VACAVILLE — Michelle Downes was looking to stock up on toys and clothes. The Vacaville grandmother has two grandchildren and a niece, ages 1, 5 and 6, who visit often.
“They are pretty good prices,” she said Thursday morning at the semiannual Just Between Friends consignment sale.
She estimated she was going to spend a minimum of $100, but buying the toys and clothes at retail would be considerably more.
The sale’s premise is simple: Parents price the items they want to sell, using a standard format found on the Just Between Friends website, drop it off at the event and earn up to 60 percent of the proceeds.
A portion of the proceeds, and unsold items owners don’t want back, are donated to Vacaville’s Opportunity House.
Lonnie Biehl is the coordinator of the Vacaville sale. The spring sale, which wraps up Saturday, is the sixth one she’s hosted in Vacaville.
More than 100 area families dropped off everything from dressers and dolls to shoes and strollers. Consigners get early access along with pre-registered military members, first-time parents, day care providers, teachers, grandparents, and foster and adoptive parents.
There are numerous benefits to participating in a community consignment sale, Biehl said.
“At garage sales you get nickeled and dimed,” she said.
Listing items for sale on a website opens your world to strangers, she said.
Anything related to raising a child can be sold, including maternity clothes and junior-size fashions.
Multiple-family consignment sales help people recoup a little of the money families spent on an item that the child may have worn or used a few times, then outgrown, Biehl said.
Social media plays prominently in how people find, and participate, in a sale, Biehl said. Word-of-mouth is also a popular way the news is shared, she said.
Downes found out about the sale through Facebook. Allison Berry, toting her third child, 8-month-old Ryder Berry, heard about it from friends.
“I buy everything (for my children) at places like this,” said the Vacaville resident. “They grow so fast.”
She purchased a push walker for Ryder and planned to return Saturday when prices are cut in half.
Steve and Kelly McKone traveled from Benicia to pick up some clothes for their 2½-year-old daughter, Meghan McKone. He held on to the clothes while his wife held the book they were buying for their daughter.
The McKones sell to consignment shops and on Craigslist. What isn’t purchased is donated to Solano County nonprofits that help mothers in need.
“It’s a connection between the moms,” Kelly McKone said of the sales and donations.
Davis resident Grace Bassett cruised the Just Between Friends sale with her double stroller. Her 17-month-old son was in one seat, clothes filled the other.
She’s shopped the Sacramento Just Between Friends sale in the past, which takes place in the city’s convention center. The sales are where she makes her major purchases. She also has a 5-year-old daughter.
The next Just Between Friends sale in Vacaville will occur in October and will feature clothing appropriate for fall and winter.
More details can be found at www.vacaville.jbfsale.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.