Are you a parent or soon to be parent, who lives in the greater DC-Baltimore Metro area? Are you weary from guarding your coupons like gold, shopping sales, trying to keep your kiddos in clothes that fit, are for the correct season, and are somewhat cute? Do you cringe when the top you scored for $6 at Kohl’s gets ruined the first time Missy or Mark wears it because they are a toddler and hey, that is what they do? Maybe you think, well at least it was the $6 top from Kohl’s and not the $15 top from Gymboree, right? Do you troll Craigslist and hope that the Thomas the Train table that was listed an hour ago for $20 is still there, only to be notified that you are 5th in line to the top prize? Or, maybe your baby showers are over, you are still missing some essential gear, and the thought of spending oodles of money at Babies ‘R Us to round out your newborn needs makes you want to vomit.
Well, have I got some great news for you! I would love to tell you about the Kid’s Nearly New Sale. I first heard about this amazingly awesome shopping extravaganza in the Nursing Mother’s Room, when I returned to work after maternity leave. When the topic of this sale first came up, the other nursing Mamas spoke of it in a hushed, reverent tone… as if it was something sacred. As a rooky, I innocently asked if this was a great consignment sale. ‘Oh, no!’- they gasped— the Kid’s Nearly New Sale is soooo much better.
Of course I had to check it out, and I have to tell you… I immediately fell in love! The Kid’s Nearly New Sale is not, I repeat- is not, a consignment sale. Not that there is anything wrong with consignment sales. I love them. There are actually a few great consignment sale circuits in the DC-Baltimore area that are pretty fantastic. However, I have left numerous consignment sales not finding what I wanted, or finding great items– but not at super great prices. This is definitely not a problem with the Kid’s Nearly New Sale.
So, what can you expect at the Kid’s Nearly New Sale? Well, instead of operating like a consignment sale where all the clothes are together, all the toys are together, etc…, this sale is more like 140+ individual yard sales, where everyone is selling kid’s clothing, toys, and gear from newborn up to about age 10 or 11. Maybe it is because everyone is fending for themselves, or because of the personal nature of the proprietor and customer interacting directly– but the quality and deals of the items you can find at these sales is mind-blowing!
Here is a sampling of some of the deals I have scored since I started shopping at the sales:
- Mint condition, Gymboree tops for $2 and shorts for $1,
- Beautiful taffeta and velvet Christmas dresses from designer stores- $20,
- Snow pants that appear to never have been worn- $12,
- Halloween costumes that are cute as a button- $5,
- Shoes of all kinds and all sizes- $5-$10 a pair,
- Books. Great books– hard cover, probably cost some parent $15 at Barnes and Noble- $1-$2,
- A bag of 8 My Little Pony dolls and the houses/play structures to go with them- $8 for the bag,
- A Princess Tea Set play rug with the ceramic tea set- $20,
- Kid-sized Princess card table in new condition- $10,
- Little People sets like the Barnyard Set– complete with all the animals- $20,
- Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles- I have seen them as low as $3-$4 a piece,
- A huge bag of balls for a ball pit- $3,
- Sandbox that runs about $60 on sale at the toy store- $25.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. I shed a few tears every time I go to one of these sales because I did not know they existed before Sweet Pea was born. If I had known this, I would never have bought some of her baby gear new. No way! I would have shopped here first!
Since I started shopping at the Kid’s Nearly New Sale, I have resisted the urge to even go to the store to buy clothes until after I see what I can find there. So far, I have managed to basically buy Sweet Pea’s entire 18-month, 24-month and 2T, and now 3T wardrobe completely from this sale– for a fraction of the cost of even buying these items on sale with a coupon, or on consignment. Additionally, I have almost single-handedly scored Sweet Pea’s Christmas presents, for the last two years, at these sales.
And I have to tell ya something else. When I send Sweet Pea to school wearing a super cute Gymboree top and matching short set, and she decides to bathe in orange paint, I don’t stress out. Hey, that super cute outfit she just possibly ruined only cost $3! I can barely even buy a coke for $3!
So, now that I have you hooked, would you like the details? Well, here they are.
The Kid’s Nearly New Sale takes place four times a year- twice in the Fall and twice in the Spring, at the Howard County Fairgrounds.
The first Fall 2014 sale just took place… but great news! The next sale will be Saturday, September 20th, 2014 from 8AM-1PM!
For more information on the upcoming sales and directions to the Howard County Fairgrounds, please visit this site:
One last thing. In order to give you the best experience you can have, I want to give you some shopping advice/strategies.
- If you want the best deals and the best selection, be there when the doors open at 8AM. Seriously. In past sales I have slept in and arrived at 830AM only to find the parking lot completely full already. This place is swarmed with serious bargain-hunting Moms and Dads.
- Lots of folks bring their kids but I have found it enormously helpful to leave Sweet Pea at home. This gives me way more flexibility to focus on bargain hunting and get better deals.
You can haggle with the vendors. They are garage sales after all!
Bring lots of big bags… and/or an empty stroller or wagon. I often will bring the empty stroller… which can be a pain to navigate in the booths, but so much easier on the back when you are loaded up with bags and bags of clothes and toys!
Bring cash– and more than you think you will want to spend. There is an ATM there, but the fee isn’t the best. The only booth that I know takes credit cards is the kid’s book booth. So, come prepared with your cash!
Park downhill towards the horse competition ring. So, this tip is just because I am lazy. The Howard County Fairground main road is on a hill. Think about it– do you want to walk uphill when you have an empty cart/empty arms? Or do you want to walk uphill when you are hauling a full trunk’s worth of great deals?
If you aren’t that concerned about getting the best selection, come late! As the sale continues, the prices come down. There are always going to be great bargains to be had. So, if you aren’t a fanatic like I am (no comment), you can probably score even better deals the closer it is to 1PM.
Well, I guess that is that!
If you are a parent who is looking to score some really fantastic deals, I cannot recommend the Kid’s Nearly New Sale enough. I hope you check it out and save big just like our family has.
In the meantime, thanks for reading!