itty bitty boutique consignment sale
Who: Consignors - Also known as sellers, or people who are super excited to reclaim their garages by getting rid of all the stuff for the love of all things ever!!
Volunteers: Awesome people who help run the sale. They get to shop early in exchange for their hard work.
Shoppers: Ummm people who shop. I shouldn't have to explain this.
What: itty bitty boutique is a biannual consignment sale. They set up at (but are not affiliated with) Camp Harlow twice a year, in the fall and spring.
When: The next sale is March 9-15, 2015
Where: The gym and cafeteria of Camp Harlow.
Why: No explanation needed. Be there or be square.
- Go with a plan. The sale is big. As in, there is so. much. stuff. I seriously know multiple people who have gotten so overwhelmed that they: 1. Just started throwing stuff into their bag and ended up buying all sorts of things they didn't intend to, or 2. Literally walked in the door, panicked, and left without buying a thing. So know what you're looking for.
- On that note, be sure that you have a list of your kid's current sizes, both clothing and shoes.
- Take an outline of their foot on a piece of paper in case you're worried about shoes fitting.
- Speaking of shoes, those puppies sell FAST. As soon as I'm in the door, I head straight to the shoes, and so do many other people. The shoes at itty bitty are in awesome condition, and they are so much cheaper than brand new shoes.They get picked over really quickly, so if you are looking for something in particular, you better hustle.
- Shop as soon as you can. There are several ways to shop early. If you consign, volunteer, or are a first time parent/grandparent, you can shop before the doors open to the general public. You'll need a pass for these early shopping times, so be sure to check the itty bitty website for all the info.
- Take something with you to hold all your loot. IKEA bags, laundry baskets, and those shopping carts with wheels that you pull behind you are all great ways to keep your hands free to allow for maximum shopping.
- The sale is really organized, which is so helpful. Everything is divided into sections: pretend play, nursing pillows, wooden toys, nursery decor, etc. The clothes are organized by gender and size.
- Often you can find multiples at the sale. Look over the items carefully to choose which one you think is in the best shape and has the best price.
- If at all possible, I would recommend leaving your littles at home. The sale is so very crowded, and there are just so many desirable things for kiddos to want. It's much easier to shop without trying to keep track of a small one who is wandering around grabbing toys and hiding under racks of clothes.
- While you're shopping, if you're uncertain about whether or not you'd like to buy something, throw it in your bag to think about. Chances are that if you don't pick it up now, and then come back in ten minutes, it's going to be gone. However! Don't take every single thing! You're going to get some seriously dangerous sideways glares if you sweep all the pairs of size seven shoes into your bag. This is not fair at all. Now if you want to hold on to a certain rain coat while you decide whether you want to spend the $14 that the seller is asking because that seems like a lot even though it's the cutest rain coat you've ever seen in your life, that's another story. Just make up your mind fairly quickly, and put it back where you found it if you don't take it so that someone else can find it and rejoice.
- The sale is seasonal, so the one in March will have spring and summer clothes, and the one in the fall will have warmer stuff. One of the best things about itty bitty is that they screen stuff really well. No heavy velvet dresses in the spring, no bathing suits in the winter. Plan accordingly. On that note, buy ahead! Get your Easter outfit/sun hat/birthday gift/whatever now. No need to scramble later.
- When you're ready to check out, be prepared for lines. They can get long, but they move quickly. Also, bring cash to help speed things up. They do take cards, but no checks.
- While you're waiting in line, make some friends! Talk to the people around you. It's always fun to see the treasures that others are taking home for their littles, and you might just set up a playdate with your new pal.
- Absolutely most important: Follow the very clear directions on the itty bitty website. They are super specific about which way to put clothes on hangers, which toys they won't accept, etc, and will politely decline to sell your stuff if it doesn't meet their standards. It would be such a bummer to waste a bunch of time prepping stuff only to have it be denied.
- Speaking of standards, have some! Nobody wants to buy your kid's super duper dirty shoes, or a toy that has chew marks all over it. Don't try to sell stuff that you wouldn't want to buy yourself.
- Clean your toys really well, and check clothes carefully for stains. Take your time to present your stuff nicely. It will sell better if it looks neat.
- Use good safety pins. This, unfortunately, does NOT include the ones from The Dollar Tree. Trust me on this.
- If you're wondering how to price your items, check the itty bitty website. They have a very handy pricing guide posted. Another smart thing to do is to look up whatever you're selling on Craigslist. That way, you won't price your (for example) stroller at $65 when they're going for $45 online.
- You earn 70% of whatever you sell, minus a $12 administration fee. So think about your goal. Is it to make a ton of cash on stuff you paid top dollar for? If so, you'll probably find yourself pricing things pretty high in order to allow for 30% of the profits going to the sale and not your pocket. Pricing things this way often results in them being passed over. You might be better off having a garage sale on your own. If, on the other hand, you are just trying to clear out some things from your house and make a few extra bucks along the way, this is the way to go. Price things to sell. That doesn't mean that they have to be dirt cheap. I figure if I can earn enough money to make consigning worth my time, (which basically means I cover whatever I'm going to buy at the sale), then I'm good to go.
- Some people like to chip away at prepping their things a little bit at a time. I don't have space to leave piles of stuff out, so I carve out a day when my hubby can take our littles and let me work. That way I wipe it all out in one swoop.
- Whatever you do, DON'T leave all the work until the last minute! Sheesh - talk about stress. Under no circumstances am I speaking from experience. ;)
- If you can, I totally recommend working a volunteer shift for itty bitty. I've been doing it since I was pregnant with my first kiddo, and it is great for several reasons.
- It's fun! I always work the same shift, and I really enjoy doing the work.
- You meet fun people.
- You get to shop early - woot woot!
So there ya go! I really hope you take advantage of this awesome community resource. It's a fun, earth friendly, frugal way to get your family entertained and clothed.
And you guys! Get this!! itty bitty has generously given us a gift to give away to one of Go Mom Go's fabulous readers! Today you have the chance to win a $20 gift certificate plus a pre-sale shopping pass! This is so fantastic - I really hope you win!
In the comments tell us which section you go to first at a big sale & you'll be entered to win!
Enter on Facebook & Instagram (gomomgoeugene) for more chances.
Giveaway ends Thursday, February 12 at 10pm.
Resting/nursing spots: No time for resting or nursing! There is shopping to be had! (for reals though - there isn't really a great place to sit. You could probably find a chair somewhere if you were desperate.)
Food: None available. Bring your own for refueling purposes.
Time frame: This is tricky. I don't like to rush. So I usually spend 2ish hours shopping. You could do it in less time if you needed to, but definitely don't plan to be somewhere right after your shopping if you can avoid it. It's nice to not have a deadline.
Questions? Thoughts? Advice? Please let us know!