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Tips for Shopping Consignment and Resale

In our community the consignment & resale events kick of this month.  At schools and warehouses all over people are organizing clothing, shoes, toys and baby gear to resell to new families. This is my favorite way to shop. Kids grow quickly and that means they outgrow their things quickly that means families are left with items in great condition. Tips for Shopping Consignment and Resale

I go out to each consignment or resale shop with rules to follow.  Doing this ensures I get the biggest bang for my buck.

  • Write down your children’s clothing and shoe sizes on a notecard for easy reference.
  • Know beforehand if they need things like winter coats, sneakers, jeans and other basics.
  • Bring something to carry your haul. Large tote bags, laundry baskets, shopping baskets, etc.
  • If you like it, grab it because it might not be there when you circle back in 15 minutes. You can always put it back.
  • Shop with outfits in mind. You don’t want to bring home an adorable patterned sweater then have nothing to match it.
  • Sort through your haul before checking out. Ask yourself “Would I buy that in a retail store?” Don’t let the price be your deciding factor.
  • Make sure buttons are attached, zippers go up, down AND lock, drawstrings are intact and seams aren’t ripped. Review hems, sleeves, collars and armpits for stains or holes.
  • Inspect baby gear for loose screws, chipped paint, missing pieces. Use your smartphone to check recall lists or reviews.
  • Know your budget.
  • Be comfortable. Shopping can be hard work especially when you are hauling piles of clothing around. Leave the heavy handbag and coat at home.

The last time I hit the big JBF Consignment Sale in fall I was able to get most of my daughter’s winter wardrobe plus shoes, coats for her and Shaun and some fun stuff for way less than $200. I can’t wait for the spring event coming up in  a few weeks.

These tips aren’t just for shopping kids clothes.  Use the same guidelines when shopping for adults and household items.

What do you like best about shopping consignment and resale?


  1. Great tips! I love consignment sales, because I can always manage to buy an entire season’s worth of clothes for a fraction of what I would have paid at the department store. I just wish they had consignment sales that offered things for my pre-teen boys who are going through clothes faster than I can keep up!

  2. I love consignment shopping, but a list is a must! I will buy too much if I go unprepared!

  3. Great tips! I always am on the look out for big ticket baby items (jumpers, etc.) and “lots” of toys (LEGOS, Hot Wheels, etc.).

  4. I like shopping consignment sales because you can find deals on items your kids love at a fraction of the cost. My biggest score was a lightly used LEGO table for $40! My son uses it every day!

  5. I definitely need a list when I go because I always find tons of amazing stuff for my dd7. I don’t shop as much for the boys because they have hand me downs, and usually I just need to replace a few items like sweat pants.

  6. We *just* went to our first consignment shop this weekend. Amelia needed jackets big time. We got 3, a nightgown and some toys for under $45. Ok, I’m SOLD! I’ll totally be going back…

  7. I need to do more shopping at these sales. Thanks for the great tips, and ideas about what to look for!

  8. thank you for sharing your tips! I went to my first sale without anything to haul my stuff in. I could barely look through racks with my arms full

  9. The JBF sale is great, I’m so looking forward to it! THanks for the tips!

  10. Love these tips and love this season! Can’t wait to get my shop on!!

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