10 Reasons Children’s Resale Events Rock

If you've never shopped (or sold) at children's resale events, let me share a secret with you: they're amazing! Here are 10 of my favorite reasons why.
If you've never shopped (or sold) at children's resale events, let me share a secret with you: they're amazing! Here are 10 of my favorite reasons why.

I’m a hard-core fan of children’s resale events, or what we refer to as “Baby Consignment Sale” in our house. Since this week’s post coincides with my first fall event, I thought a little peek into why I (and so many other mamas) LOVE these events was appropriate.

If you’re not familiar with children’s resale events, they’re basically like a cross between a tag sale and shopping at the largest big-box or warehouse store you’ve ever seen. Think gently-used clothing and gear for babies, kids, and sometimes even teens, all for sale at anywhere from 50-90% off the original retail price.

Honestly, I don’t take my kids back-to-school shopping; I just shop at the children’s resale events in which I participate every spring and fall. I’ve gotten used to paying anywhere from $1-$3 for name brand clothes in whatever colors and styles we want, and stocking up on enough books, puzzles, games, and toys to keep my offspring busy for the next few months.

So, if you love to save money, get rid of things you no longer need, and/or keep still-usable stuff out of a landfill, here are

10 Reasons I Love Children’s Resale Events:

1. They’re eco-friendly

Seriously! If you like to tread lightly on Mother Earth, what could be better than recycling/upcycling gently-used baby gear? I LOVE the thought of giving things I no longer need a new lease on life, and getting stuff we DO need in the same eco-friendly way.

2. They can save you a bundle

I wasn’t joking when I said that I rarely pay more than $3 per clothing item at children’s resale events. (And often I pay less.) Shoes can be somewhat more, especially for larger kids’ sizes, but more than $10 is unusual. And when I pay that much, it’s for things like my beloved Keen Whisper sandals, which usually retail for closer to $50 in kids’ sizes.

3. The quality is outstanding for the price

This can vary from one sale to the next, depending on how big it is and how it’s run. But the larger the sale, often the better the quality. (Think about it: if they were known for poor-quality items, they wouldn’t have gotten so big in the first place!)

If you want to get a sense of the top children’s resale events in your area (and the ones to avoid), ask fellow mamas. Or poke around on the events’ own websites under the “Consignors” section to see what they allow. (For dates and information about events near you, search the Consignment Mommies online directory.)

4. Three words: One. Stop. Shopping.

Pretty much everything you could want or need is right there, under one roof. No schlepping around to a dozen separate stores. In one afternoon you can clothe your tween, check out homeschooling resources for your elementary-aged kids, and stock up on gear for your newest arrival, from bottles and furniture to unopened boxes of diapers and wipes.

5. No missing pieces, no recalls, and it WORKS!

For those of you who like thrifting and yard-saleing to get your secondhand shopping fix, you also know the downsides: things that don’t work when you get home, items that turn out to be missing a few crucial pieces, those hidden holes or stains or tears, and occasionally picking up an item only to learn later that it’s been recalled. (See #3 above.)

But the biggest sales with the best quality control, like the ones I frequent, pull all these things from the sales floor before the sale even begins. So you can rest assured that if you buy it from one of these sales, it’s safe, works, and has all its crucial parts.

6. Bigger payouts than a tag sale

Used to getting rid of your stuff at yard sales or garage sales? The most I’ve ever made from a yard sale was well under $100, for a long and pretty boring day in the hot sun. You just can’t make as much selling your stuff at a tag sale as you can at children’s resale events, because the customers’ expectations at the latter are automatically higher – which means higher profits for you (see #3 and #5).

7. Bigger payouts than store consignment

As I’ve noted elsewhere, the most I’ve ever made from store consignment is under $100 in a quarter. And all of it went right back into buying more stuff for my kids – and then some. In comparison, the average consignor profit at my sale is around $300 per event. At my first event, though, I made over twice as much as that; at my most recent event last spring, I netted over $1700 in profit.

8. Better for offloading a ton of stuff all at once

Besides the low payouts, another big reason I ultimately gave up on store consignment was because of the limited range of stuff our local stores took. It was a royal pain to prepare 60 items, bring them over, and have half of them rejected upfront because they “wouldn’t sell.”

It’s not stores’ fault they have to be so picky; retail space is very expensive, and they just don’t have room for it all. But the bargain-brand clothes and the bulky big-ticket items that stores can’t accept are some of the best sellers at children’s resale events.

9. Helping others while helping ourselves

Our sale has two options for unsold merchandise. Consignors can pick up unsold items at the end of the sale, OR they can donate them. All donated items are available for purchase at the post-sale Stuff-a-Bag-for-Charity event. The money raised at those events supports a different local charity at each sale. And any items that still remain after Stuff-a-Bag get donated to another local thrift store that gives its profits back to local organizations.  So it’s really a win-win-win for everyone involved.

And the final reason children’s resale events are one of my fave places to hang out?

10. I get to spend the week with other awesome mamas!

Children’s resale events often give consignors the option to help out for one or more shifts, in exchange for earning back a higher percentage of the revenue from sales of their consigned items. I take full advantage of this opportunity at my sales.

Yes, I love earning a higher percentage of my sales. But the real reason I spend as much time as possible at my own sale events is because of the amazing mamas I get to hang out with. They are a truly great group of ladies, and being together all working toward the same common goal (an awesome sale!) puts me on a high for at least a week.

Much as I love blogging and writing for a living, long days in my home office can be isolating. And much as I love my children, there’s no substitute for adult conversation with other mamas. My own mama comes down to help out with my girls each sale week, so she gets a dose of the grandkids, they get a dose of her, and I get to socialize with other grownups. Win-win-win!

How about you? Do you ever shop at (or sell at) children’s resale events? Let us know in the comments!

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58 thoughts on “10 Reasons Children’s Resale Events Rock”

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    1. Haha, I used to live near one of those BEFORE I had kids – none where I live now, but fortunately we have lots of these pop-up sales instead! 🙂

  3. I just discovered the JBF events in my area this year and loved them! I plan on being a consignor at some point as I haven’t had much luck with Craigslist, but waiting till next year when I’ll have a good amount to sell!

    1. Aren’t they all just the best?! Collecting up your stuff and getting it ready over the winter is definitely a good idea, as there’s something to be said for having a lot together all at once – some sales even have a minimum # of items you can enter/bring (though I don’t remember what JBF’s rule is in this regard). Good luck, and do check back in early 2018 because I’m planning to do a series of posts then on resale prep tips and tricks! 🙂

  4. I absolutely love the post! I’ve never been to a sale like that before. I’ve been to second hand stores, which I love and buy from a lot. I love the advantages you mentioned on this post and I’m excited to check one out.

    1. Then you will DEFINITELY save a ton – do look in the consignmentmommies.com directory to see if there’s one near you, and when! 🙂

    1. My kids LOVE the stuff I bring home for them! They have pretty distinct tastes, but I’ve (so far) figured out enough of their style preferences that I can always find things to match each of their tastes. 🙂

    1. Honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts of our sale! By helping out as many shifts as I can, not only do I maximize the amount of my items’ selling price that goes back in my pocket, but I get to hang out with these really amazing ladies at the same time! 🙂

    1. Yay! So you don’t NEED convincing by the sounds! Hope you find as much adorable stuff for your kiddos as I did for mine! 🙂

    1. And I have to admit, maybe it’s having a latent hippie for my own mama and being born in the 1970s, but I am a sucker for anything eco-friendly! 🙂 (though yeah, saving $$$ is awesome too! 🙂 )

    1. I always end up buying at least one thing that is NWT (new, with tags still on it) at our children’s resale event, and this first-sale-of-the-season was no exception. And you’re right, this works for stores (and adult resale stores) too – one of my favorite finds at the upscale women’s resale boutique where I shop was a $115 dollar skirt, original tags still on it, that I scored for about $13. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. I wished we had a children’s resale event near us. I would totally go. I currently shop from a lady on Facebook in upstate NY for my youngest daughters clothing. Her daughters are about a size above what mine is, so it works out perfectly.

    1. Ooh, I love the workaround you’ve found, Joanna! (I admit, there are a few designers/brands of adult clothes I’ve acquired a taste for that I routinely buy on eBay for a fraction of what I’d pay new!) That is wonderful that you’ve figured out a way to circumvent not having a sale like this near you 🙂

  6. I really wish we had more of these close to me. I have 3 kids and one on the way and it hurts me to pay full price for clothes they will grow out of in a year.

    1. I’m sorry you DON’T, Kansas 🙁 . (Maybe you could start one? LOL you know in your abundant spare time?) Seriously, some of the other options I know friends of mine use are clothing/book/gear swaps, Craigslist/Freecycle, Nextdoor/other online neighborhood classifieds, and the classifieds section of local mommies’ listservs. A friend of mine (who works full time) uses her neighborhood parents’ listserv to sell her kids’ stuff, since she doesn’t have time to do resale events; and before I did resale events, I sold (and bought) the bigger-ticket items through the electronic bulletin board at my husband’s work. Good luck, both with your pending arrival and with “gearing up”!

  7. This type of store makes so much sense. Little kids especially grow out of clothes so fast. It’s great to be able to get a good deal and get something back for what you don’t need anymore. Love it!

    1. That’s my thought exactly, Erica – it’s nuts to spend a fortune on kids’ clothes that they’ll only fit into for maybe a year at most!

  8. Honestly, I’m not interested in resale events but because of you.. I think I should start rooting for it. Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks, Journa – I admit, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have so much fun there, and I especially love knowing that all my kids’ outgrown stuff can get a new lease on life! 🙂

  9. I love the concept of recycling clothing too! I love buying and wearing name brand clothing, but have often purchased it at resale and consignment shops. It’s sort of a hobby for me to find a designer item at a rock-bottom price. These events sound like a great way to get some excellent deals on quality kids clothing!

    1. It truly is! This kind of thrifty upcycling is definitely a “thing” in our area, I’m now realizing (having only moved here when I got married) – besides children’s resale events, we have a lot of designer women’s consignment shops, where I get my nicer clothes for 90% off retail value or more! 🙂

  10. This is great! It’s always good to get a good deal or sale on kids clothes. They grow so quickly and sometimes mess them up so fast you don’t want to spend a fortune on them.

    1. My thoughts *exactly*. Or, alternatively, do you really need to buy brand-new stuff at full price for their play clothes out in the yard, knowing they’ll just get grungy anyway?

    1. Well, you could always start your own when your kids are a little older 😉 – the paid staff and owner of the sale I’m at this week are all mamas who built this sale from the ground up, and I’m mega-impressed with how they’ve done it!

    1. You know, I hadn’t thought of it that way – it IS like a huge toy rotation for your kids! Then again, whenever mine get sad at the thought of something going, I just remind them that something even better is coming back home with me to replace it!

  11. I need to find one in my area before the baby comes this holiday season. Most of youngest things came from sales like this because to buy new to way to overpriced especially for the items that are only used for a few months.

    1. Absolutely – I SO wish I’d known about these before my babies were born! If you’re in the US, check the directory at consignmentmommies.com – depending on where you live, it may well be worth your while to drive to the nearest one even if it’s an hour or two away!

    1. DO give it a try! Just make sure you have a shopping list ahead of time, so you know what you’re looking for, and if at all possible, leave the kids at home – just trust me on this one! 😉

  12. Love this write up on those sales. I love eco friendly and what’s more eco friendly than recycling clothing? Great idea and so many great reasons to buy resale!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Jamie! That’s my thought exactly – when we all have so much “stuff” to begin with, why not pass it around instead of buying new and then throwing out? 🙂

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