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A Different Way to Shop for Children: Consignment Weekend

Itsy Bitsy Thrifty coming to Woburn in October

After her first child was born, Ann Marie Palmer saved “everything” from her daughter: Clothing, toys and gear, anticipating that if she had a second child, she could use some of what she already had for baby number two. She and her husband, Rob, did have a second child:  a son.

“What do I do,” she said she thought, “with all this (girl’s) stuff that cost a fortune new?”

Then Palmer got an idea.

She’s planning a weekend event in early October so parents can clear out their attics, basements and garages of certain unneeded kids’ stuff and make some money by selling it.

At the same time, buyers can stock up on kids’ stuff relatively inexpensively.

How? By consignment.

Palmer and a former coworker and friend, James Fedas, have worked in retail for a total of almost 20 years. Palmer studied fashion merchandising in college. The Dracut resident said she came up with the idea of a consignment weekend. Palmer and Fedas spent about two years researching the concept, she said, and starting Itsy Bitsy Thrifty. This will be their first event.

They did their homework, developed a website—itsybitsythrifty.com—and visited other similar events.

 

Giving Parents a Chance to Make and Save Money

“We take only good quality brand name items,” according to the website, “in desirable condition.”

Their service is different from others, according to Palmer, because “We want to treat everyone’s goods like they’re new.”

They also researched and booked a site: The near the intersection of Routes 93 and 128. Palmer’s husband grew up here.  Woburn is accessible from many communities in fewer than 10 minutes and the site is very visible, Palmer said.

Palmer was dissuaded from donating and consigning her child ware, she said in a phone interview last Friday. She said some organizations that she proposed to donate them to said they couldn’t pick them up. Consignment shops accepted only a certain number of pieces at a time and she would have had to keep checking to see if they had sold.

Ninety-nine percent of the people they talked to at other consignment events are buyers as well as consigners, she said.

Sellers, who price their own items, receive between 60 and 75 percent of their total sales at the higher end of that scale if they volunteer to help at the event. Checks will be mailed out within two weeks of the event, according to the website, minus a $10 entry fee. Sellers can see what sold and for what price at the end of the event.

Entry is free for shoppers.

 

Registration Already Underway

Itty Bitty Thrifty has begun to accept registrations for the event, which will be held on Oct. 7, 8 and 9.

Consigners drop their items off by appointment on Friday, Oct. 7 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., at the Holiday Inn.

Doors will open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and to VIP shoppers—who register before Sept. 1 or over a certain number of items—from 8 to 10 a.m. The event will continue on Sunday morning, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Consigners may reduce prices on their items on Sunday, Palmer said. Unsold items can be picked up Sunday afternoon between noon and 3 p.m.

Any clothing left over may be donated to Cradles to Crayons, Palmer said. That organization provides local disadvantaged children with “new backpacks full of high-quality, age-appropriate school supplies as well as clothes, shoes, books and other basic essentials they need to feel successful” and thrive at school and at home, according to the Cradles to Crayons website.

There’s another wrinkle to this form of selling and buying, according to Palmer. Besides individuals, PTOs can use the event as a fundraiser, she said, and have their members recycle unneeded children’s items at the same time.

She plans to hold another event in the spring.

James Fedas August 26, 2011 at 01:29 PM
great article!
Deb & Dan August 26, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Outfit the Kids will be holding a similar event at the Best Western in Woburn from Sept 30 through Oct 2nd. You can get 60% of your asking price for your consigned clothing - great way to make a few bucks for new-to-you clothes for tots through teens. Check out outfitthekids.com for more info.
Kim August 26, 2011 at 03:35 PM
I saw the title of this article and thought it would be about Outfit the Kids! Too bad both weren't included in this article. Also a worthy consignment event to check out at outfitthekids.com
Brenda Sanderson August 26, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Not sure why you have chosen to come on here and attempted to dis-credit this wonderful article... this story was wonderfully written and clearly the folks behind it have worked hard putting this together... I've heard of both consignment sales, and after reading the article and seeing these clearly childish comments, I've chosen to register with Itsy Bitsy thrifty! If you're associated with the other group shame on you for trying to take what these two have worked hard on accomplishing!
Brandy King August 26, 2011 at 07:22 PM
But for parents looking to get great deals, it's nice to know about BOTH events!
Brenda Sanderson August 26, 2011 at 07:47 PM
So true Brandy! Just seemed like a backdoor way to go about doing it on the other peoples part...
Meredith Soderstrom August 26, 2011 at 07:57 PM
I'm going to consign with Itsy Bitsy! A lot of the other events don't accept baby clothes and they do - I've got soooo much good stuff from 6-12 months that is practically new!!
Nadine Wandzilak August 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM
We'll be doing a story on Outfit and Kids, too.

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