At first, I thought my wife was crazy.
She told me one weekend that she was headed to a consignment sale to buy things for the girls. USED things. I was dubious about what she’d find. I expected her to come home with little, if anything, at all.
Boy, was I wrong.
The entire back of the car was full. Bags of clothes. Giant plastic toys. Bags of other things I could not identify. My heart rate started to jump. What could she have possibly found that would prompt her to do this? And, more importantly, how much did she pay for all this stuff?
When she started to unload the car, though, I was amazed. This was most certainly not junk. These were brand-name items, and some of them looked barely used. Toys from Fisher-Price, Vtech, LeapFrog, Little Einstein. Clothes from the Children’s Place, the Gap, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree. There were board books (always a plus–the girls love being read to) and home safety items (outlet covers and the like), some of which were still in their original packaging.
Despite these amazing finds, I cringed at the thought of how much all of this cost. But my blood pressure lowered when I saw her receipt: everything, in total, was a little over a hundred bucks. I was dumbfounded.
So now, we look forward to sale season, every year, twice a year, wondering what treasures we might find. And there is one in particular that really gets us excited: the Just Between Friends Sale held in Glen Mills, PA.
About three years ago, we started consigning things ourselves as a way to make room for new things as the girls outgrew clothes, toys and other items. I have assisted my wife on drop-off day (the day before the presale where the consignors can shop), and I am always amazed when I walk in the door. Racks as long as football fields full of clothes from newborn to child to even some adult sizes. There is a table of books that is probably just as long. Behind those are shelving units of toys, carefully and neatly organized. Disney Princess? Sesame Street? Little People? No problem! There’s a rack for that.
Any new (or veteran) parent can find just about anything they need there, from a play yard with a napper for infants to board games you can play with your teens. Heck, there are even maternity clothes there if you’re just starting out! Believe me, after visiting the JBF sale, you’ll ask yourself why you would ever buy new again. And this is another thing I love about it–I think of all the plastic we’re keeping out of landfills by reusing items other families are finished with.
The key, I learned, is to know what you’re looking for, and to have the patience to find it. It also helps if you know how much things cost new. Case in point: my wife found a Step 2 play kitchen at one sale. Brand new, it goes for over $200. It was missing a few things, so she was able to get it for $15. I called Step 2, and for an additional $15, we were able to replace the drawer, decals, pots and pans, food, and phone. If we wanted to, we could have replaced all of the electronics for $40, but fortunately that wasn’t necessary. So, we essentially got a $200 kitchen for $30. And the girls love it.
So now, when my wife tells me she’s taking a vacation day to go to the presale, I hardly bat an eyelash. And I wonder what she’ll come home with. And with the great merchandise at great prices at the JBF consignment sale, I don’t have to worry about how we’re going to pay for it. We’ll just have to think about what to consign in order to make room for it all.
The Just Between Friends consignment sale takes place March 26-29 at the Brandywine Youth Club, 41 S. Thornton Road in Glen Mills, PA. Go to jbfsale.com for more information.