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Kids Exchange, Part 1

February 15th, 2009

In this area, the Kids Exchange consignment sale is the big topic in the Mommy community twice a year. Thousands of consignors submit their items. Pretty much anything kid related is fair game, and item condition varies quite a bit. The most recent one was last month.

I went to the sale for the first time last summer, and I was overwhelmed. I only went on the last day of the sale, midday, when almost everything is marked 50% off. I could not believe the amount of kids items. They had tables and tables and tables of toys, books, games, linens, and baby items. They had racks and racks and racks of clothing. It was unlike anything I had ever seen and a bargain hunter’s dream (though I’m not sure I’m patient enough to be that bargain hunter). I found a few cheap items including some age appropriate toys for Maddie, a few articles of clothing, and a baby scale.

The Kids Exchange public sale is 3 days long, and it is preceded by two special sale days. The first day is reserved for volunteers only, and the second day is reserved for those who consign at least 10 items. The volunteers must work 5 hour shifts (a special two hour block is reserved for those who work two shifts). I heard that the best way to shop the sale was to volunteer, so I decided to give it a try. I signed up for a special split shift, since I wasn’t sure what Maddie’s schedule would be like when I made the commitment. My shift was Thursday night during the consignor sale and Sunday afternoon at the end of the 50% off sale.

The volunteer sale was on Wednesday night, and Gabe, Maddie, and I attended the sale. Wow. I thought that last year’s final day had a ton of stuff, but I had no idea where they started. I cannot even begin to adequately describe what we saw. It was extremely overwhelming. Tables were piled so high that you had to be very careful when trying to grab a particular toy. I, myself, caused several toy avalanches. In addition to 3-foot high piles of items on top of every table, the items were stacked under the tables as well. They had many of every type of major baby equipment. Do you need a bouncy seat? They probably had no less than 100 of those. An exersaucer? At least 100 of those as well. A crib? Over 50 of those. Little People farm? You can choose from at least 20 different ones of varying prices, condition, and completeness. We were quite overwhelmed!

We ended up buying about a dozen different items of clothing, a few Little People sets (airplane, bus, zoo), a little baggie of spare Little People, a few wooden puzzles, some childproofing items, and a few other random odds and ends. We started out trying to find a wagon (none seemed to be available), safety gates (we didn’t look in the right place and missed out on these entirely!), and a stroller (well over a hundred strollers – too overwhelming). We turned to toys because we felt we might be able to accomplish something in that section! We then tackled clothing last as I knew that would be exhausting.

I worked the sale on Thursday night, and I was astounded by how much of the stuff had been sold between the time that we arrived at 5pm on Wednesday and arriving for my 6pm shift on Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the items had been sold by then! Anyone who is remotely serious about getting great deals at this sale should consider volunteering or at least consigning items. Oh, and I should mention that I didn’t have to wait in hardly any lines. I think we had to wait maybe 20 minutes on Wednesday night (and had no wait at all on Sunday).

As a volunteer, we also had the benefit of shopping an hour early on Sunday’s 50% off sale. As soon as we walked in, Gabe said, “there’s nothing left!” This is a very funny statement considering the massive quantity of stuff that still remains at this point. Compared to the first day, there really is nothing left! Coming in an hour early is a big benefit as you are able to find the best deals on the items that were mispriced. Suddenly, something that was deemed too expensive at $20 is a steal at $10! We found the Drop and Roar Dinosaur for $7.50, some cheap clothing, some cute puzzles, and a few other miscellaneous items for cheap, cheap, cheap!

Stay tuned for my experiences as a volunteer as well as some things that I learned for consigning items and shopping the sale. I’ll be posting 3 more posts about the sale over the next several days or so. In the meantime, here’s a photo from Sunday when they had “nothing” left (you can’t even see the racks and racks of clothing in the back):

One Response to “Kids Exchange, Part 1”

  1. lacey Says:

    Have you been to the Kids Everywear sale. It’s in March. I’m a consignor and I’m thinking about being a volunteer. I love consignment! I’m hanging and tagging stuff now…it will take me forever. :)