LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Frugal families can save big bucks this week at Georgia's largest kids consignment sale. Kidsignments runs Tuesday through Saturday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville.
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Kidsignments founder Jeri Lynn Cunningham started the sale when her 20-year-old son Branden was just a toddler. "I had no family here in Atlanta, no one to get hand me downs from, nor pass stuff on to," she said. She was already big on recycling. "It didn't make sense to do anything but recycle kids' clothes."
She held her first sale with a couple dozen other mothers in her garage. Now 1,400 sellers join her in packing two buildings with everything from maternity wear and baby gear to computer games and sports equipment.
"We've always promoted high quality items that it just doesn't make sense to pay full price for," Cunningham said. Most items are gently used, though some are new. "You can stand back and see the brand new tags hanging down from them."
Sellers are advised to mark their prices 66 to 75 percent off retail. "So if something was $10, it should be $2.50 to $3, though our smaller sizes will price greatly less to be competitive within the age group," Cunningham said. "Popular items may be a little more or less."
She said shoppers will find the widest selection Tuesday. "If you're adventurous and you have patience, our Opening Day is when we have the best selection, but it's also when everyone else wants to come get first choice," Cunningham said.
She jokingly compared it to the Running of the Brides, but she quickly clarified that there is lots of crowd control and security. "We don't allow people to pull armfuls off racks and hoard things. We don't do that here."
Shoppers should, however, expect long lines, particularly on Tuesday and late Saturday. "The line can be very intimidating for a first time shopper," Cunningham said. "If you don't want to wait, Thursday is our slowest day."
Crowds return Friday when everything that hasn't sold and isn't marked NR is an extra 25 percent off. On Saturday it's 50 percent off.
Sellers can choose to donate whatever is left over to charity. "Those items get donated to the Lilburn Co-op," Cunningham said. "They have told us they really depend on our event to help meet additional needs in the community."
The event is held twice a year at 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville. Even though it's cold out, this week's spring/summer event offers warm weather wear. Winter clothes are sold in August, to help parents prepare for the following season.
For more on Kidsignments, visit www.kidsignments.com.
What to bring
Something to haul your stuff in; there are no shopping carts
Snacks, between browsing and the line, you'll be a while
A list of what you need
Cash, check, Visa or MasterCard
What not to bring
Infants or children in strollers prior to 2 p.m. Tuesday
American Express or Discover