5 Tips for Shopping Children's Consignment Resale Events

 Dresses from  Ever After Resale   spring 2013

 Dresses from Ever After Resale  spring 2013

Did you realize yesterday was the first day of autumn? Before writing this post, I spent fifteen minutes pulling summer clothes from my children's closet and drawers. I do this for two reasons:

First, my four-year-old would choose to wear sundresses year-round, so tucking these away in the cold months makes for fewer clothing disputes. (My one-year-old shows a similar fondness for swim trunks.)

Secondly, the fall/winter children's clothing consignment events take place in the next few weeks, so knowing what we have and what we need makes for wiser buying decisions. I shop two or three resale events per year, and that's essentially all the clothes shopping I ever need to do for my children. 

Here are the five tips I've learned over time for making the most of children's clothing consignment events:

1. Make a list of what your children need by size. (ie, snow boots size 9/euro size 25). I keep the list on my smartphone; it's less likely that I'll forget it at home. I also include my children's current size in european sizing for brands like Hanna Andersson.

2. Shop before the sale officially opens. The public event days are crowded and the best selections disappear quickly. (To get a pre-sale pass, you can sign up to hand out postcards a month prior, volunteer, or consign items. Sometimes it's as simple as bringing a snack for volunteers.)

3. Plan to pay with cash. There's often a separate, shorter line for those paying with cash, and withdrawing a set amount of money ahead of time can help you stick to a budget.

4. Shop for the most expensive item on your list first, rather than starting with items closest to the entrance. A winter coat or a pair of shoes, for example, will cost more than a pair of pants when purchased new, so search for these items first.

5. To avoid buyer's remorse, always re-examine your selections before buying. Verify the size on the resale tag with the clothing size, and check for stains. Since you can't return purchases, you want to be absolutely confident with your final picks.

My two favorite resale events in Oregon:

  •  Ever After Resale (Eugene/Beaverton): This sale is small-scale, but they accept only name-brand items, so it's easy to find durable, quality clothing without spending too much time sorting through racks.
  • SuperKids Resale (Gresham/Vancouver/Longview): This is a warehouse-scale event of everything baby and child-oriented. Ergo baby carrier? Check. Radio Flyer Wagon? Check. Halloween costume? Check. But see tip #2 above if you want to spot these before they're sold.

Hopefully you receive plenty of hand-me-down clothing from family and friends, and consignment events just help you fill in the gaps. 

What do you do with your child's outgrown clothing? If you donate it, which is your favorite charity? If you keep it, how do you organize and store it?