Consignment Sale Hell.

I went to my very first consignment sale yesterday.

I was very excited about it.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been at a friend’s house, and after admiring an awesome toy, they’ve said, “Oh, I got that for, like, 5 cents at a consignment sale.”

So I felt like now that I know Tom has some particular likes (trains, trains, trains, and toy story) that I would take my 5 cents and go spend it at a consignment sale.

A friend told me about a huge one taking place not too far from our house.

I checked the website a couple times and felt like this was the sale for me!

In particular, I was looking for a train table for Tom.

So, I borrowed Kev’s truck (so I could transport the train table I would TOTALLY find) and loaded up Tom’s stroller and I set off.

And then…things went downhill.

First, I parked in the wrong lot. It wasn’t so bad, it just meant that I had to walk a little further than everyone else.

So…no sweat.

Then I got to the building where the possible train tables were, and saw a sign that said I couldn’t bring in the stroller I had.

Of course, they said we could use an umbrella stroller — which I always have with me — in MY car.

So anyway, I almost died.

But I quickly recovered and felt like surely, Tom and I could handle this…stroller-less.

So I walked back to the far away parking lot, dropped off my stroller and sanity, and carried my 30 pound child back to the train table building.

They had three — but one was too pricey, and the other two were too beat up.

So then I decided to walk to the other buildings where toys, books and clothing were being sold.


Nothing prepared me for this. Nothing.

Not even seeing the “running of the brides” at Filene’s Basement when they sell Vera Wang wedding gowns for $100 have I ever seen anything like this.

Picture it: Me. Sweating. Holding child. Carrying purse. Fear in eyes.

But I went in. And I grabbed one of their offered Ikea bags to haul stuff.

Of course, the pros had laundry baskets with ropes tied to them so they could PULL all their stuff.


Me? I had no idea what to do.

I was so completely overwhelmed.

I picked up one book and put it in my bag.

I picked up one toy (a big, plastic school bus) and tried to put it in my bag, but Tom wanted to “hold” it when means…

Picture this: Me. Sweating. 100,000 other sweating moms. Holding child. Holding big, plastic school bus. Holding purse. Holding Ikea bag.

I went to the clothes.

So. Much. Worse.

I didn’t get anything I was going for, but did get a couple clothing items for Gus and Tom anyway.

Of course, I didn’t double check all the sizing, so at least two things I bought are actually un-wearable. (Go me!)

The check out line was forevers-ville.

Check out took longer than that.

They gave me a garbage bag to haul away my wares.

(And yes, garbage bag ties feel AWESOME on the shoulder. Thanks for asking!)

As I exited, a cop at the door asked if I had my receipt.

You know, the one I’d just shoved into my purse 5 seconds ago?

So I said, “Yes, probably.”

And I proceeded to put down my child, holding his hand, put down my purse, put down my garbage bag, find the receipt, and I held it up just in time to see him shutting the door on me.

Apparently, he figured anyone who was that disordered wasn’t thieving.

So I hauled all of that stuff ALL THE WAY back to Kev’s non-umbrella-holding truck.

My angel child, who seriously was as perfect as can be during this excursion, was excited to be back at the truck so he could have “snacks!”

I got into the truck, tried to steer with my now-noodle-arm, and checked the clock, surely thinking it’s been hours and is time for lunch.

It’s 10:30.

We’d spent ONE hour there.

That’s it.

I spent the rest of the day letting my arms recover and putting batteries in that school bus Tom got.

Guess what?


I think I’ll be dropping it off at Grandma’s.

Or the trash.

(Hey, it was only $2!)

This entry was posted in Motherhood, Tom. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Consignment Sale Hell.

  1. waymel says:

    That sounds horrible. But I bet it would’ve been fun with your sister!!

  2. Nicole says:

    Oh No-So sorry that was your first experience. It can be fun though and you learn as you go what is a good deal. My first sale I didn’t bring a single bag to carry my loot and I was pregnant at the time. Now I am one of those moms who bring the laundry baskets. A tip for next time (if you give it another shot) if you aren’t looking for a big ticket item don’t go the first day. The lines are not long at all and it is easier to shop without all the crowds. Typically I check out the last day. It can be picked over but most items are 50 percent off.

  3. Jen says:

    Aww, poor Kate. So… I’m guessing you don’t recommend consignment sales? I’ve never been brave enough to try it.

    • loveandkate says:

      You know, I do think there are good deals there. I just was not at all prepared. At all. But I think that now I’ve seen one, I’ll know better what to do and what I’m looking for. My advice would be to scope one out first. Well..and take an umbrella stroller. Ha!

  4. Pingback: Back to School Shopping with a Treasure Hunt Twist | directoryofstlouis

  5. Bless your heart girl! You can definitely rack up at consignment sales, but I can remember that “newbie” feeling!!!!! I swear, if you went sans child, stuff your credit card in your pocket and bring a laundry basket…. your experience would be MUCH different… and you’d probably be hooked by the deals!!!

    • loveandkate says:

      I agree with you!! My husband said, “Sounds like you needed to go by yourself.” To which I said, “Yes, please!!” Ha!

    • Noel says:

      Don’t forget you ID with your credit card, because you almost always get asked for that. You really don’t want to have to go back to your car to get that!! You did better than I did my first consignment sale. My husband dropped me off at the front door because we couldn’t find a parking place ANYWHERE! I walking in the door saw the lines, chaos, etc. turned around and walked right back out! Called my husband told him to pick me up!!! But I wasn’t defeated either—I learned the system and started volunteering! That is where you get to shop first and beat the crowds for the best prices and selections! Consigning too gets you an early shopper pass :o)

  6. KDW says:

    I went to that sale this weekend. I was in GA (I am thinking this is where this one was because it sounded exactly like the one I went to) I live in SC and was in GA for my son’s baseball. Trust me…..There are BETTER ones out there…..
    I own a sale in SC and was totally unimpressed with that set up. It wasn’t you…..
    I went to another sale in Flowery Branches….it was awesome! It was smaller, but it was fantastic!
    Don’t give up….I promise you will find the right one for you!

    • loveandkate says:

      Yes! The one I went to is in Marietta, Ga. (Luckily, not far from where I live.) Thank you so much for the encouragement! I did hear a couple people complaining about the setup of this one. I’m going to try more and figure out the art of consignment sales. Ha!

  7. Karen says:

    Next sale, see if you can volunteer and then you get to shop early! It really is nice not having to shop with the masses! Good luck next time!

  8. I’m sorry to hear your first sale experience was so trying! Consignment can really be a lot of fun…honestly, I promise! The first tip is, if at all possible, try to go without your son. You know what he will like in terms of toys, and can probably pretty well tell about clothing sizes. A second tip: try volunteering at the event; most sales have a special “pre-sale” event for volunteers, so you’ll get to shop (and have a better shot at hot items like train tables) before the sale opens to the public. Tip 3: either bring a friend to chat with in line, or bring something to do (like a book, iPad, Sudoku, whatever…it helps to pass the time.) Tip 4: Visit to look for other sales in your area. Policies vary: some will let you bring in a stroller, some use bar-coded tags and scanners (which greatly decreases check-out waiting time), some tend to have better quality items than others….I like to shop all the sales in my area, but I know which one is the best, and always plan to volunteer/shop there. Other sales are more of an “if nothing else is going on that weekend” type of thing. πŸ™‚

  9. Ashley says:

    I hate to hear your experience wasn’t great. As a local consignment owner in Flowery Branch,Ga, just like KDW had posted,I hate hearing stories like this. Shopping consignment is alot less expensive and everyone has to be a newbie at some point but your first experience shouldn’t of happened this way. We would love to have you come and shop our sale, we are smaller than the one in Marietta but we have thousands of great deals. I do suggest when you do try consignment sales again until you get used to the crowds, to go later in the day on opening day. There are still tons of great items left that haven’t been completly picked over but the lines will be shorter and the building will be less crowded. Good Luck and please keep us posted on your next experience, praying for it to be a great experience!!!

  10. Ms. Bergen says:

    I’m sorry your 1st time was so overwhelming, but your recounting was spot-on hilarious!! I also recommend volunteering. Not only will you get to shop earlier, which is SOOOO much nicer, (though still hectic). But you will also get to scope out the deals you want to “target”. I’ve been able to score some major deals by seeing something come in (i.e. train table) and then knowing exactly where it was on the floor. Get just what you want/need that 1st day, then hit the sale later on when there are fewer people and things may have been marked down. (That’s when I usually look through the clothes.) I also highly recommend leaving the kids with dad, grandma, a sitter or just about anyone else, rather than drag them through the madness. Also remember that consignment sales are a great place to SELL your kids gently used items too. Having done both garage sales and consignment sales, I can say you get a much more respectable price for your items at a consignment sale. I hope your next experiences are better!!! Happy shopping!! =O)

    • loveandkate says:

      Thank you so much for this awesome advice! Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive and I’m so happy to be getting all this help. Surely next time I’ll be prepared. ( least…MORE prepared! πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: Apparently, I’m Not A ‘Consignment Sale’ Person. |

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