Last week I heard about a local consignment sale going on in my area. My son doesn’t need much these days, but for some reason I convinced myself to take a few minutes out of my day to poke around the place. I went alone, (my husband was kindly babysitting), so I had plenty of time to look around without rushing. I was actually a little less interested in buying then I was in scoping out prices. If we don’t have a second child I’ll have a lot of baby items to sell next year.
A lot of the bigger ticket items like swings, strollers and bouncy seats were tagged with prices about 20% lower than what you might find at Amazon. If you want to buy second hand to save the environment, the earth and the landfills than I can see why you might purchase something used, but in my case a 20% discount is not worth buying used. A lot of the items were clearly worn. Since none of the items were plugged in and very few had batteries I couldn’t try them out. I couldn’t see how the swing would move or how much the bouncy seats vibrated. The same could be said for the mound of children’s toys that didn’t contain batteries. If I got one home and decided the item didn’t work, I was out of luck, which is just another reason I wouldn’t buy there.
After looking at used baby equipment I took a look at the racks of baby and toddler clothes. There was a surprising number of boys items available, typically these types of sales have racks of clothes for little girls and almost nothing for little boys. About a quarter of the used clothes were actually in good condition. There was also quite a few items with the tags still attached, but again the overall prices were quite high. I find brand new items for less, by waiting until the season begins, scouring the clearance section and using coupons.
The average price for a decent pair of 18-24 month pants was between $8 and $10. Some were listed even higher. I often purchase brand new pants for less than that.
This is the first consignment sale I’ve been to, but I’ve seen the same thing when browsing consignment stores in our area. The prices appear to be equal to or higher than the bargains I can find for new items online and in store.
So tell me, am I the only one who thinks consignment store prices are remarkably high? Has anyone ever walked away from these sales feeling like they found good bargains?