Are Mom-to-Mom Sales Worth It?
It's 8:04 a.m., and you're out the door, travel mug of coffee filled to the brim.
You join the long line of eager mothers and double check your pockets for the cash you withdrew yesterday: $1 admission fee and plenty of backup and change for all the purchases you hope to make.
It's 9 a.m. on the dot, and the doors burst open as you and the other moms file through the gym floor, hoping to nab the earliest deals of the day.
No, you're not shopping for designer clothing or even taking part in a basement wedding-dress sale.
You're at a mom-to-mom sale.
Mom-to-mom sales are all the rage, and their popularity is only growing. There are websites and Facebook pages devoted to the madness, and every weekend, there are one or two to be found even in our small town.
Hundreds of moms packed into a hot, stuffy gym, circling like vultures for the best deal they can find? Sounds a bit like torture to me.
So are mom-to-mom sales worth it?
“Definitely worth it!” says Kara Gubancsick, a mother of two. “Stocking up on the next-size clothes and play clothes makes life do much easier! Not spending a fortune on clothes [that] you know they are going to destroy helps, too.”
Mom-to-mom sales are a wealth of resources for children's clothing, and the rumors are true—a lot of the clothing can be in really good shape. I've gotten near brand-new children's clothing, including the more expensive items like Christmas dresses and winter coats, for only dollars a piece. Shoes are also a hot-ticket item, because as any mother knows, they often go purchased and then unworn. “I get brand new shoes for $1-5 ALL the time, and for my older kids, that is a steal!” comments Kristine Ginther, a mother of five.
And when you think about the fact that these sales are run by fellow mothers, it makes sense why there would be good deals to be had. I have bins full of barely-worn kids' clothing, toys that have been played with once and forgotten in a closet, and honestly, don't kids grow so fast? One day, you're stocking up on a million baby items, and the next, you're looking to get rid of it all, which means that these mom-to-mom sales really make a lot of sense for moms on the purchasing and the selling sides.
The sales are also good for getting those big-ticket items that can save you hundreds of dollars.
“I stock up on clothes and bigger items like strollers and cribs. I got a toddler potty for $3 and cute clothes for $1 a piece!” says Paula Rollo, a thrifty mom blogger at Beauty Through Imperfection. Paula also picks up a few presents every year for Christmas presents and even pockets some change by selling at her local sales. “I make about $50,” she commented.
Truthfully, I have been to about two mom-to-mom sales in my life. I find the crowds, the heat, the hassle all to be a little overwhelming. But even in going to the few sales that I have been to, I have been really really impressed by the deals to be had at mom-to-mom sales. My best deal to boot? A brand-new Medela electric, double breast pump (which retails at $300) for only 50 bucks. I used the heck out of that thing and have definitely never been more happy with a deal than that one.
So should you jump on the mom-to-mom sales bandwagon?
I say yes—give it a try. Go with a few items in mind and try to focus on finding them (a stroller or playpen, for instance), as it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of items there.
And keep in mind that every sale is different, so you may have to try a few before you score a good deal. “I've gone to some, walked out with nothing or have gone and walked out with bags!” commented Kathryn Hulett, a mother of three. “I got a nice pack ‘n play for $10, a swing for $15, and BRAND new John Deere boots for $5! You have to go early, and you have to look, but I enjoy them.”
Have you ever gone to a mom-to-mom sale?