Monday, March 14, 2011

Consignment Shopping Mishaps

Consignment Shopping: The verdict is in and it's not for me.

I had a very interesting first-time consignment sale experience that probably doesn't really show me in the best light. But....the truth will prevail, I suppose.

After listening to countless mommy friends talk about the wonders of consignment shopping, I really and truly thought it was going to be the best thing since sliced bread. In my consigning dreams I imagined beautiful pink smocked dresses just waiting to be monogrammed with little Dayleigh's initials, scores of miniature Ralph Lauren Polo dresses and onesies, and cheap furniture without a single scratch or dent.

My dream was a little off.

I don't want to sound like a snob. Trust me, I am not. I have clothes from Walmart that I sport just as proudly as a dress from The Limited. We have a pretty strict budget that I am learning to stick to, even though budgets are hard for me. So basically I want to preface this by saying it's not the fact that my darling will be wearing some other little girl's dress. I just don't like the atmosphere of digging through racks and racks of crap to find a treasure. Some folks love a good treasure hunt. I don't. I like it when the treasures are neatly laid out in plain sight, I pick it up, buy it and get the heck out of dodge quickly.

I'm just not a shopper.

Since I was not a cosignor (meaning I didn't have any baby clothes to sell in the market), I had to actually volunteer to work--get this--8 HOURS of my life in order to shop the pre-sale. The pre-sale allows you to shop before the actual event opens to the public, i.e. before all the adorable smocked dresses get picked over and I'm left to choose between a stained Miley Cyrus onesie and bloomers with no ruffle. (God forbid, my child MUST have ruffles on her little diapered booty) As much as I questioned giving up such a huge portion of my life to volunteer where other people can make tons of money, I was disillusioned by thoughts of cheap baby clothing and stuff that my unborn child simply could not live without.

So I pre-shopped the pre-sale. It was scary. And that's an understatement. First of all, I was grossly unprepared and that was obvious when I was the only gal without an Olympic-sized shopping bag or my clothes basket to carry my loot in. I walked in carrying my Blackberry and keys. First fail.

Then I elbowed my way among women with no bras, women with crying children who also didn't want to be up at that time of morning, and more than one mullet. I found a few smocked dresses, a few Polo outfits (stain-free, score!), but no cheap yet beautiful furniture that was longing to live in my delightful nursery. Sure, there was furniture. But it was mainly odds and ends that would have taken much more interior decorating prowess to bring it all together than I currently possess.

So basically I spent about $60, and had to donate 8 hours worth of time. That equates to $7.50 a hour worth of stuff I bought. And wasn't worth it.

But then something terrible happened.

I blew off my scheduled work time. Oops. (Insert evil grin here)

I actually went to the market to work my first hours, then realized there were more volunteers than shoppers. So I quietly crept out after only staying about an hour of my 4-hour shift. Don't judge me! I work a 40-hour week and the last thing I want to do after I get off work is go to more work--especially work I don't get paid for.

And then later I discovered the director of the market does a roll-call at the end of the evening. Damn. Second fail. So I faked an illness circa my college days by pouring on a few sniffles and sounding extra pitiful.

And it worked!

But then, as time wore on, my Baptist guilt (much like Catholic guilt--or really any sort of religious guilt I guess) started to weigh on my conscious. I felt terrible for taking advantage of the pre-sale, even with its assorted masses and lowly finds, and not putting forth the required work.

So what did I do?

I spent last Saturday working the 75% off sale, CASH ONLY consignment sale that benefitted the American Cancer Society and the Mitchell Cancer Center. I felt needed because there was only a small handful of volunteers (like 3 of us) and the crowds were large and in charge. And my conscious breathed a BIG sigh of relief.

Hopefully I have made amends and my karma, or juju, or whatever you want to call it is all right again.

At least until next time. :)

Learning lessons one day at a time,


  1. I'm so glad that you won't burn in Hell for a few Polo dresses.

  2. I somehow missed that you are having a girl!?!? I thought you were going to be surprised? I agree with you on those sales. I get very annoyed very quickly when there are so many people and so many racks! I don't have the patience!!