smlogo-blueI posted earlier this year about Just Between Friends, which is a twice-yearly consignment sale offering kids’ clothes, toys, maternity, housewares and more. You can make money through this sale by selling good-condition items that you no longer want, or you can spend money by getting some great bargains. (Most people end up doing a little bit of both.) The sale held during the latter part of the year focuses on fall and winter kids’ and maternity clothing. It’s a great place to find gently used coats, sweaters, Halloween costumes and jeans.

I have participated in my local JBF sale as both a seller and a buyer, and I’ve got these tips for getting the most from the sale:

Be a consignor. At most sales, those who consign get a chance to shop one of the presales, which is a private event held a day or two before the sale comes open to the public. Even if you only sell a few things, it’s worth the trouble to get to attend the presale.

Volunteer. All JBF sales need people to help put items on racks, check people out and generally just keep the peace. If you volunteer, you’ll also get a presale pass. Some sales also give their volunteers a bigger commission on the items they sell. (At the sale I participate in, volunteers get 70% back instead of 65%.)

Start early. Everyone who sells stuff at JBF must tag their own items before the sale so they can get their commission. If you plan to sell, don’t wait until the day before the consignor’s deadline to start tagging your things. The process takes a while, and you don’t want to be up at 2 a.m. shoving safety pins through thick overalls. That’s how accidents happen. (Ouch!)

Follow the rules. Just Between Friends prides itself on having racks of organized clothing, just like a department store, so the requirements for tagging can be stringent. Read the complete rules for tagging on the JBF website and follow them to the letter.

Don’t bring junk. Stained, torn or otherwise damaged items are not accepted at JBF. Choose wisely, and send the rest to Goodwill.

Shop early. If you are able to get a presale pass, it’s best to go when the sale opens, because the best items go quickly. Leave the kids at home, if you can.

Shop late. Most sales slash their prices in half on the last day of the sale. After you’ve shopped early for the choicest goods, come back to get some deep discounts.

There are a ton of JBF sales going on in and around DFW this fall. Here’s the list. Click the link for each sale if you wish to attend, consign or volunteer.

Fort Worth (this is the biggest JBF sale in Texas): Sept. 8-16
Aledo/Weatherford: Sept. 25-26
Mid-Cities/Grapevine: Oct. 1-4
Denton: Oct. 8-10
Arlington: Oct. 16-17