Kids are expensive, and money doesn't grow on trees. Savvy parents have to know where to score the very best deals for their kids' needs. Mom-to-mom sales are excellent places to get anything and everything that you need for kids of all ages at a low cost. They are also a great place to get rid of all the stuff you no longer need and make a few dollars while doing it!
What Is a Mom-To-Mom Sale?
A mom-to-mom sale is an indoor event where parents rent tables to display no-longer-needed children's items for other parents to purchase. Mom-to-mom sale items are offered at a price lower than brick-and-mortar stores because they are not new. These places are a great space to find everything you need for a growing child at a fraction of the price for new items, as well as an excellent space to unload clothes your kids have outgrown or toys and accessories your kids no longer need. Participants often pay a fee to rent a table. They then place their for sale items on and under the table, organizing and displaying them in a way that makes sense to them.
Participating in a mom-to-mom sale is time-consuming but not difficult. If you know how to be a savvy shopper or successful seller, these events will be fun, useful, and completely worth your time!
Setting Up and Organizing the Sale
Holding a successful mom-to-mom sale takes careful planning and organizing. These tips and helpful hints will ensure that your sale goes off without a hitch.
Know the No-Nos
Mom-to-mom sales are not a free-for-all. There are plenty of guidelines and restrictions that prevent sellers from putting anything under the sun on tables for prospective buyers to snatch up. While policies can vary from event to event, these mom-to-mom sale no-no's are relatively common across the board.
- Car seats - They should never be used following any kind of accident. It can be difficult to tell if a car seat has been in an accident, so it is always best to purchase a new car seat for young children.
- Bike helmets - Like car seats, once helmets have taken a blow, they should be replaced. They should also be tightly fitted specifically to a head.
- Hats - One word: lice. It doesn't matter how good a deal the hat is; once you break the bank trying to get rid of a houseful of bugs, you'll be in the hole anyhow.
- Crib mattresses - It isn't that you can't sell them, but mattresses get recalled frequently. You will want to check the model number and date with the manufacturer before deciding to sell a mattress.
Promote Your Sale
Get the word out! Never before has it been easier to promote business. Social media is a great way to spread the word you are holding or participating in a mom-to-mom sale. Neighborhood Facebook pages, personal Facebook pages, Twitter or Instagram pages, and other community sites can all be spaces to let people know that you are holding a sale.
You can also go the old school route and create flyers and posters, hanging them in different parts of your community. Consider asking the local elementary schools to announce an upcoming mom-to-mom sale or ask your church to post the sale in the weekly bulletin.
Only Sell Quality Items
No one is going to buy trash, even if it is on sale for pennies. Make sure that you are selling items that are free of tears and stains. If something is missing a button or has a broken zipper, note this for upfront for buyers and offer the item at a reduced rate. When selling toys, furniture, or other child-related accessories, make sure the items are clean and in good condition. All parts should be included with items. If an item is missing an attachment, also note this upfront for buyers. When possible, include assembly directions for large items.
When manning a table at a mom-to-mom sale, make sure to have everything you need to make the sale and send customers away happy. You'll need lots of bags for customers to stash their goods in. Before holding your sale, store away as many grocery bags as you can. Many buyers will bring their own reusable totes to haul goods away in, but you can not count on that, so bring bags, bags, and more bags.
Get ready to make change all day long. Visit the bank prior to sale day and have ample bills in all different amounts on hand so that you can make change. Speaking of change, come armed with lots of quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies. Wear a fanny pack or bring along a cash box with a lock. Never leave your table or money unmanned at any kind of large sale venue.
Prospective buyers will be more drawn to your table if everything is nicely organized. You can put individual prices on everything or choose to price items by groupings. With a grouping method, every item for sale gets a sticker. Yellow stickered items might be one dollar, blue stickered items might be five dollars, and red sticker items might be fifteen dollars. Make sure that you have a poster nearby that serves as a pricing key for buyers.
If any of your outfits have several coordinating components, bag up the entire thing so that no pieces get lost. It is also a good idea to organize infant and child clothing by size. Start with smaller sizes and work your way across the table so that buyers can easily locate the sizes that they need.
You might get a swarm of people coming over to rummage through your goods. Once they depart, straighten out items on the table to give the next buyer a neat and organized appearance.
To Haggle or Not to Haggle
Haggling or bartering is typical at rummage sales, garage sales, and mom-to-mom sales. Often, people making possible purchases will ask you to come down with your price. It is up to you whether you want to come down in price, offer a price in between your offer and their offer, or stand firm on the original price of the item. If you know before sale time that you do not want to haggle, hang a sign at your table stating that all prices are firm and non-negotiable.
Mom-to-mom sales make for long days. There is a lot of organizing, transaction making, and small-talk engaging to be done. Having a helper on hand can make the day less stressful and more fun. A family member, friend, or even an older child can be a big help with organizing and bagging up items.
Prepare for a Long Day
When you sign up to sell items in a mom-to-mom sale, you are committing to a long day of running a table. You will be expected to be there from start to finish. Bring waters and snacks so that you can keep your energy up for the duration of the day.
What to do With Leftover Items
You probably won't sell everything that you intend to at your mom-to-mom sale, and the question then begs, what to do with the leftovers? You can keep everything labeled and store items in large totes so that they are ready for the next sale, or you can donate them. Many mom-to-mom sales give participants options or places to go where donations are currently being accepted.
Tips for Successful Shopping
Shopping at mom-to-mom sales is a fun experience for many! You can score some serious deals during your day, and who doesn't like a day full of deals? To get the most bang for your buck, know the best tips and tricks to ensure that you have a day of successful shopping.
Carry the Right Bills
While vendors should have plenty of bills to make change for everyone who purchases items at their table, not everyone will be able to make change for large bills. It is best to carry smaller bills for transactions and not a wad full of hundreds. It can be tough to make change for large bills in the first couple of hours after the sale has begun. Make sure that you also have lots of quarters on hand!
Arm Yourself With List of Information
Walking into a mom-to-mom sale can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. There are so many tables to visit, items to look at, and options to consider. It might help buyers to make a list to guide them in their shopping. Write down some of the key items you are looking for and the sizes you need them in. If you have a budget, keep track of the running tally of items bought on the side of your list.
Take a Friend, Leave the Kids
When it comes to shopping, there is safety in numbers. Take a friend with you on sale day. A trusty pal can help you find the items you came for, keep you on track when you start considering things that you don't need and be a fun person to spend a long day with.
You can bring your children along, but know that they can be distracting at a mom-to-mom sale. These events can become crowded, and they are full of toys. Be prepared for your child to ask for everything that they see. If you know your kid and you know that they will be whining for anything and everything in sight, set limits beforehand. Tell them that they can choose one toy at the end of the day for good behavior or have older children bring money that they have earned to purchase their own terms. Some venues do not allow strollers at mom-to-mom sales, as they can create traffic flow problems. Check and see if your mom-to-mom sale allows them as toting bags and heavy children about can turn a fun day into a day of torture fast.
Have an Eagle Eye
Shoppers at mom-to-mom sales have to have eagle eyes. Everything that you think about buying has been used and will likely have a bit of wear and tear. The question is, just how much wear and tear do the items have? Any item that you are considering buying needs to be carefully looked over for tears, stains, broken buttons, or zippers. While items are offered at discounted prices, they are not free. You are still using your hard-earned cash, and you should feel confident that you are getting great items for your children.
Bring Your Own Tote Bags
Venders should have bags to put your purchased items in, but those bags can add up quickly. If you are making a real day of things and plan on buying many items, bring along large, reusable totes. A few large totes will feel less cumbersome to lug around compared to 20 small grocery bags.
Ways to Utilize a Mom-to-Mom Sale: Business, Charity, and Fundraisers
Mom-to-mom sales can be used for many reasons and causes. The most common reason to hold a mom-to-mom sale is for business purposes. People want to sell items and make money doing it, and consumers want to buy items. Mom-to-mom sales are also used for fundraising purposes. A set price is offered to anyone who wants to set up a sale table, and then a portion of the price paid for the table then goes to a cause in need of fundraising. Charities can also be supported through mom-to-mom sales. Again, a portion of the cost to rent a table can go to a common cause in need.
Now that you know the basics of shopping and selling at mom-to-mom sales and tips for success, the last thing to do is get you there are score some serious goods!