3. Take inventory of what you have.
Go through your child or children's closets. Look at what you have for each child and write it down. It can be general like 3 pairs of pants, or specific like 1 pair of khakis and 2 pairs of jeans. When you are talking about shirts, I like to say which colors I have so that I speficically know what I'm looking for at the sale.
4. Make a list of what you're missing.
Once you have the inventory done, go through and see what you need. If you wrote down colors of items, then it will be easier to say what you need. For example if you had 3 purple shirts, then maybe you need purple tights or something like it. Don't forget shoes and pajamas. Also, think about the upcoming holidays, do you need a Christmas dress or an Easter suit? Or, are you looking specifically for Thomas the Tank Engine clothing (don't even think about taking the 3T's ladies ;) )?
5. List your non-clothing items.
Consider what other things you might need. For example, at the last sale I bought my daughter a $300 Britax car seat for $60. It is in great condition, and I checked the expiration date before I bought it to make sure it was safe. What about Christmas and birthday presents? I fully plan on doing some Christmas shopping at the sale, but I'm going to think about what I want to find instead of deciding when I get there.
6. Prioritize your items and decide what you are willing to spend.
Once you know what you want to get, prioritize what is most important. Even if you're the first one in the door, you probably won't get to every area right away. If you really need size 7 shoes, get those first, and save the stocking stuffers for last. This will make the sale worth the extra effort to ensure you get what you actually needed. Also, consider putting prices by some of the items ahead of time. If you set a limit before you go, you may stop yourself from overspending on that super cute pair of shoes for your daughter that are $10 used.
6. Be prepared.
Get to the sale early, with list in hand. Bring a vessel to carry your items, be it a bag, laundry basket, wheely suitcase, something you can easily handle in the aisles. Know the first few important items on the list so you can grab those right away. Figure out ahead of time what kind of payment they accept, and have a budget in mind. At a previous sale I was at, there was a sign up to recieve information from the sales. Since I signed up I always get the "Early Shoppers Pass" and get to go a day before they open. This makes a big difference in the quality and quantity of items I can get, so be on the look out for that too.
Phew, it sounds like a lot of work, but it is fun too. Last year I found my daughter the most adorable Christmas dress and my son his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine shirt. I have to say I do love making the list almost as much as I enjoy shopping, but being prepared sure has saved us a ton of money at the consignment sales!
Take 2 Consignment Sale
Iowa State Fairgrounds - Animal Learning Center
10:00 - 7:00 Friday
10:00 - 4:00 Saturday
10:00 - 3:00 Sunday - 1/2 Price Day