Friday, August 17, 2012

Consignment Sale Season

'Tis upon us and if you are a parent, odds are you have been to a few (hundred). Of course, if you haven't been dragged into the consignment sale arena quite yet, there are a few things you are most definitely missing.

One of those things is the cheapness. When D was little, I would frequent them for toys or books. The little things you need for young children that you just don't want to pay a small fortune for. In fact, we have been through 4 copies of Goodnight Moon in my short journey through parenthood and I have never paid more than a dollar for any of them. Tiny Ralph Lauren jeans for $5? Check. 27 piece boys dress up clothes for $8? Check. For the most part, consignment sales are the place to buy reasonably price kids clothes. There are some sales that even go on up into the junior sizes which might fit more than just the kids. At over 6 feet and on the heavier side, thats not the case for me.

Of course there are always the delirious few that seem to think they can sell their kids used clothing for the same price they paid for them three kids ago. Stains and all. Those are the clothes that are still there when the sales close. Those plus the ridiculously ugly things that you have to wonder why on Earth someone spent money on in the first thing. My favorite so far this year is a single Tweedle Dee costume complete with helicopter hat in a size 8. Interesting.

Then there is the more personal side of consignment sales. As a people watcher type, big groups of people are always a lot of fun for me. There are always the old pro people that have done this every season for as long as they have been a parent, but then there are the frenzied first time moms, the lost looking Dads that have no clue why they are there and the inevitable Kincaid tshirt wearing Grandmas willing to use their walkers as weapons. 

The old pros tend to show up prepared. they have their laundry basket with a leash to drag around behind them while they shop so they have their hands free to scour the racks quickly for that perfect outfit. They come with cash, instead of a check that requires extra time at the check outs or plastic which usually carries a fee. They are in and out of the sale quickly and efficeintly and on to the next sale of the day. These people can buy whole wardrobes of clothes, toys, and gear for their kids for next to nothing by going to multiple sales and looking for the best bargains. I am a notrotiously cheap kind of person but I don't have that much patience. I tend to get as much as I can at one sale and then the rest comes either in hand me downs from friends or I hit the clearance racks a season ahead. Most of D's fall wardrobe was bought last spring.

The lost boys (Dads) usually just stand around in the way of the old pros. That or they follow around the woman they are with as close as possible and watch over her shoulder critiquing the price of each thing she touches. They are my least favorite group. Rarely, a man will be trusted with a task of some sort like looking for sports equipment or picking out the best bike. Mostly, they stand around in the way.

My favorite group of consignment salers though are the Grandmas. They are the agressive, take no prisoners shoppers of the circuit. They know exactly what their little prince or princess needs and they are going to get to it before you. There aren't as many of these as there are the other two but rest assured you will know them when you see them.

So, when (or if) you head out for the sales this weekend, come back an let me know how it went. Never been to one and don't plan on it? Can't say I blame you.

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