One of the moms in my local group is a huge consignment shopper. I had previously written them off because I thought it would be a bunch of junk (I know, I know. I shouldn't judge), but she changed my mind because she always finds the cutest stuff. Last week, I went to a local consignment store because they were having a dollar sale. I was not impressed. There didn't seem to be much product in the store and later I realized that the owner did the math wrong on my transaction. Not a great start, but I decided to hold out for a big sale before making any final decisions on consignment shopping.
I'd actually planned on going to a big consignment sale next week (some of them fill expo centers), but decided to check one out in Austin today with some of the other moms. It took an hour and a half to get there (luckily E slept most of the way) and I got there right as it opened (whew). It was in a large room at a church and they had a ton of stuff. There were puzzles, books, baby gear, wraps, outdoor play equipment, clothes, shoes - lots and lots of stuff. They handed us Ikea bags when we walked in. I should've known then that I was in over my head.
I wore E in his baby carrier, but still could've used another hand. I picked up a Thomas the Train tunnel right off the bat (only $8 and when I got home I discovered there's a hut!) and it was bulky to lug around.
However, I somehow managed to fill the rest of my Ikea bag. I've always been leery of used clothes (I can't help it, I'm a germaphobe), but the ones I found looked clean and gently used (maybe even worn only once or twice). They even had clothes with the original tags on them. I'm just going to wash them and add some grapefruit seed extract in the wash to kill any germs the detergent doesn't take care of.
I also bought three pairs of shoes. Unfortunately, I took my chances on them and came out on the wrong side - womp womp. They were Stride Rite shoes with the original boxes, but the shoes were in sealed Ziploc bags (that probably should've been a red flag). The lighting was horrible and kept flickering so I really couldn't see if they had been worn or not. I took a chance. When I got home, I realized they'd really been worn so I'm going to try to sell them to our local consignment shop (muahahaha). I'm going to chalk this up to a newbie mistake (I also wanted to look at everything one more time before I paid, but couldn't because I didn't have enough space/hands - sigh). The third pair actually looks brand new (original packaging, stuffing) and upon closer inspection doesn't look worn at all. Those Robeez were a steal at $4.50.
Anyway, it's so easy to get caught up in the chaos. Everyone is grabbing everything and walking around with arms full of clothes and gear. Next time, I plan on being more choosy and making it a point to go back through my bag full of goodies BEFORE I checkout.
But I'm glad I went and I plan on going again. Everything was clean, pretty good quality, run by really nice volunteers. If you've never been to a consignment sale, I recommend going at least once. And go to a big sale, not a small store. You won't be disappointed.