July 22, 2008

Consignment Contentment!

This past March I discovered a wonderful little thing about parenthood called "kids consignment sales." Not knowing what I was getting into, I attended the "Kids EveryWear" sale at the 'dead airport mall' in Morrisville (if you live around here, you know where I'm talking about!) and was simply blown away at the options for parental consumerism. Well those impressions were floored tonight when I walked into the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. The "Kids Exchange Sale" is going on this week and opens to the public for shopping on Friday and Saturday (July 25-26). (See below for more sales and dates.)

Apparently I'm not the only one who didn't know about these huge events before entering parenthood... I've run across quite a few new moms who weren't aware of these massive consumer-fests. So here's a quick guide I've put together with some thoughts about consignment sales.

I didn't really know what to expect with this Kids Exchange Sale, except that I had heard it was the biggest in the area. For some reason, consignment sale websites never seem to have many detailed photographs, which doesn't make sense to me. I should think they would want to give new parents an idea for all that is offered at these sales. Anyway, this sale is MASSIVE... apparently the coordinators are saying this year is the biggest sale yet, and they are overflowing the outdoor toys and bikes, outdoors! As my daughter and I walked around tonight putting out our measly 15 or so items that I'm consigning, parents walked by with huge carts full of clothing and baby gear to sort into the appropriate areas. A volunteer handed me a MAP when I walked in the door and I needed it too! Pretty much any baby/child item I've ever thought of is probably somewhere in that huge room... now it's just a matter of finding it and getting to it before everybody else does! I started a needs/wish list a few months ago, and have been holding out on purchasing some desired items until after this sale and the others have passed, hoping to snag a deal along the way. Since I'm selling more than 10 items, I'll get to shop "early" with other consignors on Thursday, but I definitely won't be beating the crowds, so I hear. Expected wait time in the checkout line is minimum 30 minutes, but possibly an hour or more! Good thing I just updated my iPhone with the new 2.0 software and got some games. ;-)

I ran into my friend Nancy and neighbor Lisa, who both gave me some great insights and help about how to put my stuff out and strategies for shopping and selling. A Kids Exchange worker gave me a suggestion to go buy a large rolling trashcan from Wal-Mart to bring with me while I shop; She said that's it a perfect size (tall with a small footprint) for holding everything, yet navigable through the crowds. How much stuff does she think I'm going to buy? A trashcan's worth?? Hmm, I guess we'll see.

So anyway, just to try to capture the sheer enormity of this sale, I snapped a few pix with my iPhone. A farm of baby swings.

A wall of Board Games

A Sea of Toys

Swim Gear

Changing Tables and Highchairs

Need a bouncy seat or 50? How about an Exersaucer? There are hundreds to choose from!

This is just one row of perhaps a dozen like this, each FULL of clothing.

Videos, media and "educational" games

Enough children's books to fill a small library.

So in case you miss this sale, here is a list below of other upcoming local kids consignment sales in the Raleigh, NC area. If you aren't from this area, look up your state on http://www.kidsconsignmentsales.com.

(Please click on the links to check for updated event information and changes.)
Kids Exchange
July 21st - 28th, 2008
Jim Graham Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh
Twice as Nice - I went to this one last spring and found *lots* of cute clothes!
August 1-2, 2008
The CC Jones Building
309 Holleman Street
Apex, NC 27502
Upscale Resale - sounds like it's exclusively very high-end clothing.
August 14-16th, 2008
Cary Masonic Lodge in Cary (also planning to have another in Greensboro but have not scheduled that yet.)
The Divine Consign Show Raleigh - also sounds like it's exclusively very high-end clothing. No toys or other items like that accepted for consignment.
August 26-29, 2008
Quail Hollow Swim and Tennis Clubhouse
Contact Kelly at (919) 272-3070
New Mom Registration - If you are expecting your first child or if your first child is less than 12 months old, you are invited to attend the New Mom Private Shopping on Thursday, August 28th from 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. But you must register!
Kids EveryWear - This sale seemed HUGE when I attended it in March! I got tons of deals on baby gear, toys, and clothes too.
September 13 - 19, 2008
Prime Outlets Mall
Morrisville, NC
Adoptive parents, first-time moms of a child under age 1, and pregnant moms can all shop early after registering online!
Kid Around Kidsale
October 3-5, 2008
"The Factory"
1839 US 1-A /South Main St.
Wake Forest NC
Just 4 Kids Consignment Sale
October 5-10, 2008
Life Spring Community Church
501 Wake Chapel Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Most consignment sales offer you the opportunity to shop first if you volunteer your time to work a shift. You also get to shop earlier than the public if you are a consignor, so dig out 10 items from your closet and tag them! It's worth the bargains to get to shop first! Also, many of these sales are actually biannual with one sale per year focused on winter and fall clothing, while the other sale focuses on summer/spring apparel.

Good luck bargain hunting!

July 18, 2008

Twitter in Plain English

Twitter is a cool little website that I've been using for a while now. It basically takes the "What are you doing?" status update portion of Facebook and strips away everything else. So it's a very simple, to-the-point way to update people on yourself. You can Twitter about yourself, an event, include web links, photos from your cell phone, and also reply to other people's "tweets." Here's a quick video describing it more:

July 2, 2008

Starbucks to close 600 stores

Starbucks announced yesterday that they will be closing 600 stores and will scale back the opening of new stores in 2009. I guess "a Starbucks on every corner" didn't turn out to be quite as profitable for them as they had imagined. Perhaps it was the $4+ cup of coffee which never really seems worth it to me. I am far from a coffee connoisseur however, as I proclaim myself to only be a "social [coffee] drinker," so what do I know? Could it be that clown Ronald and his ubiquitous chain of Mickey D's restaurants and their new low-cost specialty coffees that gave Starbucks a run for its money? Even more likely, it's the sky-high gas prices that drove people to reconsider their financial priorities and cut back on their luxurious lattes.

Personally, I'd like to engage in wishful thinking and believe that it was The Mocha Club which changed Americans' coffee buying habits. Check it out!

July 1, 2008

Free Downhere music offer extended for 2 more weeks!

In case you're running behind on life (as I often am), you're in luck this time. Centricity Music has extended their offer of Downhere's CD, "Wide-Eyed and Mystified" for another two weeks. So what are you waiting for people? Go get it! And then spread the word to your friends... who wouldn't like some no-cost DRM-free mp3 files to add to their musical collection?

Also, after you listen to it, be sure to request their song "Here I Am" from your local radio station, as it is the new single that went for adds last week.

Join PaperbackSwap to trade your books for titles like these! http://goldentwig.paperbackswap.com