Get the most out of the JBF consignment sale

The Just Between Friends kids & maternity consignment event is coming up again starting tomorrow, Thursday September 8th and running till Sunday, September 11th.  The first day is dedicated to a select group of people including military families, teachers, first-time parents & grandparents, and adoptive or foster families.  But the last three days are open to the public.  See the schedule for each day’s special events and times.

This is one of my most favorite family consignment events, and every year it grows larger in size.  Of course, it’s easy to also get overwhelmed because the sale is so huge.  So to help us out in getting the most out of this sale, I’m turning this blog over to Jennifer Hundley, a local mom here in Sonoma County AND the co-founder of the Northbay’s Just Between Friends sale event.

Tips to Getting the Most out of the Fall/Back to School Just Between Friends Kids & Maternity Consignment Event
by Jennifer Hundley

Preschool started one week too early in our household.  Digging thru my three-year-old’s closet revealed shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, pants two inches too short and more shorts!  Reality is, the Just Between Friends Fall/Back to School event this week can’t come fast enough (Sept. 9-11).  If you haven’t been to a JBF sale, get ready to be ABSOLUTELY FLOORED!  Imagine 27,000 square feet packed with bargains on clothes, toys, books, games, DVD’s, outdoor equipment, boutique items and well, just about everything you can imagine you might need for your growing family.  This isn’t just an event for preschoolers, but for expecting moms, babies, kids and preteens and it only rolls around twice a year.

Here’s my top 8 tips to maximize your children’s and maternity consignment sales event:

*Bring a List – 27,000 square feet full of 55,000+ items can be overwhelming. Look in your kids’ closets to see what they already have and what they need. The bargains are just too good.  Last thing you want is to get home only to realize you forgot to pick up rain boots or a warm jacket. Make sure you know your kids measurements (waist, inseam, dress length, arm length) and shoe size.

*Volunteer – Want first crack at the best selection and biggest bargains?  All you have to do is volunteer a few hours of your time and you’ll earn a pass to shop early!

*Head Straight to the Big Items 1st – These tend to go fast and you stand to save the most money on nursery furniture, strollers, bassinettes, pack n plays, bikes, car seats, etc.  Next check out the toys, bedding, books and DVD’s before scouting out the clothing.  The clothing is amazing, but there’s always racks and rack to peruse after you’ve laid claim to the big-ticket items.

*Holidays – think it’s too early to shop the holidays?  Think again…Halloween is next month.  Pick your little monster up a pumpkin outfit.  Why break the bank this holiday season? You can always find brand new and gently used toys, books, DVD’s, etc.

*Use that smart phone – Want to know if that BOB stroller really is a steal?  Free apps such as RedLaser allow you to scan the original barcode providing you with pricing and other helpful information.  I found a new Ergo carrier still in the box for 50% off at the last sale!  I wouldn’t have known what a bargain I was getting without this nifty (and fun!) technology!

*Shopping Bags/“Vessels” – Be green.  Bring a re-usable bag (or bags) to shop and to bring your bargains home in.  Laundry baskets with a belt or rope work great to pull your items instead of carrying them.

*Be Flexible & Plan Enough Time to Shop – Carve out some time to shop. Don’t put yourself in a rush or you may get frustrated. JBF is a big sale and you may have to wait in line to check out.  Be sure and wear comfy shoes!

Book the Sitter – You may find it easier to shop this event without your children.  If you must bring your kiddos, be sure and bring snacks and drinks for them.  The sale can be overwhelming to kids.

First time moms, grandparents, adoptive or foster parents, teachers/daycare providers/homeschool teachers and military all get to shop the presale.  SCORE!  However, if you want first dibs on some of those items like kids’ furniture or boutique clothing, you might consider volunteering.

Last sale I overheard a mom on her cell phone telling her friend “It’s just like Black Friday, but the deals are even better!”  This put a smile on my face as this is exactly how I feel about Just Between Friends!

Here’s a link to register:  Got any helpful tips?  Did you find any great bargains at the last sales?  I’d love to hear about them, so do share!

Jennifer Hundley and her husband Matt organize the Just Between Friends North Bay events.  Jen is a native Sonoma County resident and a mom to a three and a half year old.  She and her husband are proud to serve their community via their consignment events and by volunteering for their local Active 20-30 service club.  When not working or volunteering, you’ll find Jen and her husband running after the seagulls in Bodega or playing at Howarth Park with their son!

The Just Between Friends Sale will be held in the Hall of Flowers building at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa.  See the schedule for each day’s special events and times.

To see photos of past Just Between Friends sales, click here.  Here are some from previous events:


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