Consignment Sherpa

DAY 158

For someone who doesn’t buy anything new, I have spent quite a bit of money the last few days.  It all started with knee pads …

Kayla my oldest, is playing her first season of volleyball in the 3rd and 4th grade league.  When we signed her up, it specifically said that knee pads were OPTIONAL, which apparently means, you need to have knee pads.  Because when we showed up for the first practice she was the only kid with naked knees.  And suddenly I had this bad mommy feeling that I wasn’t providing the proper protective gear for her activities.

Until, I saw her first game.  Believe me when I say this, there is no possibility of a knee injury because none of those kids got their knees anywhere near the floor.  Basically, the game consisted of players repeatedly serving and if one did succeed in getting it over the net, the opposing team would just flap their arms around standing in place, often while closing their eyes.

But, Kayla really wanted knee pads because everyone else had them.  And who am I to stand in the way of her potential Olympic career? I told her I would look for them.  I did my due diligence.  I scoured all my usual thrift store haunts and Craig’s List. I actually drove across town to go to Play It Again Sports since I figured it was a sure bet.  The clerk kindly led me to a display of brand new packaged knee pads.  Confused, I told him I thought they sold used sporting goods, to which he replied, “No, actually we sell mainly new things, about 60-70%.”

“Really?”, I said, “Has it always been like that?”

He told me a really long story which explained that the robust economy in the 90’s drove the demand for new items (but he used many more words).

“Now,” he said, “we are getting back into used stuff.”

“But, not knee pads,” I said.

“Not knee pads,” he agreed and shrugged.

Which is how I found myself at the Just Between Friends (JFB) Sale this week.    Just Between Friends is a consignment event business that is franchised all over the US and sells all things kids at a couple of events each year. It is a great idea, you can make some money–or save some money.  The organizers do a pretty good job of vetting the resale product.    Through a specialized tagging website, consignors price and tag their own items.   For an event in your area and details about how to consign you can check it out here.  Start early, it takes a bit of time.

Our local event is enormous and fills a room the size of an empty grocery store.  There is also a fairly complex system that determines when one can enter the presale, the pre-presale, the sale before the sale and the event itself.  I felt like I needed a schematic to know when to begin the knee pad search.  Although, somehow I managed to show up at the right time which was a presale slot slated for military moms.

I could spend many words describing the craziness that is that sale, but why do that when I can show you photos?

Fellow shoppers


I counted nine aisles, just like this, full of clothes, all sorted by size.

A sea of baby gear


Thirty minutes in line. I’m told that is relatively short.


So it was me and all the other Consignment Sherpas,which is the term I have coined to describe us all staggering around the store under the weight of all the resale goodies (no carts).  I made an early grab for all of the never-been-out-of-the-package toys for my kids to take to birthday parties.  We had just run out of all of the clearance aisle toys I had squirreled away prior to The Simple Year.  It was good timing.

The end result, of course, was STILL NO KNEE PADS, as I lurched out of the store Quasimodo style with several hundred dollars’ worth of gifts, kids ski apparel and shoes.

Yeah, I know…

Gift collection

2 Responses to Consignment Sherpa

  1. My daughter is in volleyball too in 7th grade and they are more aggressive about getting the ball and when they dive for it they use the knee pads to slide on the floor. I would recommend asking the coach who played last year and might have some knee pads for sale. Otherwise just get them new.

  2. the consignment sale looks fabulous! I’ve never heard of them before – in Australia car boot sales or garage sales are the most popular I would say, but this looks great!

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