We are in a really good place with clothes for our girl. In addition to generous piles of loaners from three sisters and a friend, we have a tub of hand-me-downs from a cousin and lots of goodies from showers. But, the clothing source that I’m most excited about and with the best long-term potential is… kids consignment sales! I’ve found some amazing pieces over the last few years but know they can be intimidating, so I thought I’d share a few tips for shopping them today!
1. Opt for church consignment sales. I may be biased, because I’ve actually only shopped at sales run by churches, but I’ve found them to be uniformly well-organized, well-run, friendly, and with high quality clothing. It’s easy to find them by Googling your town + “kids consignment sale.” If you’re in the Triangle, I love my church’s sale (which runs twice a year) as well as the Hayes-Barton sale (also twice a year). If you find a sale you like, watch out for a flyer for their next dates when you check out!
2. Go on the first day, and go early. Many consignment sales run for several days, and some mark everything down by 50% on the second day. However, I’d much rather have first pick at the goods than spend a little less money, especially because everything is already so inexpensive! Also, I’d recommend showing up at least a half hour before the sale begins — the ones I frequent always have a line waiting to get in, and again, your goal is to get first crack at things.
3. If it’s an option, volunteer. Related to point number two, if you REALLY want to get a jump on things, your best chance is by volunteering! At least at my church, if you volunteer to process clothes on the drop-off days, you have the option to buy anything you like as soon as it comes in. I’ve gotten my best pieces this way! If volunteering is not an option but you’re able to consign, that might get you access to a preview sale before the general sale.
4. Don’t just shop your current size. For the last few years, I’ve been scanning the newborn to 3T racks (even though for many of those years I wasn’t even pregnant!). Especially when your kids are younger and don’t have opinions about their clothing, it’s a great idea to stockpile pieces you love as long as you have the storage space.
5. Pull, then cull. Sales can get a little crazy, so I like to pull anything that catches my eye on an initial cruise around the floor, then find a quiet corner to sort through my armful. Usually, I’ll put back at least 3/4 of what I initially pulled, if not more. (And on that note, be polite and either re-hang your discards or hand them off to a volunteer.) If you know you’ll be a super shopper, consider bringing your own bag (like an Ikea reusable bag or a Boat and Tote) to make it easier to carry things.
6. Be picky. I, and I assume most of y’all, have the luxury of not needing to buy all of my girl’s clothing from a consignment sale. So, I’m very picky about what I buy, even though the price point is so low. I only buy things I absolutely love, and only if they’re in great shape. Sometimes I’ll leave with ten items, but sometimes with just one piece! It’s definitely quality-over-quantity for me with these sales.
Most of my experience has been in local sales, but I have started to dabble in Instagram sales, as well, so wanted to give them a brief mention! I haven’t actually bought anything as I’ve always been outbid (!), but the accounts I have my eye on are @kksisters_closet and @modernminiresale. My best tip here is to look for accounts whose style you like and whose kids are a bit older than yours!
What do y’all think? Have you shopped at consignment sales or Instagram sales for your kids? Any tips you’d add? Or, my Triangle peeps, any other sales I should know about? :)
P.S. All of the pieces above are favorites I’ve purchased from local sales! The most expensive (the green plaid and red plaid) were $4, and almost everything else was $1!!