A few years ago, a good friend invited me to a local Mom 2 Mom Sale. It was my first time, and while I loved the concept – a ginormous garage sale run by Moms – I certainly didn’t know what to expect.
Turns out, I could have used a few pointers.
I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people, products and prices. I felt like I had suddenly jumped inside the pages of Kijiji or Craigslist – a veritable cornucopia of children’s toys, clothing, strollers and more – with the added benefit of being able to touch and see the merchandise up close. I was duly impressed with the amazing deals… but every time I waffled on an item, it was swiftly purchased the minute my back was turned.
And through it all, I kept thinking to myself – “Why the heck didn’t WE set up a table? I have SO much stuff at home!”
Fast forward a couple of years, and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sandra Moniz Prencipe, Founder of the Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale – one of the largest, most anticipated and highly organized sales in the entire Mom 2 Mom circuit. Sandra, an expert in the Hospitality Industry for almost 20 years, has planned and participated in hundreds of tradeshows and conferences… in addition to being a mom, of course.
With the annual sale just around the corner (April 21st), I asked Sandra if she would kindly prvode some tips and tricks for buying and selling at the Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale. She was only too happy to oblige! And so I’m pleased to share the following advice for making the most of the sale – with the intention of saving you time and money! Thanks Sandra!
TIPS FOR SHOPPERS AT THE WOODBRIDGE MOM 2 MOM SALE
1. Check items very carefully before purchasing, because all sales are final.
2. If you are going to the sale looking for specific baby gear (such as cribs, strollers or car seats), please visit Health Canada or Road Safety for information about dangerous or recalled items. Ensure that all items meet safety standards and are in good working order before you purchase. And, always check a car seat’s expiration date and ask if a car seat has been in an accident (if the seller says yes, promptly let an organizer know – they are unsafe for resale).
3. For clothing items, make sure that buttons aren’t missing, zippers work, and there are no hidden rips or stains. For shoes, bring a current pair to measure against not only size but also width, as different manufacturers can fit very differently.
4. Arrive early for best pick of product; although the sale begins at 9:30am, it is not unusual for people to line up well before the doors open. Grab a friend and a cup of coffee! The lineup is indoors so come early and take a load off. If you’re looking for something specific and get there late, chances are it will have been grabbed before you even get a chance to see it! The Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale features a BIG ITEM BOARD at the entrance, where you can check the Table # of some of the more popular items.
5. Looking for bargains galore? Come after noon as many exhibitors slash their prices in 1/2 or are at least willing to bargain more so than within the first few hours. Often, sellers that are firm in their pricing at the beginning of the event are more than willing to consider offers as the event is almost done.
6. Children and strollers are allowed at the sale, but due to the crowds, it can be difficult to maneuver a stroller. While you might love to shop, browse and spend time visiting each table, the little ones… not so much. The Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale features entertainment for the kids (clown, mascot, arts & crafts) but it’s advised to bring a friend or family member along so that they can amuse the little ones while you bargain hunt.
7. Bring tons of small change (some vendors do not accept bills over $20), plastic bags and an empty trunk and/or back seat.
8. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. You’d be surprised how warm it can get due to the sheer volume of people. And be cautious – make sure that your wallet, cell phone and purse are secure at all times.
TIPS FOR SELLING AT THE WOODBRIDGE MOM 2 MOM SALE
1. Attend the info night – the Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale holds an info night 1 month prior to the sale. Come meet some other exhibitors, ask questions and view a live demonstration of what to do and not to do in order to SELL SELL SELL your stuff! The event is by invitation only at there is no cost to attend.
3. Bring plastic bags to offer to potential shoppers and make sure you have plenty of change. Be cautious about accepting large bills – it is not recommended to accept $100 bills, cheques or I.O.U.s! And definitely watch your money. Try to bring a hip purse to store your money and cell phone. Using a money box and/or leaving your cell phone visible on your table is not recommended.
4. Make sure that your items are CLEAN and in the BEST condition possible. Make sure that toys have working batteries – picking up a couple of packs at the dollar store will cost you a few dollars but increase sales exponentially. Clean all stains; people are more likely to buy an item that looks fairly new than one which they will have to clean before they get to use it. If there is a problem (ie. zipper needs replacing) it is recommended that you be upfront and disclose it. It is the responsibility of the buyer to check it out, but if you are honest and let them know, it will increase your table’s reputation.
5. You will be offered a lower price at one time or another. It is up to you if you want to bargain; you do not have to take anything less than you want. But remember: you are reselling used items and will not get retail price for them. If you are not willing to barter on the price, post a sign that all prices are firm. On the other hand, if you are willing to barter, you may want to display a sign saying “No Reasonable Offers Refused”. It’s all up to you – after all, it’s your table.
Amazing tips! If you’re still not sure what a Mom 2 Mom Sale is all about, read this –
“The sale is like a garage sale but instead of visiting yards or driveways, over 125 moms come together to sell their used baby stuff to other Moms. Children grow so quickly and so many of us wonder what to do with all the stuff! When you have finally run out of space, why not sell it to another mom who would of course be more than happy to pay you bargain prices instead of paying retail for items that she too will only use for a short period of time.”
This year’s Woodbridge Mom 2 Mom Sale takes place on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at Vellore Village Community Centre, on Weston Road, between Rutherford & Major Mackenzie from 9:30am-1:30pm. Smart shoppers arrive at 8:30am to line up for best pick of products while bargain hunters attend the sale during the last hour. $3 entrance fee per person (12 yrs. old and over); proceeds will be entirely donated our charity partner, Epilespy York Region. More information about both of these great groups can be found on our website, www.woodbridgemom2mom.com.
Even though I’ve got oodles of hand-me-downs, I can’t resist a good social event. See you at the sale!