Mom-to-Mom Sales: kids’ stuff at bargain prices

By: Kurt Buesching | March 9, 2012

Got kids? Want to save money on clothes, toys and other paraphernalia? Garage sales are a great place to find these items, but it’s hit or miss – you never know who has kids’ stuff to sell. An alternative is mom-to-mom sales, where you can find lots of kids’ stuff at bargain prices, and all in one place.

The sales, typically hosted by PTAs, churches and other nonprofit organizations, are like big garage sales with multiple tables selling clothing for kids and moms-to-be, toys, books, games and other items of interest to parents. Sellers accept cash only.

Typically held during the fall and spring (when moms are typically looking to update kids’ wardrobes), mom-to-mom sales usually require a $1 admission and may include bake sales, since they are usually fundraisers for their host organizations. Some sales include a few professional vendors for items like jewelry, cookware, Tupperware and other products of interest to parents.

“Mom-to-mom sales are a great venue for grandmas, in-home daycare owners and even teachers looking for items for their classrooms,” said Tracie Chene, who has coordinated sales in Farmington for many years.

The sales are a win-win because participants help out the hosting organization by paying table fees (typically $20 to $30), but they also get rid of items they don’t need and make some money. Chene said her neighbor has sold at mom-to-mom sales for years and typically makes $150 to $300 per sale.

Many moms, grandparents and others involved in kids’ care are looking for clothes sizes infant all the way up to 12 or 16 for older kids, but books, CDs, DVDs, toys and other related items are a hit too. Many times there’s a “big item” room where all the large items like high chairs, strollers, backyard toys and other items are available for purchase.

Don’t forget the other side of this equation, either – getting rid of the stuff your kids don’t use anymore. Mom-to-mom sales provide a great opportunity to sell some of that stuff and make a little money. And they’re better than garage sales because you have a targeted audience for your things.

If you plan to sell, start by organizing your items. If you have clothes, arrange them by size and gender. Put like toys together – books with books, trucks and vehicles together, etc. Then find a sale that’s nearby and has a good following. Ask the coordinator how many people typically attend the sale (they’ll know from the admission fees collected at the door) and how they advertise it. Then sign up and be ready to sell on sale day. Don’t forget to be willing to bargain with shoppers – knocking a couple dollars off the price of a stroller may be worth it if you don’t have to pack it up and take it home later.

Check www.mom2momlist.com/list/spring.shtml for listings of local sales. The site has 150 sales listed for March alone, which site organizers say is up 25 sales from March last year and 46 from March 2010. The listings provide information on selling (purchasing tables) as well as attending to buy items. Happy bargain shopping!