If you are new to the area, you may not have heard of these giant consignment sales that happen twice a year all over the metroplex. The are full of incredible deals (I’m taking 70-90% off retail prices) on everything you need for a new baby.
Here’s the deal – the consignment sale is usually open for one weekend only. There are public shopping days where everyone is allowed in.
Moms from all over will prepare their gently used baby clothes and gear months in advance of a great consignment sale. These consigners will earn a portion of their sales (usually 60-80%, depending on the sale structure) and they are able to get in early to the sales. Another way you can get in early is by volunteering. One final way some sales allow you to get in early is by registering as a “First Time Mom”.
The first time I walked into a consignment sale as a newly pregnant mama-to-be, I was so overwhelmed. There was so much stuff I didn’t know where to start and I certainly didn’t have a game plan. Seasoned consignment sale veterans know you always go into a sale with a game plan, so here are 11 things to look out for when you’re preparing for baby at a consignment sale:
The first item on this list isn’t for baby at all – it’s for mom! Consignment sales have surprisingly good deals on maternity clothes. Stop by several big maternity shops before the sale to check your sizes because they don’t offer a fitting room at the sale.
I love buying children’s books, especially vintage books or books I read as a child. A consignment sale is a great place to fill your library with meaningful children’s books. The first time I went to buy a children’s book at a retail store for a friend’s baby shower, I had major sticker shock! I have always bought books second hand for a fraction of the cost and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
You might be wary or purchasing a big item like a crib or a carseat second hand, but these consignment sales know what they’re doing. They triple check that all the cribs are not recalled and they have strict rules about how new a crib must be in order to consign it.
Pack n’ Play
We bought our Pack n’ Play at a consignment sale more than 3 years ago and it’s still going strong! I love that you can buy one with all the bells and whistles like a changing table and bassinet, or you can buy a simple Pack n’ Play like the ones your parents used.
At my favorite consignment sale, they have an entire room dedicated to strollers. You can find any make and model you’re looking for from a lightweight umbrella stroller to a heavy duty double jogging stroller. Just make sure that whatever you choose can fit in the trunk of your car!
Clothes & Shoes
Clothes and shoes are the bread and butter of consignment sales. They are the reason most people carve time out of their weekend to attend. Make sure you get a variety of sizes – your little one might not be in newborn or 0-3 month clothes for long. But when you’re purchasing the next sizes up, consider the seasons. If your baby will be 6-9 months November-January, you might not need to purchase 3 swim suits in that size.
I have found whole Lego sets, American Girl Dolls, and even a vintage Tupperware shape sorter, all for way less than retail.
Here’s the thing…there’s really no way to know what kind of soothing contraption your baby will like until they arrive. Some kids will immediately take to the calming motion of the rocker while others love the gentle bouncing. Some kids (like mine!) won’t have a thing to do with either one. Instead of buying the insanely expensive models at the store, hedge your bets and purchase one of each at a steep discount. Then if your baby decides they hate them, you won’t feel bad for shelling out a ton of cash. (Bonus – you can just sell what they don’t like at the next sale)
Chances are you will want to have a carrier like an Ergo, a Baby Bjorn, a Moby wrap, or a Tula. But it’s another one of those things you don’t know until you try. I have used an Ergo carrier for both my kids and I absolutely love it, but I also picked up a Moby wrap with my second kiddo so they I could carry him from the time he was born. I bought both of these at a consignment sale, so do your research before you go so that you’ll know what you want to look for.
This was a surprising find for me the first time around – I found a couple of great high quality diaper bags at great prices that were hardly used. I ended up hating the one I thought I would love because it was too bulky and using the one I just bought at the last minute because it was too cheap to pass up!
Your baby will use their play mat for maybe 6 months. If you buy one from a big box store, that probably means you just spent about $75 for something they hardly used. You can probably find one at a consignment sale that looks almost new.
Did I miss your favorite consignment sale purchase? Share some of your favorite finds in the comments below!