For all of you who love saving money on Kid’s clothing, toys, shoes, furniture and more, the San Mateo Kids Consignment Sale is a 2013 must-attend-event! This year the event will be held on March 7-9th at the San Mateo Event Center. I recently caught up with Angela, the amazing woman behind the event to learn more…
Question 1: Hi Angela, please tell us a bit about the Just Between Friends (JBF) Kids Consignment Sale?
Just Between Friends (JBF) is a baby, kids and maternity consignment sale where local families can bring in and sell their gently used kids clothing, toys, gear, furniture and more and earn 60-65% of the selling price. Shoppers love the sale because all items are inspected for quality and product safety and are priced at 50-90% off retail! The best part of the event is that many sellers choose to donate any unsold items to our charity partner, InnVision Shelter Network, which serves over 1,700 homeless children on the Peninsula. Thousands of baby and kids items are donated each sale.
Question 2: That’s so wonderful! What is the history behind JBF and how did you get started with it in San Mateo?
JBF was started in 1997 by 2 moms in Tulsa, OK that wanted to make a little extra money and do something with all of the items their kids outgrew. They started in their living room with 17 consignors! Today, JBF is a national franchise with 124 sales events in 24 states. I learned about JBF while pregnant with my second child when we were living in Dallas, TX. I attended an event there and thought immediately “When we move back to the Bay Area, I’m going to introduce this event to my friends and neighbors on the Peninsula!” As soon as we returned to Belmont at the beginning of 2011, we started JBF in San Mateo.
Question 3: Awesome! So how exactly does the Consignment Sale work?
Consignors (sellers) use our online barcoding system to input the descriptions and the prices of the items they want to sell. This system creates a unique tag for each item. The consignor prints the tag and attach it to their item and drop all of their tagged items off at the event during a designated drop off time. JBF inspects all items for quality and product safety and then the consignor puts the items out on the sales floor in the appropriate area. Then they get to go home, relax, and can check online each night to see what has sold! Consignors also get to shop the sale early, before it’s open to the public to take advantage of those amazing deals! At the end of the event, the consignor can pick up any unsold items or donate them to our charity partner, InnVision Shelter Network. They receive a check in the mail 2 weeks later for 60% of their gross sales or 65% (if they volunteered at the event) less a $12 consignor fee. The entire event is run by volunteers so if you volunteer to work a 4 hour shift, you get an exclusive pre-sale pass that allows you to shop early AND you get 65% on your sales. If you are not consigning, you can still volunteer just to shop early!
Question 4: What types of Kids items do you look for?
We accept anything that is appropriate for children between 0-12 years old. We accept clothing, toys, shoes, books, games, puzzles, DVDs, sports equipment, nursing gear, furniture, etc. If a child will use it, we will sell it! The items must be “gently loved” and free of stains, wear, tear, etc. and of course, cannot be recalled.
Question 5: If I want to consign my gently used kids clothing, toys, shoes, etc. how would I go about it?
You can visit our website at http://www.sanmateo.jbfsale.com/ and click on “sign up” at the top right hand corner. Once you create an account you can choose which JBF event you’d like to participate in. Once you choose the San Mateo event, you can check the box marked “consignor” and you are all signed up! You can start tagging your items (any time, all year round) by clicking on “enter my tags” in your profile.
Question 6: This sounds great! I’ve never consigned clothes before, do you have any hints on how to best price items?
JBF has a pricing guide online here http://jbfsale.com/files/JBFPricingGuidelines.pdf to help with pricing, but I typically tell our consignors to ask themselves “how much would you pay for this item”? If it’s a larger ticket item like a stroller, I advise parents to look on craigslist or ebay to see what similar items are selling for.
Question 7: How much would you say parents save shopping at JBF versus retail outlets for kids?
Most items are priced at 50-90% off retail! Saturday is the last day of the sale and is our half price day when most items are reduced even further and are half off!
Question 8: Oh wow, deals! From an insiders perspective, when would you say is the ideal time to shop for the best deals/items/etc.?
You will find the BEST deals when the event first opens so we highly recommend that you volunteer (or consign) in order to shop the exclusive pre-sale on Wednesday night. The best deals go fast! The event officially opens to the public on Thursday at noon. Even greater deals are had on Saturday (our last sale day) during our half price sale when many items are marked 50% off.
Question 9: Thanks! What’s your favorite part about the Just Between Friends Consignment Sale?
I absolutely love the relationships I’ve built with the consignors, volunteers, vendors, and charity partners. I love it when a struggling parent comes to me and says “JBF has saved my family SO much money” or when a consignor says “my check is going to help us go to Disneyland!” It just reminds me why I wanted to do this in the first place – to help local families make and save money. Finally, at the end of the event when we are officially closed, alumni that have graduated from the Shelter Network program are invited to come and “shop” the donations and take what they need for their growing families. I love watching the kids and parents come in with excitement to see what wonderful, high quality items they will be able to take home that day. It’s a win-win all around!!!
This just sounds wonderful, Angela! What an amazing resource for families. Thank-you so much for sharing your insights, and for all your hard work!!