Making a List and Checking It Twice

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It may be a bit early for holiday shopping (perhaps), but right now (at least in our neck of the woods) it’s twin sale time again! I’ve only shopped the sales in our area, and they’ve all been huge events where you can find fantastic deals on used clothing, toys, books, games/puzzles, baby gear, and more. I always shop the fall and spring sales before even stepping foot inside a traditional children’s clothing store.

However, shopping these sales can sometimes feel like I’m running with the brides-to-be in Filene’s Basement. There are often tons and tons of shoppers and sometimes babies and kids in strollers, making it even harder to move around. I won’t lie. I was completely unprepared and overwhelmed when I shopped my first twin sale almost three years ago. I’m not a big shopper to begin with, and almost had an anxiety attack trying to manage the huge stacks of clothing. I don’t think I even made it over to they toys and books. And it wasn’t much easier when I went back for my second sale in the spring.

But by my third sale (the following fall), I realized that I needed more of a game plan to successfully shop during twin sale season. And now, as I approach my sixth sale, I feel that I really have a system that works for me. Here is what my game plan involves:

Make a list: For some reason, the sales are just much easier for me to navigate if I have a list of what I need. It keeps me focused and motivated to find the things we really need. It also keeps me from bringing home things we don’t need.

Find a seller: I was lucky enough to find someone who has boy/girl twins who are roughly a size ahead of mine (even though they’re a month younger than mine!). She lets me shop her items before she tags them, and it’s a win-win for both of us. I don’t have to hunt through huge stacks to look for what I need, and she gets to spend less time tagging her items.

Work the sale and pre-shop: This will be my third sale as a seller. It’s quite a lot of work getting all of my items organized and tagged, and being a seller means I have to work set-up on Friday night AND all day Saturday until the entire venue has been cleared out. But it also means that I get to pre-shop both Friday night AND Saturday morning. The amount of items to look through is still overwhelming, but at least I’m doing it with a relatively few number of other shoppers.

So how about you? Do you shop your local mother of multiples sale? What tips do you have for finding just what you need when shopping large tag sales?

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7 thoughts on “Making a List and Checking It Twice”

  1. I totally agree, I was completely overwhelmed my first sale or two. I also finally hit on the fact that I really do have to go with a list. It helps me stay focused instead of going cross-eyed. Though I’m not selling this time, I will still be sure to get there first thing for the early shopping, go straight to look for the top items on my list. If I’m done with my list and have the time and energy to walk around, fine, but if not, I’m outta there. I usually only stay longer than 30 minutes because I’m chatting with people.
    Goddess in Progress recently posted Bursting and BreakingMy Profile

  2. Yes – definitely overwhelming! I find that I can never do both, as in I usually end up focusing on either toys/gear or clothes. If I spend too much time on toys, i just don’t have the energy left to deal with clothes and vice versa. This year will be a clothes year as we did a BIG toy shopping spree at the spring sale and added plenty over the summer. And I will definitely be making a list!
    Nicole recently posted Colies First HaircutMy Profile

  3. I’ll be going to my second sale next month. I’ll definitely have a list of what I need to supplement the hand-me-downs we’ve received. And, I’ve got a few Christmas/birthday gift ideas to watch for. I’ll likely be volunteering at this sale too, so that means I get to shop early, which is a benefit, but it can also mean having way too much chance to shop.

  4. I’ve found that if I shop end of season sales and watch for the 30% discounts at Gap and ON, I can get new clothes in the sizes I want in good shape, for just a little more than at the sale. It’s new, not completely shrunken or washed out, and no stains. I also found I was buying a lot of one off items that we never wore because I didn’t have a shirt to go with it, or whatever.

    Now the sale is my last shopping of that season and is really just to round out their wardrobe.
    Erin K recently posted Out with the summer- in with the winterMy Profile

  5. We have two local multiples groups that each have sales. At one, each seller has their own booth in a big gymnasium and shoppers go from booth to booth. At the other, all the items are combined so it’s like one giant rummage sale. I buy WAY more at this sale than the other because I can go to the size section I need on the rack and look only there instead of looking at 30 different booths. Each seller has their initials on the price tag and when an item is sold the cashier removes and saves the tag for cashing out later. I always go with a list, but still come home with a few extra items that were too cute to resist.

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