For parents in Ann Arbor who are looking for affordable clothing for their kids, growth spurts are the bane of the shopping experience. It’s tough to justify those $60 jeans when six months from now, that same pair of jeans are either placed in the closet, never to be seen again, or (if lucky) passed on to another sibling.
Anne Seyferth knows this better than anyone. Together with her sister Sarah Gorot, the two Chelsea, MI natives have five girls aged five and younger between them. Which is why, when they first encountered Just Between Friends, the national children’s and maternity consignment sales event, they were immediately hooked.
Finding a bargain
“We grew up in Chelsea right outside of Ann Arbor, but we both moved down to Chattanooga, Tennessee and had our first children there. They had a Just Between Friends Sale, and we would wait hours to get in. It was so wonderful. It was really organized and clean and we loved going,” said Seyferth earlier this month. “So when we moved back to Ann Arbor we realized there were no events like that in the area.”
After moving back to Michigan, the two decided to organize their own Just Between Friends event, the first here in the Ann Arbor area.
The sale works like this: sellers earn 70% on their items and simply have to sign up, price their items (a pricing guide is available), and drop off their goods. There’s even an option to have a valet pick up their items.
What to sell and when to shop
Seyferth had some tips to those looking to get rid of their extra items.
“Larger baby equipment items sell very well, like a rocker or swings for example. Also toddler clothing and older sell well, just because there is less than a selection.”
For the discriminating buyer, there are special times to come shop where the already discounted items get even less expensive.
“For the best possible deal, you would come on Sunday, because we have 50% off on Sunday. When you sell with us you get to choose whether to want your items to go 50% off or not,” said Seyferth. “Any item that doesn’t have a star on its tag is 50% off. We also have a pre-sale, so volunteers and consigners get to pick through things first.”
But how is the quality?
For many parents, the biggest concern when purchasing items from consignment is that the clothing won’t be up to standards, but Seyferth says she and her sister have that covered.
“One of the things we do is inspect every item,” said Seyferth. “So things that are stained or have holes or the sizing is wrong – those don’t go on the floor. So you know you’re shopping for good, quality items for your kids.”
Of course, living through the Southeast Michigan winter means furnishing a whole new wardrobe. Luckily, there are two Just Between Friends events a year, one in the fall and one at the start of spring.
“This one is going to be for fall and winter items, and then we’re having one in May for spring and summer items. So shoppers won’t have to pick through shorts and tank tops. And it allows them to pick a few different sizes if they’re like, ‘I don’t know what size feet my daughter’s going to have this winter, so I’ll probably buy two sizes of boots for the price of one.’”
Sell with a purpose
Perhaps best of all, parents and sellers have the option to donate their unsold items to charity after the sale.
With over 150 locations nationwide, Just Between Friends is growing rapidly, and Seyferth hopes this event catches on in Ann Arbor. She is confident it will be a hit with local shoppers, and is convinced she and her sister are offering a valuable service to parents in the area.
“We think consignment sales are so great because you pay a lot of money if you’re buying brand-new, but[(kids] only wear them for a short amount of time. So you don’t really a lot of use out of these items, and you’re kind of stuck with eight tubs of clothes, which is what we’re getting for a lot of people.
“So we really believe this will give people a chance to sell their items and earn back more money than they would from a garage sale, and if you’re shopping, it gives you a chance to buy items for way less than you would at a store. It really will help in both of these situations.”
Just Between Friends Consignment Sale
3pm. September 18/Pre-sale
$3. 9am. September 19 and 20th
Washentaw Farm Council Fairgrounds, 5055 Ann Arbor Saline Rd.