Why I Am a Fan of Consignment Sales – Part 1 – The Discovery

The following is part one of an I-don’t-know-how-many-part series on Consignment Sales.

I didn’t know, driving down the street that day, that I was going to stumble into a new money-making opportunity.  Being a stay-at-home Mom in a single income household, I’m always looking for ways to save money, and make money.

I’m kind of surprised I saw the sign at all.  I tend to be in my own world while driving.  I’m keeping my eye on the road, and my mind is usually busy thinking about what else I need to do that day.  But see the sign I did – the one announcing the Just Between Friends children’s consignment sale coming to our local gymnasium that weekend.

I was intrigued.  I have a kidlet.  I also have lots of stuff the kidlet has outgrown.  I’d been saving it and saving it in hopes G-d would bless us with another child, but in the Fall of 2009 I had recently passed the “if-I’m-not-pregnant-by-the-time-I’m-42…” deadline we’d set for ourselves.  Sadly, the kidlet would be an only child.  Happily, he’s a wonderful, happy child with lots of cousins….

I’d been to consignment stores in the past, with mixed results.  I’d bought a few items after they’d been marked down, and had mixed results consigning items (more about that in my next post).

I obviously didn’t have enough time to consign anything, but I thought it was worth checking out.

I noted the date and time of the sale, and showed up bright and early the first day of the two-day event.  I was disappointed to find out that there was an admission charge for the first day.  I was not going to pay admission (too bad I hadn’t researched the sale on the computer, as they have a printable coupon for the admission right there on their website)!   I was encouraged to come back the next day.  Ordinarily I might have been so irritated by the admission charge that I would never have given them my business, but my annoyance went (mostly) away when I was told that most items would be 50% off the final day.

The next day I wasn’t so bright and early, but I was still pretty overwhelmed with the amount of stuff for sale (now, two years later, the sale has doubled in size!).  I took my time looking around – there was a ton of clothing, toys, strollers, high chairs and other baby paraphernalia, a Mommy Mart (all things for Moms), furniture (cribs to dressers to tables and chairs and even sofas!), toys and books – tons of books!

Everything was very well organized, and the items were of good quality.  The company is serious about not selling junk and will remove anything from the floor that is stained or missing pieces.  There were many, many brand new items, still with tags.

It took me awhile to realize how the half-off sale worked.  Apparently, any tag that had a red star on it stayed full-price.   Anything without a star was half-off.  A lot of people were annoyed, but I would come to realize that this is a really, really good thing for consignors (more on that in the next post, too).

I spent a few hours there.  The longer I was there, the more I was amazed by the amount of stuff going out the door.  By the time I left the toy tables and book section were pretty bare.  Most of the big items were gone.  There were still a ton of clothes, especially for the littlest ones.

At the end of the day I wound up buying a few items of clothing (including a Ralph Lauren button-down shirt for $2, two brand new Abercrombie and Fitch shirts for $4 each, and Gymboree pants for $2!), a couple of toys and a few books.

But I left with more than the items I bought.  I left with a total commitment to consign in the Spring sale (they have them twice a year), and I had mentally begun a list of things to sell.  And I left knowing that Husband would be excited that there’d be a bunch less clutter in the house.

I invite you to check out their website and see if there’s a sale near you.  If you are in South Florida, check out the Jupiter JBF sale going on this weekend at the Calvary Chapel on Indiantown Road.  And the Coral Springs/Boca Raton Just Between Friends Fall Sale is September 23-25th at the Coral Springs Gymnasium on Coral Springs Drive.  Whether you want to consign or just shop, check it out!

*  In case you’re wondering, I do not own any JBF sale (though I’d like to – they are franchises).  I will say, though, that by promoting them I get a little extra (volunteers get an extra % of their sales), and I’m hoping to get more people to attend because the more people that show, the more will buy my stuff. And they’ll get great deals, too! That’s what I call a win-win situation!

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