Sunday, March 13, 2011

I am now a MoM-2-MoM Sale selling veteran.

After buying a good amount of used baby goods from mom-to-mom sales myself, I took my turn on the other side of the table yesterday at my Mothers of Multiples (MoMs) group sale.  My twins aren't even one yet, but it sure doesn't take long to accumulate clothes that no longer fit and large items that have served their purpose, especially when there's two of everything.
Tip#1 While pricing, I set up my table in my basement just as I would at the sale. I tranported these piles in my storage tubs and set up my table at the sale in about five minutes.

Part of me did struggle to let go of the items that entered my home along with motherhood, but our house is only so big, and more gear is certainly on the way.  I must confess that I did give in and keep a tub of matching boy/girl outfits. When I opened it, I was struck by the sense of relief I might feel down the road if we do go for another child and find ourselves expecting twins again (there's a good chance of both).  Certainly those "what if" twins could be boy/boy or girl/girl, but I know I'll kick myself if I'm in the boy/girl boat again with nothing from the first round to help me along.  It's silly, but peace of mind can be like that sometimes.

Tip#2 Price everything in multiples of 25 cents and have lots of ones and quarters on hand.

Getting ready for the sale was a bit of a challenge with Mike being out of town for much of the week before, but in true twin-mom form, I had a plan.  I got the sale items ready over the weekend while Mike was still here, baked my required cookies for the MoMs bake sale after the babies were down one evening, and got the necessary child care help from my amazing mother-in-law and some sale help from my own amazing, coughing, antibiotic-loaded mother (this cold and flu season has been tough on her!). 

Tip #3 Price to sell. Keep in mind that mom-to-mom shoppers like myself are no strangers to Old Navy and Target clearance racks where items can be found for a few dollars. You're competing with them, and your stuff is used. Forget what you paid for clothes, and keep everything under $5, most $1 or less per piece.

Having spent a number of weekends of my life in garages taking change for my old furniture and having had better success selling clothes and home goods at local consignment shops, I was leery about how the actual sale would go.  I was pleasantly surprised, though.  There was a steady stream of shoppers for four straight hours, and then it was over, unlike those long quiet garage sale hours of the past.  I enjoyed breaking out my retail sales associate/bookseller/server personality once again and loved whole-heartedly recommending the goods on my table to buyers, especially to those expecting twins.  I knew that deer in headlights look all too well and felt warm and fuzzy offering advice from experience and truthfully saying it all does work out.

Tip#4 Don't forget to bring bags. Despite reminding myself of this several times, I did forget.  I managed, but I wished I could have recycled our bags and treated those who bought from me to that little luxury.

Apparently my sales experience paid off and I priced the clothes to sell, because I took three tubs worth of clothes there and came home with less than one.  Unfortunately the big ticket area was not as successful.  I took both bouncy seats and one Rock and Play Sleeper back home (one Rock and Play and theArm's Reach Co-Sleeper Mini sold).  Factoring in the money I spent shopping at the sale myself, we made about $180, and just in time for somebody's first birthday...

Tip #5 This is not the time to ask a woman you don't know if she's expecting a boy or a girl (or more) only to find out she's not pregnant.  Depending on what the shopper was looking at, I found that some variation of "Are you shopping for a boy?" was a good opener.

I'm not sure what we'll do with what's left.  Perhaps a consignment shop.  Perhaps the fall sale. 

Perhaps we'll keep it for little baby "what if."

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