Sunday, August 28, 2011

Consignment Craze

When it comes to shopping I'm more about the outcome than I am the process. I approach it a little more guerilla style - I'm in and out as quickly as possible, but if it has to take a little longer to make sure I get what I like, so be it. If I do a quick initial run through and don't see anything at first glance, there's about a 10% chance I'll actually look through the racks. While I do like getting new things, I like to go about it as quickly as possible.

Before we moved here (and before I had a kid) I wasn't much into consignment shopping. Not because I was necessarily against it, I just didn't shop consignment stores much. I tried consigning some clothes at a store back home and the experience soured me a little so I guess I just gave it up.

Once we moved to Florida and I got pregnant not long after getting here, I realized consigning was a great way to buy kids clothes. I don't buy all of Addie's clothes on a consignment basis, but I find it is a good way to find some items. One store in particular was great when I was buying before Addie was born and while she was really little. I haven't been as fortunate with the store as she has gotten bigger, but now I have a new source for consignment clothes...BIG consignment sales.

I don't know if they didn't have these sales in Illinois, or maybe I just wasn't looking since I didn't have Addie then, but since moving here I have discovered the fun of these sales. I first got hooked when I found out about the Fairytale Sale, which takes place twice a year at the fairgrounds in Panama City. The first couple of times I hit this sale I shopped the day of the sale but I quickly figured out that there were ways to get in early and getting in early was the real ticket. For this year's spring sale my friend Libby and I consigned and volunteered the day before the sale and we were able to get in and shop that night before. Genius. That really was when we had first dibs on all of the items. Volunteering the couple of hours before the early sale opened also gave us the opportunity to scout out specific items so we knew just what to beeline for when the sale opened.

The fall sale was yesterday but again, we volunteered the night before so we could get in early. I didn't think I had anything to consign this time around but ended up scraping together a few items. I mean, why not try to make some money at the same time I'm spending a little?

I will say that when I shop these sales I am pretty selective. As it is, if Addie has something that is pretty worn out/stained/just looks really bad, we either give it away or if it's really bad, it's seen it's last days. So, when I'm at a consignment sale I'm pretty picky about what I buy. This time around I was on the hunt for jeans and shoes. Brand new, these two items can be some of the more expensive items we buy and when it comes to shoes, Addie doesn't stay in one size for too long.

I ended up walking away with one pair of shoes, one pair of Old Navy lounge pants, an Old Navy top, a skirt and two pairs of Old Navy jeans. I also found a toy cash register and a Step 2 shopping cart that would be a great one for playing outside. My total was around $35 for all of it. The jeans were my happiest purchase, as I have to buy jeans in the next size up for the length but then I have to make sure they have an adjustable waist because while Addie's legs are a mile long, her waist is slim. Old Navy jeans do both for us. Both pairs are cute, but I looooove this pair:

The cuff at the bottom was what sold me on them...and it didn't hurt that they were $2 and in great condition.

It may seem like I didn't buy much. There was probably more I could have purchased but it would have just been because of that thrill-of-the-hunt-there's-only-one-of-these-and-I-got-it adrenaline rush. It is easy to fall prey to that feeling but I feel like I've learned to suppress that urge and just buy what we need and what's really a good deal.

When I first discovered and shopped the Fairytale Sale I started hunting around the area for more sales like it. I've been to one other, which was last year, where I remember buying two pairs of name brand jeans for Addie, skinny jeans she wore out until she could wear no more. I was sad when she could no longer wear them!

There is another sale, a BIG one, in Dothan, AL. I have heard about it from other moms and I keep hearing about it. It seems it might be legendary. In fact, the women who run the Fairytale Sale shop on their own at the one in Dothan. I found out it is next month and runs for a few days. I won't have the chance to get in early as a volunteer (a little inconvenient as it is an hour and a half away) but I think I'm going to plan to go anyway. I may not get first pick, but it could be worth checking out.

I've since noticed on Facebook and through friends that there are some sales like this back in Illinois. I'm not so crazy that I'd road trip it home for one, but if I just happened to be there...

I am thankful I was able to find some good deals for Addie this weekend. Here's to hoping my stuff sells and I can at least break even ;)

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