Cut your children’s clothing budget by at least 70 percent, and stock the playroom with a complete set fun toys that you can get for less than $20, when you take advantage of children’s outgrown sales. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your experience.
Finding the Sales
Depending on where you live, finding children’s outgrown sales can either be easy or require a bit of research. I’ve found the best sales through word of mouth. They are usually the ones run my churches or other smaller organizations. The selection tends to be high, but the prices low.
Some commercial companies are now organizing their own children’s outgrown sales. These sales tend to be absolutely huge with a lot of selection (picture an entire high school gymnasium filled from one end to the next), but the prices can be a bit higher than non-profit sales. Some even charge an admission fee, which may or may not be waived if you ask.
The bigger sales are usually advertised extensively.
Getting First Pick
With Children’s outgrown sales, when you shop can be everything. If you are looking for something very specific, let’s say a particular high-end toy or stroller, then get to the sale early, at least 30 minutes before it opens. There will be a line. Better yet, consign items yourself or offer to volunteer. Consigners and volunteers usually get to shop the sale the day before it officially opens.
If you are looking mainly for clothing or aren’t desperate for something specific, then plan to arrive about 15 minutes into the sale. You won’t have to wait online or suffer through a mad rush, yet there will be plenty of inventory available.
Save Even More
Many children’s outgrown sales are held on multiple days, two or even three. Usually, items that haven’t sold are discounted to half price on the last day. There are some exceptions of course. Shopping on the half-price days can give you the opportunity to snap up some great bargains.
If you have the time, a good strategy might be to shop both the first day and again on the last day. Purchase anything you really want the first time around, and then go back for items that make more sense to buy after the extensive discount.
Bring a Buddy
Shopping at children’s outgrown sales with a buddy makes a lot of sense. First of all, it is more fun. Second, you can divide and conquer for better and quicker shopping, and third, having an extra set of eyes may save you from bad purchases. For example, a shopping buddy may be really good at spotting stains and tears that you might otherwise have missed.
Some children’s outgrown sales are not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, shoppers looking for a steal can be pushy, rude or downright greedy. Others can inadvertently offend. Expect some of this behavior and try not to let it bother you.
Proper sale etiquette means being polite. If you see someone searching through a table, start your search on the end they just finished, or ask if you can join in. Offer to look for something for the other person, as you are browsing for yourself. Believe me, it will pay off.
Do This Before You Check Out
When your shopping is done, but before you check out, find a quiet corner somewhere and go through your stash. You may find that you have changed your mind on certain items or have found stains, tears or missing pieces. Looking over your selections before you make your purchases is a good idea and may save you money.