Three years ago, Christine Wilford and Mary-Lyn Siderski had an idea. The pair, both moms, were tired of paying high retail prices for children’s items. Then they heard about a children’s consignment event in Boston, and went to check it out.
“We’re both big bargain hunters,” said Wilford, who admits she loves shopping for her kids. “We took a drive and participated.”
And that’s how they got the bug.
“We saw a need for something like this here,” Wilford said. So she and Siderski decided to create their own children’s consignment shops every fall and spring. The intent is to help families buy seasonal necessities.
The first consignment event was in August of 2010 at imPossible Dreams on Centerville Road in Warwick. The event was so big they quickly had a to find a new venue that would house all of the people and merchandise they brought in.
This weekend, the pair will host their fifth sale, and they’ll be setting up shop in the former Linens N Things at 1350 Bald Hill Road.
“It’s gotten so popular,” said Wilford.
Wilford and Siderski call themselves Rhode Island Kids Consignment, and this weekend they’ll have 266 people consign what Wilford estimates is $200,000 worth of goods. The sale – for babies through teenagers – includes clothing, beds, furniture, toys, gaming systems, bicycles and more. Wilford said the clothing is mainly comprised of brand-name items.
“In today’s economy, with many families cutting back on spending, this is an excellent way to stretch a budget while also helping other families in our community earn a little money,” said Siderski in a statement.
Consigners signed up online through the Rhode Island Kids Consignment website and entered their items and their own prices. There is a $10 fee to register to consign. Consigners receive at least 60 percent of the sale but receive a higher percentage if they volunteer at the event.
“It’s a way for moms to get a larger return,” said Wilford. Wilford said Rhode Island Kids Consignment can afford to give their consigners a larger cut because they don’t have the same overhead as other consignment shops.
The cost of the venue, the rental of tables, racks and display shelves and event insurance rounds out to roughly $10,000, said Wilford. She is hoping that this weekend, for the first time, she and Siderski can take home some of the profit.
“We are a registered business,” she said.
Rhode Island Kids Consignment hosts two sales a year, and plans for them three to four months in advance. The week leading up to the big sale is crunch time, as Wilford, Siderski and their staff of volunteers rush to set up the venue and inspect all of the goods for quality.
Consigners dropped off items earlier this week, and the store will open for a presale to consigners and VIPs on Thursday evening. The store will be open to the general public on Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Sunday, some items will be included in a half price sale. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Wilford, a mother of four, said the sale is a great way for people to save money on items for their children.
“It’s exciting to see the sale grow year to year – a real testament to the need for money-saving options for families,” said Siderski.
In the past, the sales have also proven to be a lucrative venture for consigners, who have reported profits of $1,000.
Any items that are not sold will be donated to the Rhode Island Foster Parents Association at the Discretion of the consigners.
For more information on the event, or to consign at a future sale, visit www.rikidsconsignment.com or find them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RiKidsConsignmentSale.