Babies/Kids Consignment/Swap Sales!

I am thrifty, I am mindful of my resource consumption (“green”), I am community-minded. These are basic elements of me that make me a perfect candidate for large consignment sales/swaps. I learned recently of a 11th Annual RMCC MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) Consignment Sale in my backyard and figured I would go scope it out on the first day even though my husband and I really plan to shop the second day. I thought I would document what it is like for other first-time thrifty and/or green mom-to-be types.

I found out about it online via craigslist but here is the official flyer for the one I attended:

These organizers did a great job with basic consignment/swap rules. Sections were clearly organized, sizes for clothes were clearly labeled, everything was in great condition, and most importantly everything was priced. They are very clear that there is NO BARTERING! However that doesn’t mean that you can’t find great deals. One detail of the flyer is that pink and yellow tags are 50% off on the 2nd day of the sale. This is why I am returning on the 2nd day with my husband and good girlfriend who also happens to be a mom.

This is what this sale looked like in snapshots:

maternity section! woot!! woot!! at a fraction of what you would pay new

clear labeling of sizes and gender

easy to follow signage
look, a whole crate of “what to expect when you are expecting” that will be $1.50 on the 2nd day
kudos to the organizers for holding it in an exhibit hall at the fairgrounds, lots of space
I was surprised to find many new or close-to-new items complete with instructions and warranty info

Here are some crazy deals I saw:

3 great condition nursing tanks for $5… not my size though 🙂
the holy grail of pumping systems for $100 (you decide if you would do 2nd hand though)
since consignment many of the same items are at different prices so do compare… e.g. book on left would be 50 cents on 2nd day, book on right will still be $3

There were no shopping carts and they didn’t want you bringing outside containers in but many people were using strollers as carts. They just tagged them if you entered with them. There is also a holding area that is watched and your pile is tagged for you to claim.

When you are ready to check out there were several steps. First you took your bundle of items to a sorter who bagged your items and pulled your tags…

You then queue for the cashier with your bagged items and a basket of tags for them to tally…

Finally you hand your tags over to the cashier as well as your payment

I mostly wanted to scope the place out today but ended up buying 19 undershirts ranging from 0-12 months with most being in the side-snap style for $7 (they would have been under $5 had I bought them tomorrow but I really wanted some side-snap shirts). Plain shirts and onesies of varying sizes are big on my list right now for one of the baby shower activities we are going to do.

This was my first large consignment sale but I already gleaned some advice that I would love to share with other first-timers or people that are new to this world:

  1. Go with a plan of items you want to pick up or else you could feel lost and overwhelmed.
  2. When looking at furniture or anything else that involves safety-related features be knowledgeable about those features, warranties, and recalls. I am thrifty, but I am not cheap. I will not put my babe in harm’s way to save some money… I doubt you would too.
  3. Also be prepared knowing which items you would feel comfortable buying second hand and which ones you won’t. You do not want to do this internal battle while you are at one of these sales.
  4. Know about as many sale specifics beforehand as you can (e.g. coupons, extra discounts, what you can bring in, time of opening, etc.)
  5. Know what kind of payments are accepted beforehand… cash vs. check vs. plastic.
  6. If you are a first-time mom-to-be like me also remember that you do not need to pick everything up at these sales if you have generous friends lined up donating items to you as well as items you may receive from your baby shower.

These sales/swaps also look like great ways to make some easy money. For this one sellers registered up to a month-and-a-half in advance. They will receive up to 70% of what their items sell for and the other 30% becomes a tax deductable donation to MOPS.

Look online (e.g. mommy boards, twitter, blogs, craigslist) for these sales as well as IRL at schools and community bulletin boards. In the Denver area I know of the @kidsclosetCO twitter account that is a semi-annual consignment sale organizer.

If you have any other resources for these kinds of sales please let me know. Also if you have any other advice for this newbie please pass it along.

Whoa MAMA!!! The Mile High Mamas Spring Denver-Area Consignment Sale Schedule… IT IS HUGE!!!

Generous People

I suppose I am a superstitious person. I will not give an expecting parent a gift until they are at least 7 months into a pregnancy. I have always known that sometimes things do not work out and dread the thought of giving a gift to someone and having them have that reminder around if they have to deal with a loss. I think I am in the minority on this one though.

I am at 10 weeks 3 days and have already received a prenatal fitness DVD, body butter, pregnancy teas, and a maternity t-shirt. These are obviously gifts for me as the expecting mama. The best part of these gifts is that very few people know I am pregnant, we are waiting a few more weeks before we make the pregnancy public knowledge.

Last night I was at a casual gathering where two newly engaged friends were introducing their parents to each other for the first time. Imagine my surprise when my girlfriend decided to give me a present that she picked up on a recent trip to Hawaii. A baby book.

The parents at the party asked if we have a whole library set up yet. I said, nope, this is our first book for the baby. I have to admit, this book is really cute. You learn to count to ten in Hawaiian, most of the writing is in English, and there are Hawaiian translations for a lot of words.

I don’t know if my friend realized but my husband and I have been really curious about what our mixed-race baby will look like and when we saw this cover we laughed that this child could be a possibility.

I do have generous friends where I live. I have two friends already angling to throw a baby shower. I have neighbors that have generously offered a crib that their college-aged son used as an infant and has been loaned to many friends… we will have baby number 15 to use it. The few people who know our secret are offering to cook meals before and after baby comes, offer advice since we are first-timers, and are generally supportive in how they have been checking in on me.

I simply feel blessed to have generous and supportive people in my life and hope I have a been good friend to them in return.