I am spending a chunk of my week shopping/working our local kid's consignment sale. I know that in a lot of areas around the US, these sales can be hit or miss, but the one I'm talking about is Ginormous. Seriously. It takes up two buildings of our State Farigrounds, and is 150,000 square feet. Hundred thousand, you read that right.
As in, an eyebgall estimate puts the amount of play kitchens selling b/t $5-55 around 140. As in, I checked out a family of 4 yesterday buying their entire summer wardrobe. It was 78 pieces of clothing, they probably spent around $200 total. As in, 36 aisles of clothing for children ages preemie through 9th grade.
I love some consignment shopping, and when I'm there I always want to kick myself for buying something at a store, like "why would have ever paid full-price for a lifejacket, when I can come here and find one with tags for $7?" My other finds? A very clean and solidly built toybox for $25, a Kelty hardframe backpack carrier for $30, an Aquadoodle that looked like it had been used 3 times for $2, lots of books and CD's for just a few dollars.
And my favorite: the super-cool and retro Fisher Price cassette player that was just like the ones my husband and I had as kids.
The best deal I saw all day from checking others out? A beautiful vintage Strasburg ivory chiffon overlay dress for $2.
Another reason I love going to these sales are to see the "serious" moms. Now, I'm still pretty much a novice at these events myself...I've only been to three or four. I know enough to go for the big items first, pay and have them reserved, then hit the other rooms. I brought two of my own shopping bags to carry things in, but made the mistake of hitting the books/media room first. No biggie, I needed the exercise of lugging 20 books and DVDs around. It was after I found the Aquadoodle and adorable purple butterfly baby doll stroller that folded up just like a Maclaren that I started to struggle. Specifically, trying to keep track of all of that while shifting through a table of cloth diapers for my sister. Luckily, just when I hit my breaking point I found the Kelty and all was good.
Some of the veterans amaze me, while I secretly judge them for feeling so superior with their fancy home-rigged set-ups. Lots have clothing racks that they wheel around, often with bins duck-taped to the bottom and/or top to put toys. Most have strollers (sans baby) or at least the big plastic Step 2 wagons. My favorite are the ones with rolling trash bins.
And as I contemplate the clutter in my own home and why I feel the need to buy this child even MORE clothes and books, I often wonder if any of the shoppers there are hoarders. I wonder if their children have more stuff than they know what to do with because mom just can't pass up a $1 Gap t-shirt for no other reason than "it's so cheap".
But unlike me, they are probably not so lazy that they don't weed through their own stuff and purge for the sale beforehand, pretty much breaking even.
Sigh. I could get more organized if I didn't sign up to work these events, right?