Monday, July 26, 2010

Consignment Sale Tips

Celeste at 3 weeks in a dress I got at the consignment sale for $1.00!

This week is one of my favorite children's consignment sales.  It is the All 4 Kids sale at the Cobb County Fairground.  I have been going to the sale there for about 4 years and I always snag some awesome deals!  I decided to do a blog with some tips because I tend to get a lot of questions from other Mom's about them.

Here is how a consignment sale works.  Most consignment sales have 2 a year, one for Spring and one for Fall clothes.  Typically the sale is a few months before you need that season of clothes.  The All 4 Kids sale is in February or March for Spring and the one for Fall is in July or August.  All of the clothes for sale are supposed to be free of stains, rips, missing buttons, etc.  They also are not supposed to be outdated.  In addition to children's clothes, they sell shoes, books, toys, movies, children's decor, baby equipment, and maternity clothes.  Pretty much anything "kid" related, you can find at the sales.

A couple of months before the sale, you can sign up to sell or volunteer.  I have done both.  For selling, each consignment sale is different.  Typically there is a fee to sell and a percentage of each item is taken.  At the All 4 Kids sale, the seller's fee is $8 and the percentage taken from each items is 30%.  In addition to making money from the sale of your items, you get a pass to a special preview sale the night before the sale that is open to the public starts (more on this in a moment).   When I sold my items I sold over 50% of them and a lot of people sell 75% or more.  If you decide to volunteer, you can pick which shift to work in exchange for a pass to the preview sale.  You can also sign up for multiple shifts so that you can get into the preview sale earlier in the day.  There are all kinds of different jobs available including positions you can do while pregnant (which I have been thankful for over the years :).

If you sell or volunteer, you get to go to the preview sale the day before the sale is open to the public.  In my opinion, if there is any way you can sell or volunteer it is worth it so that you can go to the preview sale.  Also, the All 4 Kids sales will let first time Moms go to the preview sale.  You just have to register online for it.  I recommend getting there a bit early before the time you are allowed to enter the preview sale.  There will be a line.

There will be a line the morning of the sale open to the public as well so get there early.  Bring something to put your clothes in while you are shopping.  I personally got a laundry basket that has wheels and a retractable handle at Walmart (see image to the left, however I did not pay that price, it was more like $15).  Other people bring a laundry basket and attach a rope or belt to the handle and drag it behind them.  I have also brought the blue IKEA bags to carry any books, shoes or toys.   The larger items (strollers, bikes, outdoor play equipment, etc) go very quickly so I recommend checking those items out first(don't worry they set them to the side for you so you don't have to lug them around).  Also, if you are looking for something specific in the baby equipment section (monitors, carriers, bedding, etc) I would check those out next because some of the best deals are gone very quickly.  I also head over to the shoes after that.  I have found brand new shoes for a few dollars so it is worth checking out.  Next, I recommend heading to the section for your oldest child.  There typically are less clothes that are in good condition as you get up in sizes.  I recommend starting on one side and going down picking out any items you are interested in.  There will be lots of other people picking through clothes as well so this is not the time to inspect each item.  If it is something you like, put it in your basket.  If you are shopping for any other children, go ahead and go to their section and grab the clothes for them as well.  Once you have gotten all the clothes in all the sizes you are interested in, you can move out of the way and sort your items.  I always carefully inspect each item checking for stains, missing buttons, holes, etc.  If you are looking at baby clothes, check around the neckline and crotch.  There tend to be more stains there.  For the older children, make sure the zippers work on pants.  Also, on pants I check around the pockets on the back and the knees to make sure they aren't getting holes in them.  For shirts, check for ring around the collar.  The workers at the consignment sale do a pretty good job of catching these things, but some stuff slips through the cracks.  Also, as you know, all clothes are sized differently depending on the brand.  And remember these are used clothes so they have been washed and possibly have shrunk.  I have seen a lot of women that bring a paper with their child's measurements.  Then, they bring a tape measure to the consignment sale and while sorting, measure the clothing.  Lastly, I go to the toy section.  There typically are tons of toys so unless you are looking for a specific one, you will be fine saving it for last.  Many of the consignment sales, including the All 4 Kids sale, have a half price day the last day of the sale.  Not all items will be half price (it is up to each individual seller), but many items are.

For a first timer, the consignment sales can be overwhelming, but it is worth diving in.  I always find some amazing deals and can get pretty much anything I need at the sales. Check them out!  You won't regret it!

Pajamas I got at the consignment sale for $3
Shorts from the consignment sale for $3
These are the kid's Easter baskets.  I got the books, scooter, Whac-A-Mole game, brand new puppy earphones & brand new Littlest Pet Shops each for a few dollars.

There is a great website that has a list of almost every consignment sale in the Metro Atlanta area, it is called The Bargain Watcher.   They also have consignment stores and yard sales listed.

***If anyone has any other questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them.  Happy Shopping!***


  1. Hi Sarah! Thanks for the great tips, and the shout out for All 4 Kids. You'll have to stop by and say "hi". I'll be running the large items again this year ;) Do you mind if I link your post on my web site?

    I love your 'order of attack' ;)

  2. Such a nice collection of products this product is very important for consignment.


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