Tomorrow is our school jumble sale and I thought I would re-post this piece I wrote last year offering some hints and tips. Having experienced the other side of selling at the jumble sale last year I can say that you do need sharp elbows. But if you turn up a little later and avoid the ‘professionals’ you can still bag yourself a bargain. At the end of the sale last year we reduced/gave away items for free as we didn’t want to be left with them. But before you start to haggle too much at your local jumble sale just remember this is a fundraising event for a good cause….
For some people this word fills them with dread. The thought of queuing in the cold and then elbowing each other to sift through a pile of old clothes makes them shudder.
For me, though, some of the best and unique outfits I have ever picked up have been from old church and village hall sales in my youth. In fact some of the vintage items I blogged about here came from our church jumble sale when I was a teenager (the Blanes dress is now worth $130-£180 and I probably only bought it for 10p!)
Here are my Top Tips:
1. Be prepared to queue and, once inside, there will be some jostling and you may need to be forceful if you want to get to the front of a table.
2. The trick at a jumble sale is to not care about tossing clothes around. That original seventies dress might just be at the bottom of a pile of old t-shirts. By the time the sale ends, clothing will have transferred from one pile to another so you may find women’s jumpers side by side with children’s trousers.
3. Another useful tip is to make sure you bring plenty of loose change and lots of carrier bags. It helps the organisers and saves time so you can focus on the next pile of clothes, books or bric a brac.
4. While you may feel you want to haggle about prices do remember these events are being held to raise money for good causes. The joy of jumble sales is how cheap everything is anyway without having to negotiate a price reduction.
5. Why not consider volunteering at your local jumble sale? From personal experience it takes a lot of (wo)man power to collect and sort through jumble (not always a pleasant job: see below). One of the ‘perks’ of helping is to get a look at all the donated stuff before it goes on sale. But if you are going to volunteer your services why not make it more permanent and help out at some of the charity’s other events too?
On a final note, please do bear in mind when you donate to a local sale that items still have to be in a fairly okayish state (ie don’t give them that mouldy box in the corner of your garage that is filled with broken items and soggy old magazines!).
To find out when and where local jumble sales are taking place try looking at your local newspapers (in print and online) and other local listings websites.
Last year’s jumble sale haul (the orange scarf was one of my best buys from last year):