Attention moms! Consignment sales coming up
* Tis the season to buy and sell used children’s clothes, toys and accessories.
By PAUL BERGEN
Two big semi-annual children’s consignment sales are coming up, and Monica Everhart knows forst-hand how dedicated the patrons can be.
When Everhart was in the hospital for the birth of her third child, she sent her husband to shop at a WeeRuns sale.
“I was really upset, because I was going to be in the hospital and was going to miss the sale,” said Everhart, who lives in Thomasville. “We had seen some things like a little skirt that would be perfect for my daughter.”
Her husband bought the skirt and a high chair, too.
Everhart sees consignment sales as a way to clothe her kids without breaking the bank.
“There are a lot of women looking for a bargain and to make a dollar go farther,” said Deane Belk, who owns WeeRuns. “I love it because of what it does: It recycles stuff.”
The WeeRuns sale has been held in High Point and Archdale for five years. The Children’s Clothing Exchange, now at Sedgefield Crossing Shopping Center, started two years earlier. Both are run by mothers who say they do most or all of their own shopping at their own sales. Both carry toys, videos and other things for children.
The Children’s Clothing Exchange began when several friends got together in Julie Gehling’s garage to sell their kids’ used clothes to one another. Gehling incorporated the sale as a business, it grew, and now it’s been sold to Lisa Cook, a preschool teacher at Sedgefield Presbyterian Church with two children of her own.
Now Cook has a mailing list of 3,000 customers, and 250 consignors sell there, along with several commercial vendors. Forty percent of the merchandise is new, Cook said. This year’s spring sale will be in a 4,600-square-foot store front, and Cook will hold a Ladies’ Consignment sale after the children’s sale.
Deane Belk began WeeRuns after her sister-in-law spent a week’s vacation at the beach telling her about her own consignment sale in Nashville. They are quite popular there, Belk said.
Belk held her first sale in her Emerywood home, then it moved to a local shopping center, and when the sale grew, she moved it to Archdale. The last four sales have been in High Point. She declines to say how many consignors work at her sale or how large her mailing list is, but this spring’s sale will be in an 8,000-square-foot store front, and she is considering opening another sale in Hickory.
She buys all her children’s clothing at WeeRuns, except shoes, socks, underwear and pajamas. “I’m picky about those things,” she said.
Belk and Cook are picky about what merchandise they will allow to be sold. They reject clothes with stains or tears. Sellers price their own goods at one-third to one-half retail price. WeeRuns takes a 40 percent cut of each sale, and the Children’s Clothing Exchange takes 45 percent.
If sellers so choose, whatever doesn’t sell is donated to charity. This year WeeRuns’ leftoers will go to High Point Junior League programs and the Children’s Clothing Exchange send (sic) its unsold merchandise to the Guilford County foster care program.
“You can buy clothes that are in very good condition, and with everyone pricing their own stuff, you can get really good deals out of this,” said Everhart. She sells her own kids’ used clothes there, entitling her to buy merchandise a day before the regular sale, beating the rush.
Everhart has even bought puzzles and dolls for her mother, who is activities director at a nursing home. Everhart found a Tickle Me Elmo selling for $10 at the WeeRuns consignment sale when the vocal dolls were still popular.
She does some shopping at other consignment stores and occasionally at a typical retail store if there’s a great discount, she said, but “basically I get most everything I need there.”
Reprinted from February 24, 1999 edition of the Greensboro News & Record, page 28SW.