Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's like Christmas in September

The semiannual Upstate Kids Consignment Sale is just around the corner, and I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. I'm as excited about de-junking my house as I am about getting new stuff! Last time we cleaned out and cleaned up, selling enough to more than pay for what we bought--which was Suzi's spring wardrobe, a bunch of like-new toys, and then some. This time I am hoping to do the same.

If you haven't been shopping here, you have been missing out. Thanks to some seriously picky organizers, you won't find a bunch of recalled toys and stained, holey clothes at this sale. The items are in excellent condition and, let me tell you, the gym is loaded to the hilt. It's almost too much stimulation for a bargain shopper like myself. Since I'm pretty sure I've regaled nearly everyone with my consignment sale adventures, I'm going to list my tips for buying and selling. Most of them are on the Upstate Kids website, but a few of them bear repeating.

1) Volunteer. You can sign up for this here after you register. Volunteers get to shop first! This is how I got Suzi's crib, cradle, and her dolphin swing for our backyard swing set. It is a four hour shift and it's honestly worth it. And don't worry, they won't work you too hard. (I volunteered when I was seven months pregnant. Kim gave me tasks I could perform sitting down, and even gave me granola bars to eat because I'd forgotten to bring a snack.) If you are selling, you get 70% of your sales instead of the usual 65%! I've met some cool people while volunteering, and if you volunteer for before the sale it's a good time to scope out the items you might want.

2) Package your sale items securely. Shoppers can get rowdy, and items with lots of pieces will probably be strewn everywhere if you don't pack them up safely. Save those clear plastic zipper bags (the kind sheet sets come in) and use them to package things. If you use a ziploc bag to package something, tape it shut. Don't count on things staying together just because you set them down together. Things get moved around a lot before the doors officially open.

3) Don't overprice your stuff. Ask yourself what you'd pay for it, and then go down a little from that. You don't want to haul the stuff home again, do you? We learned this the hard way. While we made a lot of money, we could have made more if we'd gone a little lower.

4) Get a babysitter for the presale. Unless you are nursing a little one you can carry in a sling, you will regret having your child in tow. He might even get stepped on in all the commotion, and this is why they ask shoppers not to bring children under eight to the presale. (It's okay to bring them to the public sale, I think.) But please, PLEASE don't bring a stroller to the presale. There is nothing more obnoxious than a woman blocking off a whole aisle with her own personal bus.

5) Arrive early for the presale. I'd recommend at least an hour, because there will be a line. If you don't need anything in particular (i.e., you're not making a mad dash for a crib you fell in love with while volunteering) you could probably just come 20-30 minutes early.

6) Things to bring: A laundry basket, fold-up hamper, or other vessel for transporting your goods while you comb through the racks. The really smart ladies tie a rope or belt to their laundry basket so they can pull it along easily. When your arms are full, one of the volunteers will usually tag your pile so you can scamper off in pursuit of more good buys. Also bring cash and credit cards. They accept both (but no checks), and in case you run out of money you might need backup. It also might get you through the line faster. Bring patience too, especially to the presale. There will be a line at checkout because there are so many people, but it is worth the wait.

7) If you want to sell but don't know where to start, go here to sign up. After you gather your items and get them clean and pretty, you can sit at your computer and print price tags for them. It's easy and fun! The best part is you can log in each day during the sale to see how much of your stuff sold! Since there is a sale in Clemson and one in Anderson this year, your items have a much greater chance of selling. This is by far the best avenue I've found for making money off previously loved items--you should try it!

I know all this might sound a little crazy, but hey--it comes but twice a year. Let me know if you're volunteering and going to the presale. Maybe I'll see you there!


Theresa said...

You make me want to take a nap when I ead about all that hard work!
I hope the titbits work for your mom - I even bought some Clemson orange to make one for game days. I guess I should tone down the colors. That's why I used the salmon and creme brulee colorways!

Vicky said...

I really REALLY should do this! I think the past 2 times I have said this! Help me....I NEED to do this! LOL Put a fire under my butt! I will probably have some toys and clothes to sell. Next year a crib, pack-n-play, and such. Nolan needs a fall/winter wardrobe desperately! :)

Melissa said...

We have one of those near where I live that does it twice a year. It is hard work to get ready for it, but I too made enough to get all my kids fall clothes last year. So funny you posted that, this weekend I am ironing a ton to get ready for the big event.

Anonymous said...

help! i need to consign a little... i need someone to hold my hand.

Kelly said...

Wow. I'm glad I'm broke because I would so spend money there!