Springtime Consignment Sale Finds!
It’s Spring! It’s Consignment Sale Shopping Time! Yay! It’s the time of year here in the Northeast to start to get out of the house and blow the dust and cobwebs off the stroller seats, wagons and bikes that haul our kids to the park, playground and around the block. It’s the time when we get glimpses of warmer days to come and realize we need to pull out our stored bins of shorter sleeves and start to put away the heavy sweaters and fleece. As we do that, realization hits – these stored short sleeves are never going to fit your growing-like-a-weed toddler now, and this tricycle is way too small for your kindergartner.
All hail the seasonal kids consignment sales! (let the trumpets blare) We can go shopping! I’ve put together a list of the popular items that are spring/summer specific that you want to make sure you check out during your shopping trip – trust me, you’ll send me a thank you high five as you wave your kid onto the bus in late August and say “whew, we made it through a long, hot summer successfully!”
1. Swimming items!
Swimming items! This category is pretty large actually when you consider it. First, you are going to want to check for swimsuits and trunks. These clothing items are typically ONLY sold at the spring sales and they sell quickly. Remember to check out your current sizes and also one size bigger just in case of a growth spurt. Debating between two? Grab both as you picture a melted popsicle or spilled ice cream cone and the tears afterwards.
Next in the swim category are the pool toys. You can find floats, diving rings and balls, and goggles in the sports section of your sale. This is a great time to pick up fun, useful swim items that will make your day at the pool or waterpark a fun one.
A day at the lake or on one of Western Pennsylvania’s rivers is not to be forgotten! You need life vests and puddle jumpers for all of that safe fun, not to mention to be legal in any boating situation. These things sell fast because they can be expensive – so this may be one of your first stops when you shop.
Last in the swim category is baby swim diapers! Take advantage of one mom’s leftover unused bounty from last year that do not fit her growing baby or toddler this year. You can often find new unopened packages of swim diapers in either the diapering section, or the swim toy section of your sale. If you only head to the pool a few times a summer – it’s very possible you can find a pack that will last you through the season! Win!
2. Think OUTSIDE!
When you think summer, you think OUTSIDE. So, let’s head right to the outside toy section to consider what your needs are. The spring sale is when you will find sand boxes and water tables. Consignment is a great place to pick these items up rather than buying new.
Then we move to the large outdoor toys like play houses, and mini play structures. These are probably the most expensive toys you will use all summer – not counting an actual swingset for your yard – and you can find them at consignment at a fraction of the cost. Even if they are a little bit stained from sitting under a tree and gathering some dirt I’ve found that using a mixture of bleach and detergent will shine these things up just like new! If you are looking for one of the play houses or play structures, make sure to get to your sale early because they are likely to sell the very first day in my experience.
Next, head to the bike and ride on section of outdoor toys. All kids love things that move! Depending on your child’s age, you can start with the ride on/handled push trikes, an actual tricycle, bicycle with training wheels or regular two-wheeler! You will find bikes of all shapes and sizes at the sale – make sure to kick the tires as we say – move the pedals around with your hands to make sure the chain is on securely and observe any rust spots to see if it is just superficial. In this section you will also find the selection of hard to find battery operated ride-ons. A motorized Barbie jeep, or John Deere tractor would be the DREAM TOY for so many kiddos. As you consider these type of items – know that the battery is your only caveat with these. Plan on replacing this battery within the year, knowing that you are buying a used item and even though it may work fine now, after a couple of months of your child hauling his or her stuffed animals around your yard singing Old McDonald, the battery will eventually slow….slow…….slow down.
3. Unicorn Section
The next category is what I call the yard game unicorn section. (Cue the horns again!) These are finds that are unique, there may not be a ton of selection of, but could end up being a favorite toy or pastime for the summer. I include looking for things like bubble mowers, and play yard work toys, a mini (or sometimes a complete big one) trampoline, a blow up ball pit, a mini basketball hoop, roller skates, roller blades, a badminton or croquet set, or even child size golf clubs! Find something at a nice price that may pique your child’s curiosity and grab it!
4. Rainy Day Fun!
The last category for your springtime shopping is what I call RAINY DAY FUN. Because those days will happen this summer, and you have to have activities on hand to pull out and save your sanity. For this I head to the craft section of your sale. Here, you will find beads, and Orbeez, and craft kits and rock painting kits, and sewing things, and all things that SAVE YOUR SANITY because when you pull them out of your closet on a rainy day, it is like the Angels start to sing, the kids chorus “Something New and Different!” and all is then well with the world.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a lot of ideas to build on, a list of possibilities to shop for, and maybe, at the end of the summer as you wave the kids on to school at the bus stop, you’ll smile and say “We made it through! Thanks, Jen for your ideas.” With that thought in mind, I say “You are most welcome!” Happy shopping!
About the Author
Jennifer Hill is a former consignment sale owner in Western Pennsylvania. She is a mom to three kids who are now in high school and college. She has a Business/Communications degree from Grove City College and resides in Volant, PA with her husband, kids and a barn full of animals. She enjoys being outdoors, reading, hanging with her tribe of fierce moms and the occasional glass of whiskey…or wine….