I LOVE Kids’ Market – a huge consignment sale that is held every Spring and Fall. A friend encouraged me to go back in the Spring of 2003, when Harris was an infant, and I have been hooked ever since. After shopping that first sale, I then became a contributor, contributing my items to make some money and to be able to shop early at the contributor’s sale. After doing that a few times, I decided to volunteer to work the sale. Volunteers only have to work 10 hours plus sorting/tear down night after the sale is over and we get to shop before even the contributors. So I did that for a few sales. However, I was not able to work this year’s Spring or Fall sale. I couldn’t work the Spring sale because I was on the tail end of my post-partum recovery after my C-section, and I can’t work the Fall sale because I have a conflict with the sorting/tear down night which is a mandatory working night for volunteers (my conflict is the Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith concert). I also did not contribute this year because I just didn’t have the time and wherewithal to get my stuff together. So after being on all sides of Kids’ Market, I’ve decided I like being a volunteer the best. Here are my top 10 reasons to be a Kids’ Market volunteer: and besides number 1, these are in no deliberate order.
10) Much more time to shop. Workers’ sale starts at 4pm and goes to Midnight. You might think you don’t need that much time, but when you’re shopping for clothes for 3 kids for the whole season, it takes a while.
9) You learn the “tricks of the trade” (i.e. – how to shop the sale). This is not like shopping at a department store. You gotta come prepared with a laundry basket or personal shopping cart, a blanket to spread on the floor to sort through all your grabs and decide on what you’re actually going to buy, a drink (am I the only one who gets so dehydrated while shopping?), and a list of what you need and what sizes your kids are (if you’re forgetful like me and can’t remember – or accept the fact – that your oldest baby is wearing a size 5.)
8) You get to know the ladies who founded Kids’ Market – Paige and Kim. They are 2 awesome women. They work harder than all of the volunteers put together and they genuinely appreciate and value their workers. Even though I haven’t worked the sale in a year, they remember me and what was going on in my life when I last worked for them (my pregnancy). I just think that’s remarkable for 2 women who are so busy and deal with so many people, and who only see me twice a year! They also have a personal relationship with Christ and begin every workers’ sale event with prayer.
7) You get to know a bunch of other mothers in the community. I cannot tell you how many people I see around town that I think, “That lady looks so familiar to me.” And then I realize it’s because I worked with them at the sale. I can’t say that I’ve developed bosom friends through the sale, but I have a large group of acquaintances that I run into all the time, and it’s just fun seeing them again at every sale and catching up on each other’s kids and things.
6) Did I mention you shop before everyone else? If you want to find the best deals, you have to get to the early workers’ sale. You will find great stuff throughout the entire sale, but the best clothes at the best prices disappear fast. We’re talking a boys’ shirt and pants church outfit for $6 at the workers’ sale versus the same type of thing for $12. Obviously, the steal deals go fast. I also hear of contributors who camp out in front of Kids’ Market the Friday night before the first day of receiving sale items so they can get the first “priority numbers” and be the first people through the doors when the contributors’ sale starts. Why go through all that when you can just volunteer to work for 1o hours (10 hours that are pretty much your choice to schedule) and go to the workers’ sale, which is before the contributors’ sale?
5) The interesting conversations you get to have or listen to while working. While helping a person get their tags pulled in order to check out, you can discuss everything from the weather, to sports, to kids, to achieving world peace. I love it.
4) Dinner is served. One way Kim and Paige show their appreciation to the workers is by feeding us at the workers’ sale. Their husbands I think both work at Chick-fil-A (managers or owners or something) and so they bring in Chick-fil-A for us: chicken filet sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, chips, brownies, sodas, and nachos and cheese. They also keep bottled water on hand for us throughout the night – all at no cost to us. So we shop for a couple of hours, then they bring in the food, and we all sit around and eat dinner together. It’s wonderful and so much fun!
3) NO kids at the workers’ sale.
2) NO kids at the workers’ sale.
And the number 1 reason I love volunteering for Kids’ Market: No kids at the workers’ sale!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I like yours, but to me it is sheer luxury to shop for their clothes without hearing mine or anyone else’s asking when will it be time to go home. During the public sale, kids are running all over the place, babies are fussing or crying, and at times it feels as if pandmonium were about to break out at any moment It’s usally not that bad, though. But like I said, shopping for clothes with no children in sight – ahhh bliss.
Kids’ Market’s Fall and Winter sale is going on right now. They will be open this week until Saturday, and again next week Monday through Saturday. Next Thursday, most things will be 25% off and next Friday and Saturday, most things will be 50% off. If you have any questions you can check out their website or leave a comment here and I will try to answer it. Happy Shopping!