If you are anything like me, you walk into Target with the intention of buying (x item valued at $15) and leave with a cartful of the most random items, a $150 bill, and some serious buyer’s remorse. SO, the thought of attending a massive consignment sale could be daunting. A huge building full of kid items and clothes plus yours truly with oh so very little restraint could equal big trouble. Plus, I get overwhelmed. I’m not the biggest fan of digging through the racks, and I impulse buy (reference earlier comment about Target). BUT, attending consignment sales, especially one as expertly organized as Just Between Friends North Indy, is absolutely worth it!
Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your shopping experience:
Create a budget and a time limit BEFORE you go—If you are a classic over spender like myself, this is crucial. You will be amazed at how far your dollar can stretch at JBF, but it’s still important to set a limit. I decided to spend $100, and I gave myself an hour to shop. The time limit keeps me focused and prevents me from making too many “oh sure, why not” purchases and limits the browsing time.
Hire a babysitter—While children are allowed to attend the sale with you, I really think it is so much easier without. This especially applies to children who do not walk yet or toddlers who like to get into everything. You will move faster without, and during peak shopping times, the sale gets pretty crowded. Also, if you are anything like me, after enough times of hearing “Mommy, I really want…” you just give in and spend way too much money.
Create a shopping list—Plan out what you want to purchase BEFORE you arrive at the sale and be specific. Once again, this will focus your efforts, and keep you on track in the massive sale. Once you walk in those doors, it is very easy to be tempted because there is just so much great stuff. Yes, there will be some variations, but try your best.
Here’s my list for the sale:
Better umbrella stroller
Infant bouncy seat
4T shirts for my daughter
3T shorts for my daughter
18 month shorts and shirts for my son
Get your bags ready—I had a large, reusable shopping bag that I decided to bring, but I quickly learned that the true professionals bring rolling laundry bins or carts. The bigger the better. You could also use a stroller or purchase one at the sale and use it. There are large Ikea bags available, and you can purchase the branded JBF bags (which are super cute and handy) for just $3.
Go for the big ticket items first—If you are looking for bigger items such as strollers, infant gear, or even furniture, check that out first and take the items to the convenient hold area to retrieve when you are done. These items are rarer than clothing and the good stuff goes fast! Plus, you don’t want to be lugging them around the whole time you are shopping.
Enjoy!—If you are a bargain hunter, this will be heaven for you. There are so many great deals to be had. I found several shirts for $1 a piece and spotted many brand name items such as Matilda Jane on the racks. Doing a little digging is worth it. Sometimes you can even find identical items but with different prices, so it pays to look around. And lastly, don’t forget the home décor and Mom’s corner items as well as the vendors!
Here is what other experts had to say about maximizing your experience at JBF:
Julie Leonard, who has been coming to the sale for years, recommends volunteering, which gives you an early access pass to the sale. She said it is great being able to scope out the really good items before anyone else can buy them. For older children, she recommends texting them pictures of clothing, so you don’t end up buying lots of items they don’t like. Finally, she said remember to buy complete outfits. She makes a point to match items as she goes.
Dawn Pfannenstiel is the Event Coordinator and brains behind JBF. She has been running the organization since 2005 and has been running this particular sale since 2007. Dawn recommends making a list of what you need to buy. She said that a staffer of JBF with seven children even traces her children’s feet and cuts yarn in the size of their inseam to make sure she gets the correct sizes. You can also make a cheat sheet with everyone’s sizes. She also said to plan ahead and use the sale to purchase gifts for birthdays and holidays. Many items at the sale are brand new!
For this Spring/Summer sale, over 350 families are consigning, which means there are so many amazing items from which to choose. During JBF’s last sale, nearly 20,000 items were sold and nearly 2100 guests attended.
So, here is how I fared:
For $113.96, I purchased:
2 diaper pails (for $5 each this was a steal!)
Jeep umbrella stroller
Boppy w/slip cover (not on my list, but couldn’t pass up 50% off retail)
4 18 month shirts (2 brand new)
4 18 month shorts
7 2/3T shorts
4 4T shirts
1 4T dress
1 4T ballet leotard and tutu
1 4T bathing suit
Not too shabby, and only $13.96 over budget! At a retail store one hundred dollars would have bought me a fraction of that!
All in all, this was a great experience! Grab your lists, your bags, and your friends, and get shopping!
Just Between Friends North Indy Spring/Summer Sale
Open to the public Wednesday* through Friday from 9am-7pm, Saturday from 9am-3pm and 5pm-9pm
25% off most items on Friday, 50% off on Saturday day and 75% off Saturday evening
*Admission is free except on Wednesday, $2 admission goes to Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County
Cash, Check, Credit Card accepted
Hamilton County Fairgrounds, 1721 Pleasant Street, Noblesville
CityMom Christi Amos handles marketing for JBF and was kind enough to invite me to the pre-sale. Thanks!
Creative Media Editor
A recent transplant to the Midwest, Megan still gets excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan feels more at home in Indy every day. While she isn’t chasing after her two children or working her day job as a social worker, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete