Spring consignment sales abound

What you need to know ahead of Birmingham’s seasonal consignment sales

by Jeana Durst, content director

With Christmas squarely in the rear-view mirror and warmer temps around the corner, this is the time many families start to think about spring cleaning and how to re-sell or repurpose kids clothing and other goods. The good news is that February is the month that many area churches offer numerous opportunities for savvy parents to consign and shop. The key is to know what you are looking for—and choose the sale that’s right for you. We’ve examined some of the area’s best and can guide you through the process.

In general, those who consign items know to keep in mind that items need to be clean, free of defects, hung and tagged properly. But what you might not be aware of is the fact that you can make your buying process more efficient as well. In order to make the most of your experience, area consignment sale representatives offer sage advice.

Tips for Shoppers

· Volunteer to work the sale – Jennifer McInnish, representative of Giggles and Grace sale at Asbury United Methodist Church, says, “You gain insight into the sale and how it works and you get a chance to shop pre-sale hours before the sale is open to the public.”

· Have a plan of attack – “Know what you are looking for and prepare a list ahead of time,” says Alicia Baily, representative for Twice as Nice, a sale hosted by Birmingham Area Mothers of Multiples. There will be a lot items to wade through and you could easily get off track.

· Come prepared – Bring a basket or cart to hold your items while you shop, says Carrie Mellon, representative from Whale of a Sale at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Although some sales prohibit this and provide their own methods, others do not.

· Prioritize shopping items that move the faster – Kelly Norris, representative for Kingdom Kids Sale at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, says, “If you are shopping for baby gear, shop for those items first.”

· The early bird gets the worm – Shop as early as possible to get the best deals on quality, says Kara Walker, representative for Riverchase TNT Children’s Sale at Riverchase Day School and Riverchase United Methodist Church. Some sales even offer passes to shop early for a minimal fee.

· Stay late if you are looking for low prices – If you aren’t shopping for a particular item, some sales will slash prices at the end of the sale.

Know Before You Go

Giggles and Grace

Location: Asbury United Methodist Church map
Dates and Times: February 21, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and February 22, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (All volunteers get a chance to shop the presale on Thursday night.) Website: www.asburygigglesandgrace.com
What to Expect: You will find quality clothing for all sizes, babies through teenagers, as well as books, toys, shoes, baby furniture, and many more items. What began 11 years ago with two church members, now has around 425 consignors and 2,000 shoppers. They offer vouchers to those that may need financial assistance.

Kingdom Kids

Location: Gardendale Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church map
Dates and Times: February 19, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 20, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. February 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. February 22, 7 a.m. to noon (1/2 off most items) Website: www.KingdomKidsConsignment.com
What to Expect: More than 500 sellers featuring gently-used clothing sized infant to teen and tween, maternity clothing, shoes, accessories, bedding, furniture, baby gear, toys, electronics. Sellers receive 70% of the amount of their items sold, and the remaining 30% goes to help support the church’s missions. Kingdom Kids accepts cash, check and debit/credit cards. A 3% fee will be added to all card transactions. They offer a discount day on Saturday.

Twice as Nice

Location: Metropolitan Church of God map
Dates and Times: February 28, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. February 29, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Website: www.facebook.com/BhamTwiceasNiceSale
What to Expect: This is the only sale in the Birmingham area specifically targeted to parents of multiples—but the sale is not just for multiples. It features new and gently used infants, children’s and maternity clothing, shoes, equipment, toys, books, DVDs, housewares and electronics. No children under 10 and no strollers are allowed on Friday. Babies worn in carries or slings will be allowed. No large bags or baskets allowed; an Ikea shopping bag will be provided. At the sale, credit card transactions incur a 3.5% fee. They do not take checks, American Express or Discover Card.

Whale of a Sale

Location: Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church map
Dates and Times: February 20, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Volunteers shop at 1:30 and sellers at 2:30) February 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Many items marked off this day.)
Website: whaleofasale.blogspot.com
What to Expect: Buyers can expect clothing items they need for the spring/summer months, such as bathing suits, cover ups and Easter church clothes. They also have toys, baby gear, strollers, car seats, and baby items such as play mats, swings, high chairs. For first time shoppers, it’s recommended spending the $5 to shop an hour early before the public sale starts.

Riverchase TNT Children’s Consignment Sale

Location: Riverchase United Methodist Church map
Dates and Times: February 28, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 29, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (You can buy an early pass for access on February 28th at 8am, which costs $10 and includes a TNT tote bag. If you sell or volunteer with them, you may shop the pre-sale on February 27.)
Website: www.riverchase-tnt.com
What to Expect: Expect to find gently used spring/summer children’s clothing, shoes, toys, baby gear, furniture, books, swimwear and electronics. Bring a tote to carry your items while you shop (or you can buy a tote for $5). Young children are only allowed in umbrella strollers in the sale until noon on Friday, but any stroller is fine after that time and on Saturday.

Other Area Consignment Sales

Bargains on the Bluff
When: February 28 and 29
Where: Bluff Park United Methodist Church, Hoover

Lil Lambs Consignment
When: January 31 and February 1
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church, Homewood

Market on the Mountain
When: February 28 and 29
Where: Student Center at Mountaintop Community Church, Vestavia Hills

Renewed Threads
When: March 12 – 14
Where: Restore Building, Alabaster

Sweet Repeats
When: February 21 and 22
Where: Mountain Brook Community Church

Trussville Methodist Children’s Consignment Sale
When: March 13 and 14
Where: Trussville First United Methodist Church


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