Archive for ‘I’m cheap & proud of it’

March 26, 2011


I ❤ consignment sales.

No, really. It’s like an obsession. I’m 99.8% sure that most of my family is tired of hearing how much I paid for any given outfit (usually in relation to my step-daughter). I just can’t help it. Consignment shopping is SO satisfying.

Let me give you an example. I’ve been to two consignment sales this week. One was a major, nationwide “chain” sale & the other was a small, local church sale. I spent a GRAND TOTAL of $60.

What could you get for $60 at, say Old Navy?

(Shorts: $19.50; Shirt: $12.50; Skirt: $14.50; Shoes: $14.50 = $61, before tax)

So that’s two cute outfits for the child, including the shoes. Care to guess how much I got for my $60 at consignment sales?

(Excuse the horrible quality, I took the picture with my phone)

It’s kind of hard to tell, but that’s 5 shirts, 3 shorts, 1 skort, 1 pair of jeans, & a swimsuit for the child, plus 2 pairs of maternity jeans, 1 maternity shirt, & 1 nursing shirt for my sister-in-law (& hopefully me, at some point), PLUS a pair of jeans & a pair of khakis for me. Also not pictured: From the Hips by Rebecca Odes & Ceridwen Morris & 26 Princesses by Dave Horowitz. Everything is in perfect condition. In fact, the swimsuit still has the tags & the sticky paper, & I’m pretty sure the Gymboree jeans have never been worn.

Have I mentioned how much I ❤ consignment sales?! I haven’t paid full price for a piece of clothing for the child in well over 3 years. In fact, I pretty much refuse to, UNLESS she’s in desperate need or it’s something like underwear (which I refuse to buy used, because that’s just icky). I do also shop retail sales & going-out-of-business sales & yard sales (are you sensing a pattern here?) but for the most part, I wait for the twice-a-year bonanza that is consignment season. We have no less than 5 different sales in this area. Each sale has a fall sale & a spring sale. Plus, there are at least 3 year-round consignment shops that I know of (though I think the seasonal sales have slightly better prices – people don’t want to come pick up what doesn’t sell, so I think they are a little more generous in their pricing).

My consignment sale tips?

  • DON’T take your husband or kids with you. You will probably be there for a while, & if your husband is anything like McDreamy, he’ll be bored out of his mind in 0.2 seconds & do nothing but bug you & try to rush you. If you bring the kids, you’ll be distracted from sorting & might miss a really good deal (not to mention how hard it is to do ANYTHING when you are trying to keep your child from re-enacting the trapeze act on the clothes racks).
  • Set a budget – BEFORE you go in. Know how much you want to spend, & what your individual item limit is – for instance, I generally won’t pay more than $7 for a pair of jeans, $5 for a long-sleeved shirt, and $3 for a t-shirt. If it’s your first time, you might not be able to set individual item limits, but know your overall limit. It’s VERY easy to go overboard when you find so many good deals!
  • Touch every piece of clothing in a particular size, otherwise you might miss something. I’ve found some great deals sandwiched between some of the worst deals I’ve ever seen. Consignment shopping is very different from retail shopping – things aren’t organized into neat little groups of like objects. You’re going to find t-shirts hanging out with dresses, tank tops next to sweaters. The only “organization” is by size & gender.
  • Don’t be afraid to look at other sizes! I always look at least one size up because you just never know when you’ll find a gem. Even if your child won’t fit into it now, it can still be worth it. T-shirts can be worn a little large, jeans can be worn throughout the year, & kids always need sneakers.
  • Speaking of shoes – consignment sales are fabulous for shoes! I found a pair of brand new, never been worn Sketchers for $8! The pair she grew out of were Nikes found at a consignment sale for $4 (they had been worn, but were in excellent shape).
  • Most consignment sales have a half-price day (usually the last day). Not all items are eligible (consigners can choose which of their items are), but sometimes being half-off means they aren’t out of your price range anymore. You can also get really good deals on items more suited for “play clothes” – shirts that are faded, jeans with stained knees, etc. You might not be willing to pay $5 for a strange-colored t-shirt, but $2.50 for a strange-colored play shirt that’s going to get muddy wouldn’t be so bad!
  • Sort through your stack before heading to check out. Sometimes it’s tough to remember exactly what you picked up & I’ve found duplicates before. I’ve also caught defects that I missed the first time – stains, loose threads, etc. that made me re-evaluate how much I was willing to pay. This is also a good time to see where you are in relation to your budget.
  • Lastly, if you have any money left in your budget after sorting through the clothes, look at their other offerings. Books, puzzles, games, toys, bedding, strollers, etc. can all be found for awesome prices.

Happy shopping!