If you have not been clued into this secret yet, brace for impact. Purchasing toys, clothing and gear for your children does not have to break your family budget. The secret is shopping consignment and not just at consignment stores. Midstate moms are embracing huge, semi-annual consignment sale events to load up and unload thousands upon thousands of children’s item at steep discounts.
One on late summer afternoon, four-year-old Brinley Colwell sat on the floor surrounded by pink, purple and sparkly toys and
accessories. She did not care that her treasures were secondhand, or maybe even third or fourthhand. She showed us a girly jewelry box and the jewelry that she keep inside explaining that the box cam from the “kids sale” that she enjoys visiting with her mother.
The “kids sale” is the twice a year 4TheKids consignment sale in Mechanicsburg. It is a massive event with more than 50,000 new or gently used children’s items ranging from infants to teens. Like many other moms, Kaileigh Colwell a shops there each Spring and Fall for Brinley and her twin brother Grayson.
“Kids are expensive! And they outgrow things so quick,” said Colwell. “But you can go to a consignment sale twice a year and basically get all the clothes, all the things you need until the next sale comes. And it’s a great opportunity to be able to get a lot of really nice quality merchandise at such a fraction of the cost.”
Colwell does not simply shop there, she also volunteers at the sale and sells items back. Last year, she made $1000 consigning her no longer needed items.
“Being able to take back that stuff and get money for it was a win-win and then I can reinvest that into the next season’s clothing and toys,” she explained.
For organizer Karen Wagner, the has become what she calls “a labor of love,” that she works on with her sister. In the weeks leading up to the sale, Wagner’s garage becomes a pre-staging ground before she takes items to Twin Ponds West, the site of the sale.
“Brightly colored toys, and clothes and shoes and anything you can possibly imagine that children use in their day to day, and they outgrow, you will probably find it at one of the children’s consignment events,” said Wagner.
Sellers choose the price they would like for each item and 70% of the selling price goes to them. The other 30% goes to the sale, pretty much to cover the costs of running the event. Shoppers will find items priced at 25-35% of the original retail price. The percentages vary a bit from sale to sale, depending on the organizers. At many sales, early access is granted to volunteers, consigners and first time moms.
Emily Wilson is in charge of the semi annual Tykes2Teens consignment sale in Enola.
“Everything is organized by type of items. So you’ll have all of your clothes from infant to young adult – we go all the way up to college age – separated by gender,” explained Wilson. “You’ll have your bouncy chairs in one location, your strollers in another, your car seats…”
Both Wilson and Wagner recommend planning your shopping trip with a list to stay organized and focused.
Here is a list of many of the regional children’s consignment sale events.
Midstate Kids’ Consignment Sales
Keystone Mothers of Multiples
First Church of God Community Center
(clothing, toys & equipment)
9/23/16 – 9/24/16
Spring and Fall Sales
Twin Ponds West, Mechanicsburg
(50,000+ new & gently used items for infants-teens)
Twice a year sales
9/19/16 – 9/22/16 Lancaster Sale: Spooky Nook Sports, Manheim
10/6/16 – 10/9/16 York Sale: York Expo Center, York
(clothes, toys, gear, nursery items, furniture)
Just Like New
10/13/16 – 10/15/16
Carlisle Expo Center, Carlisle
(children’s, maternity, household)
PA Kids Market
April and September sales
Church Without Walls, Harrisburg
(name brand, quality, nearly-new children’s clothes, toys, baby equipment, and kid’s furniture)
Berks Kids Closet
Spring and Fall sales
Lebanon Expo Center
(gently used infant-teen & maternity clothes, toys, gear)
Two Times Around
Spring and Fall sales
Blue Heron Events, Greencastle
(brand name children’s & maternity clothing, toys, gear)
The Little Piggy’s Consignment
Twice a year sales
9/22/16 to 9/24/16
Shrewsbury Assembly of God, Shrewsbury
(quality clothing, toys and children’s items)