Where I Love to Shop: Part 2 — Helpful Hints

I posted yesterday about the Kids Exchange Consignment sale.   I know these posts are a little out of line with what I normally post, but this sale has been one of my favorite things since having kids.  I have shopped with a newborn, 8 mths pregnant, with cancer and while being treated for cancer (and every sale in between!).  My husband knows that consignment days and Black Friday are MY days! 🙂 And don’t worry, I’ll be back soon to continue posting my Project 365 pics and to update you on my treatment status.

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I hope you were able to check out yesterday’s pictures.  If you haven’t, you might want to do that right now to have an idea of what in the world I’m talking about and get a glimpse of why you might need a shopping guide!

This post is especially for all of my Raleigh friends that have never been to the Kid’s Exchange sale.

Here is the deal:  there is way more stuff in the building than you can make time to look at in one visit.  You have to know what you’re getting into and have a plan BEFORE you start shopping!

Some of you have told me that this sale overwhelms you, which is understandable, so I am going to help you plan!  Here’s what you need to know:

1.  The sale opens to the public first thing Friday morning.  First thing = 9:00 am!  If you have kids and plan to go to the sale, call and get a babysitter right now.  Or tell your husband he is on daddy duty if you plan to go in the evening.

  • How long will you need a babysitter? Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at the sale.  Longer if you like to really dig for deals.
  • Do you need to be there when the doors open?  There will be a line of people waiting to get in.  I advise people to arrive very early to secure a place at the front of the line OR just wait and arrive at 9:15 and walk in with no line.   I would not advise getting there at 8:30 – all the die-hards will already be in line and beat you into the building anyway.  So either really early or after 9:00am is what I would recommend.  By the way, this is true for all sale days – there is a line every day.

2.  Pack your car with a stroller.  Or a wagon.  Or a rolling cart.   You will need it – trust me on this one.  If there is a way to hang clothes on your chosen vehicle, even better!  Take your stroller (or wagon, or cart) in with you when you go.

  • If you don’t have a rolling device, there are a limited number of shopping carts available.  You must turn in your driver’s license for them to hold if you borrow a buggy.
  • Also take a couple of tote bags with you – you can put your small items in these bags.

3.  Decide what items are most important for you to find.  Make a list.   Is it clothes?  Shoes?  Toys?  Bedding? Books? Baby carrier?  Diaper bag? Life jackets?  Pool floats?  Now that you’ve determined what is most important to you,

  • When you enter the sale, head directly for the section that contains the item you want the most.  There will be a greeter at the door handing out a map of the building.
  • I don’t want to bog down this post explaining where everything is, but basically toys/games/books are in the front, clothes are at the back, and shoes are in the very back.  Everything else is in the middle!
  • In my opinion, it is best to hit to the clothing LAST.   See more on my clothing opinions below.
  • Are you a new parent or grandparent?  Maybe you should walk around the expo building first (where you enter) – this building is full of strollers, cribs, pack n plays, high chairs, swings and other large baby gear.  You can purchase and hold these items in that building and pick up when you are finished shopping in the other building.
  • Generally speaking, the larger the item, the smaller the quantity.  And the best-priced of these items will be claimed by the first to see the deal.  Looking for a stroller?  HEad there first – buy your stroller and then use it to shop!

Okay, as I mentioned, I think it is wise to save clothes for last – here’s why:

1. Clothes will be hit or miss for you anyway, because let’s face it – we all have our personal style and standards of what clothing should be resold and what shouldn’t be and at what price … not all sellers will share those styles and standards, and it will take you quite a bit of time to go through all the clothing in your child’s designated size.

2. The quantity of clothes vs. the quantity of anything else you are looking for is massive. 

Like everything else, yes, the best clothes at the best prices will be bought first, probably before you even see them.  That is the chance I take!

A few more tips:

  • Try not to be checking out between 12:00-1:30 … people take their lunch break and shop during this time and the check out lines tend to be a little longer.
  • Take a snack and a thermos.  You’ll be glad you did!
  • Take a friend with you!  Compare deals!  Tag team!
  • Clothing sold during this sale is spring/summer clothing.  You won’t find any coats or snowsuits or anything like that.
  • Sunday is half price day.  This isn’t really an option for a lot of us that go to church, but there are usually plenty of clothes left on the last day.
  • Here is the Kid’s Exchange Website with directions to the event and shopping times: http://kidsexchange.net/raleigh/shop/

I love this sale and look forward to it every year.  Thank you, Kids Exchange, for providing this sale for parents like me!

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  • If you are reading this blog post and are sad that you don’t live close enough to Raleigh to shop, visit the main page to see if there is a sale near you: http://kidsexchange.net/
  • If there isn’t a sale near you but you wish there was, I think there is information on the site on how you can start one!
  • If you want info on being a consigner, send me a message.  It is too late for this sale, but I’d be glad to share my happy consigning experiences!

Happy consignment shopping, everyone!

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About Candace

Stay at home mom of three small kids (3, 2, and almost 1) -- about to embark on the biggest journey of my life.
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