Top 10 consignment sale shopping tips

Who loves a bargain? {We do, we do.} And with the rate kids grow, practically every parent on the planet is on a constant search of good deals on kids clothes, shoes, toys and so on. Thankfully Spring brings lots of local children’s consignment sales, offering to ease your wallet as you stockpile. So let’s talk tips!
Here are top ways to save and shop consignment sales:
TopShoppingTipsforConsignmentSales_Indy's Child Magazine
1. Create a shopping list. And stick to it.
Much like any shopping trip, you’ll do best with a list that’s organized and lays out your game plan. Sales typically carry items that are ‘in season’ so take inventory of what your kids need for the coming season and start there. We love these list templates from the organizers of Here We Grow Again – Indy West. Colorful but organized; fill them out at home before you shop. And if during your trip you find yourself knee-deep in toys when you really need shoes, take a deep breath and walk away. Stick to the list to save.
2. Check sizes. 
Sizes vary by label, so it’s best to know your brands and their sizing before you shop. Make notes on your shopping list to keep the information fresh. Or, try these quick tips from the seasoned shoppers and organizers of Whale Of A Sale:
  • To get an idea of shoe size, trace the outline of your child’s foot on a piece of paper. Cut it out and bring with you. If it fits inside a shoe with a little extra room in the toes, the shoes should fit your child.
  • Take a ribbon, run it along the circumference of your child’s head, and mark the size. This will come in handy for hats, helmets and more.
  • Some sales also let you bring in one piece of current clothing for sizing reference – just let them know at the entrance and use to compare with possible purchases.

RELATED: We visited IndyStyle to discuss these tips and more! Watch the segment here.

3. Sign up for special savings.
Not all consignment sales are created equal which means some have special offers, contests or even coupons. Get yourself signed up for your favorite sale’s mail list or be sure to follow them in social media. In some cases, they’re known to offer $ off coupons or even a savings for bringing a reusable bag!
4. Shop before the public: Buy the pre-sale pass!
We know, we know: Why BUY a pass if you’re trying to SAVE?! Simple: You’ll find the best selection at the pre-sale. Pre-sales are just that – pre the actual sale. And consignment events have started opening up their pre-sales {previously designed for only sale volunteers or consignors} to paid passholders. It allows them another way to make some $ and offers shoppers a sneak-peek-experience at the merchandise. So if you’re in search of a rare item or popular clothing size, the pre-sale is the way to go.
ConsignmentSaleTips_Indy's Child Magazine5. Leave the kids at home. 
If it works for you, leave the kids with a sitter, friend or grandparent. Focus on your shopping plan and escape without grabbing extra don’t-need items.
If they do come along, make it as easy on yourself as possible: Pack snacks, favorite books or toys OR consider babywearing itty bittys. Another tip: “We suggest little ones come in umbrella strollers instead of larger strollers,” says Indy Kids Sale owner and organizer Lori Chandler. “It makes it easier for shoppers to navigate the sales floor.”


6. Review your items.
Consignment sales are only for a limited time, so purchases are {usually} final sale. Most sales offer sorting tables or quiet corners for shoppers to inspect possible purchases. Take advantage of them! Last thing you want is to get home and realize there’s only one shoe in a box or other flaw or issue.
7. Consider consigning.
Many sales allow first pick to consignors. So why not become one? Other perks include advanced notice on future events, referral bonuses and what was that? Oh right, making money on your sales. Verdict = win-win.
8. Take advantage of the discount days.
Any more, sales are offering deep discounts on the final days before closing up shop. This means extra savings for you and inventory off their floor. Look for Half Price Days OR some sales who offer a staggered discount as the last day wears on: 50% off in the morning, 60% around noon and up to 70% in the final hours. Check the individual sale websites for details.

RELATED POST: 2016 Spring Indianapolis Consignment Sale Guide

9. Give yourself time.
Never expect to go into a consignment sale with only 15 minutes to shop. There will be a line, a huge selection to look through and it will require time. So put your patience pants on and commit yourself to finding the best deals for you with time on your side.
10. Skip the line: Shop with cash.
Remember cold hard cash? Bring it. Some sales offer express lines for shoppers paying with cash and a bonus tip from local Indy savings guru Queen Of Free: Cash is er, king when trying to save. It keeps you accountable to your budget plan and well, you can’t spend what you don’t have! Carry cash and find a spring in your step when you skip the long line of credit card shoppers.


Any tips you think we missed? Tweet us at @indyschild and let us know! We’re always looking to grow our list of tried-and-true ways to save.

Related Articles



april 2024 Indys child magazine

From our Sponsors