Toys at a sale
I am sure many people know about what I am going to write about today but can’t help it I have to give my two cents. One of my favorite places to shop are the Mom sales. I had never heard of these sales until about 2 years ago. I was Very skeptical because I am not really a fan of garage sales because I never find anything that was worth all the driving around and I don’t like getting one thing here, one thing there. I am more one stop shop if I am buying second hand. I also am particular about quality and condition of items I buy I want them to be in darn close to brand new condition. So needless to say it took some convincing to go to my first sale but now I am hooked and look forward to each sale I find.
I have a couple things that have helped me get the best deals and not miss out which I am going to share my secrets below! Each sale is set up differently. Style 1 is more garage sale like that each seller has their own area while others Style 2 group all the items together-this is the kind of sale I prefer because you don’t have to worry about finding something in better condition or spending all your money at the start of the sale and then see more at the end.
First: Where to find the sales locally-Word of mouth from other moms is always great because they have more than likely been to the sale before and can give you the low down. Also, online of course. Facebook has some pages dedicated to sales. My favorite for Ohio is Ohio Mom to Mom Sale Facebook Page it has a page of all the sales and then a few days before posts on their wall all the upcoming sales.
Second: Do your research-Try and find out as much as you can about the sale: hours they are open, is there an admission fee, do they take credit cards or cash only, how large of a selection do they have/how many sellers do they have, what sizes they sell and what kinds of toys they sell. Some mainly sell second hand where others have new toys from Melissa & Doug, etc.
Third-Volunteer-This is by far the best way to get the best deals (aside from being apart of the organization holding the sale). Usually you can sign up with the organization that is sponsoring the event and work a 2-4 hour shift (this varies on their policy), I have also brought food and been considered a volunteer. Basically there is always a “pre-sale” for those that are working that takes place Before the sale starts. This is the best way to shop. Why? Several great reasons: Shopping before everything has been picked over, not as stressful because there aren’t as many shoppers, you can actually get to all the areas you want to shop without having to wait and the line to check out isn’t as long.
Fourth-Get there early-even for a pre-sale. The line will always start before the doors open. This can vary on the sale from an hour to three hours. I don’t feel like I have to be the first one in but I like to be in the first 1/3 of the line because I know I will have a great chance at the items I am looking for.
Fifth-Have a list and your smartphone-I always make a list of items I would like to find. Sometimes this is specific (last time was Little Einstein figurines) and sometimes it is general (last time outdoor play gym/house). I write this on my notes in my iPhone about a week before and keep adding anything I think of so I don’t forget. I also use my phone to check prices on items that I am not sure if they are overpriced or a rare find.
Sixth-Make your Game Plan-For Style 1 (the more garage sales) decide where you want to start, sometimes going all the way to the back is best (but you are working against flow) or make a lap and then go back to the sellers you are interested in but you do risk something being sold by the time you get back to it. Style 2-whether you want to hit the clothes first or large toys figure out where you want to go first based on what you would be more disappointed in not getting. I usually hit large toys first, then small toys then clothes. Mainly because I can usually find that special item (only one of) in the toy section and it takes me longer to go through the clothes than it does the toys.
Seventh-Look over all your items-Style 1-Check the items as soon as you pick it up. If it does have some damage/stain that you can live with ask them for a discount. They may have priced accordingly or maybe didn’t know it had it, can’t hurt to ask. Style 2-I will grab anything I am interested in (if you have to think about the purchase TAKE IT because if it is a good item it will be gone by the time you make up your mind) and then when I worked my way through the sale I find a spot out of the way and double check all my items and get an idea of how much I am spending. Clothes: check for holes and stains, make sure to look on the back and under collars and along the seams. Toys: make sure all the pieces are there and that it does what it is suppose to. If it doesn’t have batteries that is a crap shoot on if it really works or not. For me it depends on the cost and how much I think my son will like it that I take the chance.
My Final piece of Advise-Bring a friend-it is always more fun with your best pal-ENOUGH SAID!
Racks and Racks of Clothes