We are back and getting settled in! My list of to-do’s for this week is a mile long. . . augh! That’s the one tough part about vacation: getting back.
However, the up-side is definitely seeing our baby again! Ali had TONS of fun with Gramamma and Pop, of which I’m sure Mom will provide me pictures and commentary to share with you sometime in the near future.
Last Wednesday, mere hours before we left for our trip, I finally got the chance to shop at Kid’s Market. Ali and I had gone on Monday, but immediately turned around and walked back out.
NO SALE was worth those lines.
Especially with toddler-in-tow-and-no-stroller-rules. So I went back on Wednesday, right after I dropped Ali off with Mom, and it was ideal.
For those of you who aren’t local, Kid’s Market is a bi-annual, unbelievably-blow-your-mind huge consignment sale. It fills up a WHOLE former grocery store building – back warehouse and all.
And so, since I get asked at least once a week where I buy Ali’s clothes, I decided to share that information, along with my Kid’s Market finds and strategies (which I have learned the hard way over the last few years).
First: Where do I buy Ali’s clothes?
I rarely, if ever, buy anything for full price. I am a bit obsessive about feeling like I get a good deal. In fact, I can’t really enjoy any purchase unless I feel like I saved a ton of money. It’s the game in me.
I typically shop for her at Children’s Place, the Belk clearance racks (she had a ton of dresses this winter that were actually summer dresses that I bought for 90% off and just stuck a turtleneck under them, since that was the style anyway), Target (they really have great kid’s clothes), and the Gymboree outlet store or clearance racks.
And, of course, Kid’s Market.
So, on to Kid’s Market.
I am by no means a KM expert, seeing as I don’t even contribute or work it to get the “real” perks. So I would LOVE tips and strategies from those of you who do. And, since I only have one kid, my KM complications are very low.
However, Here’s what I have learned the hard way over the past few years (which would apply to any consignment or even garage sale environment):
- I go REALLY quickly. I am a quick shopper anyway, but I move through KM racks with toddler-on-the-loose-in-a-crowded-mall speed, because what I’m looking for before I even pause long enough for a half second glance is non-washed-looking material. I don’t like buying anything that looks pilled, washed, faded, stained, etc.
Which means, of course, that I pay a bit more for that, but I know that I’m more likely to use it if it looks new. Plus it is a good way to narrow down 80% of the stuff on the racks.
- I look for outfits – not necessarily sold together, but I have to MAKE it into an outfit before I can buy it. The first year I did KM, I came home with all of these cute pieces, but had nothing to match them. I never used them.
- I DO discriminate based on brand names. It goes back to thinking I’m getting a good deal. I really do believe that at least some brand names are made better than non-brand names, so if I CAN buy brand names, then I feel that I’m getting better quality for less price. Last fall’s Kid’s Market sparked this debate over the value of brand names – and I came out on the shallow end. Proudly.
- Last tip, but this is an “in general” tip: I don’t buy anything for Ali that looks like it will need ironing. Because I hate ironing. And, I’m pretty sure (I wouldn’t know since I’ve never done it) that the only thing in the world that would make me hate ironing more is to attempt to iron itty bitty toddler clothes. Please make me do all of the dishes for the state of Alabama before making me iron toddler clothes.
So, without further ado, here’s my ultra-dorky Spring ’09 Kid’s Market Stats:
I bought 22 items, for a total of $118, or $5.36 per piece. However, included in that price was a brand new (still tags) Easter dress for Ali that was $20. Normally I would NEVER pay so much for an item at KM, but I knew I wasn’t going to get many chances to shop before Easter, and it was a good price in “Easter Dress Terms”, so I went for it. All that to say, if you pull the Easter Dress out of the average, it ends up being $4.67 per piece.
Of my 22 items, 6 still had the tags on them. I am pretty sure that people have started buying off of the clearance racks when stuff is 90% off, then selling it at KM for a slight markup.
And, since I love clearance racks, I love this strategy. I don’t mind paying an extra $1 or $2 for their clearance rack finds. Especially since they sell them during the CORRECT season, opposite of when they were on clearance.
So here’s the whole stash, minus the rain coat that Ali used liberally while splashing in mud puddles with Gramamma over the weekend:.
Here’s the Easter Dress, which I’m sure you’ll see Ali modeling on Sunday:
While I was going through the racks, I came across this shirt, which is similar to several shirts that I have:I decided that she had nothing to match it, and it was a bit grown-uppy anyway, so passed it by.
Then I found another shirt that would look cute with the skirt as well:
Here are a couple more outfits that I created (that weren’t sold together):
I also found a cute pair of blue cargo pants, and several shirts that would go with them:
And you know that I can’t write a blog about this sort of shopping without sharing the most insane item I saw, right? That might should be my last KM tip: take time to smell the roses and enjoy the crazy pieces.
So, how about you? What are your Kid’s Market (or other sale) strategies? How did you do this year? What was your favorite item purchased? If you wrote a blog about it, be sure to give me the link of it as well!