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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Consignment shop finds for you, your kids



What mom hasn’t looked around her kid-centric house and felt the urge to purge, purge, purge? It’s a constant battle. You want your children to have the coolest, most age-appropriate toy on the market, but you also hate adding to the heap and spending money you don’t necessarily have.

Consignment sales to the rescue! These are one-day or multi-day sales of gently used kids’ clothing, toys, accessories and furniture. Sellers get to unload their goods without the hassle of organizing a garage sale and selling everything for a quarter. Buyers get a big selection of highly discounted items all under one roof. And just to make sure you aren't getting something that has been recalled, you can always check the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site.

Unlike most consignment stores, consignment sales typically let the seller set their own price. Sellers also keep more of the purchase price, usually 60 to 70 percent. The rest goes to the sale organizers.

Stacy Thomas, co-owner of Happy Happy Hippos, a consignment sale in Brooksville, says interest has soared since the economy has soured. Many of her sellers, as well as buyers, have been laid off or have a husband who’s been laid off and need the extra money. They see those princess puzzles and sets of blocks collecting dust in the corner as easy cash.

Most items at the sales sell for one-third to one-half of the original price. Organizers only take stuff in good, clean condition with no buttons or pieces missing. Most sales offer consignors first dibs on stuff at early-bird events the day before the public sale. Volunteer to sort or clean up and you get similar perks.

Here are a few consignment sales coming up in the Tampa Bay area in the next few months. Early Christmas gifts anyone? Admission is free unless noted.

Happy Happy Hippos — Sept. 11-13 at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St, Brooksville. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 13, when most items will be 50 percent off.

Crazy Mommas’ Consignments — Sept. 19 in the Firemen’s Benevolent Association Hall, 201 E Yukon St,, Tampa. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale isn’t selling shoes but is taking donations of gently worn ones to donate to children in Costa Rica. Each donor will receive $1 off any purchase of $5 or more.

Jumping Jeans — Oct. 23-24 at the Florida College Student Center, 119 N Glen Arven Ave., Temple Terrace. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 24, with items 50 percent off from 5 to 8 p.m. Shoppers can buy a $2 sneak peek pass from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 23.

Just Between Friends — Oct. 29-31 at the Tampa Bay Baptist Conference Center, 15601 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30; and 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 31 when many items are 50 percent off. Admission is $2 on Oct. 29 and free Oct. 30 and 31.

Susan Thurston, Times mom

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:03am]


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