Friday, August 24, 2007

Consignment Sale Mayhem

How to be a mediocre consignment-sale shopper:

  • Go by yourself, but with the kids in tow. Supermoms don't need help or second opinions!

  • Put your kid(s) in a stroller. A large one. Have some extra children tag along for good measure.

  • Don't bring a shopping bag or laundry basket or anything to carry your stash o' goodies.

  • Come on the second day of the sale when everything has been picked over, but not the last day, because the last day is usually half-off.

  • Leave after only looking for five minutes.

  • I think we only made two of the above mistakes, which is pretty good considering up until today I was a consignment sale virgin. You'd think since I've had this list of all the kids sales in Atlanta for a while that I'd actually have gone before now, but there wasn't really a good time. First, we didn't have kids yet, although I was working with a kids' ministry so I thought I *might* go. Then, I was going to grad school full-time, or teaching. While I was pregnant, I thought about it, but there was always one more thing to do before the baby came, especially since I taught until just before he was born. The spring sales were taking place when he was only weeks old, and I just wasn't up to it. Now, however, I can see how it can become obsessive and overwhelming and a huge frenzy. But not for me, I think. I don't like large crowds.

    Thankfully, today was not one of those days. I had picked out two sales within 5 miles of our apartment, avoiding the ginormous sale taking place about 20 minutes away at a civic center (over 1,000 sellers! yikes!). I'd planned to go early to the first one, but Gaines' mom and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast instead. We stopped at the first sale about 15 minutes after it officially opened and found some good deals on like-new or brand-new 9-12 month clothes. Not bad for a newbie.

    Our one misstep: we brought the stroller to the first sale because J was looking sleepy. Upon arrival, however, we discovered the place was small, things were a bit cramped, large bags were not allowed, and he woke up in all the excitement anyway. So, I wore him in my Babyhawk and took the stroller back to the car, which was much better for both of us. I spotted two other babywearers there including one I knew from Koala Momma meetings in a Beco and another mom in a pink Babyhawk. I don't know how many people working there asked me if I made "that thing you're carrying him in"! I wish! (I'm a horrible, lazy, novice seamstress who hasn't even bothered to attempt to make or hem or alter anything with the borrowed sewing machine I've had for a month...maybe the undeserved compliments will inspire me?) At the second sale, I saw another mom with her 10-month old in a cute Beco, a baby carrier I've had my eye on for quite a while now. (Dear readers, won't you please buy some CD's on eBay so I can fund my babywearing obsession? *wink*)

    The second consignment sale was in a much larger church gymnasium, which was lucky since J really did fall asleep in his carseat this time. Thankfully, there was plenty of room to maneuver our Combi carseat-carrying "naked" stroller, and most of the crowd had thinned out. You could tell the place had been picked over, but there were still a couple of good finds left. We got an Evenflo Exersaucer in fairly good shape for almost nothing (which was the only thing we were really looking for anyway) and a posh winter coat, but we weren't really going with needs in mind, just to see how things work. And we made it home before lunch! It wasn't nearly as overwhelming or intimidating or time-consuming as I expected. I think I'll go again sometime. In fact, I'm already planning another consignment sale outing for next week. And this time, I'm making a list!

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