Monday, April 26, 2010

baby bargainista interviews Belinda from the MOM Sale

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson interviews Belinda, organizer of the Brampton MOM Sale.

What‘s a mom to do when her child outgrows her toys or clothes and she wants or needs to reclaim the space they are taking up in the house, but knows they are still perfectly good? Hold a garage sale of course. However, your garage sale would only appeal to parents looking for items in the specific age range (or gender) you have available. Imagine if there was a giant garage sale for parents full of gently used items for children of different ages and genders. Well imagine no more. Sales of this type are going on all over the country and there are even (local) Facebook groups set up for parents to connect with one another.

Last October, Mr. Atkinson and I had the pleasure of going to one such sale and were able to pick up so many goodies for our fast-growing daughter. Babies (especially) grow really quickly and often only wear (or don’t wear) some articles of clothing a few times. Why pay $20 for a sleeper when a good bargain hunter can pay $2 for one that’s been used only a few times? I had the opportunity to speak with Belinda, the organizer of the Brampton ‘MOM Sale’ we attended and have some great insight into another upcoming sale and how you could get involved with her sale – or how to start your own.

What is the MOM Sale?
It is an indoor garage sale type of swap meet for children’s gear!

How often does it occur? (and when is the next one?)
I organize one twice a year (spring and fall). Our next sale is Saturday, May 15, 2010 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the North Peel Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario.
Admission is $2 – but if you’re a child or grandparent, you get in for free!

Where do proceeds go? (Note there is a fee for vendor’s to rent tables)
Our charity this time around is the Peel Children’s Safety Village (Peel Regional Police) and in the past we have also supported our local Habitat for Humanity. All the money the vendors make selling their items goes in their pockets though!

How did you get involved?
I loved attending these sort of sales but we hadn’t had one in Brampton so I figured I would organize my own.

Are there other sales like this?
Yes they are popping up everywhere. Some have been running for years and others are being put together by daycare centers and churches as fundraisers.

What happens at a MOM Sale?
You get to come and shop some fantastic gently used items and save a pile of money doing it…and if you are a vendor you get to clear out your totes and bins and garages or all the stuff your kiddies no longer need.

How can other moms get involved? (especially if they don't live in this area)
I would suggest researching if your area has one already and if not contact the local churches etc and see about renting their space and then network and advertise through the local playgroups and in the paper and you would be surprised at the response and support you will get within the community. Involving area businesses is a great way to get extra exposure too!

What do you get out of the sale for organizing it?
Lots of sleepless nights ;) but the real reward is getting the sweet emails and calls after the sale from shoppers hearing about all the great things they found and the nice notes from vendors thanking me for helping them reclaim much needed space in their homes while filling their piggy banks with money.

What goes into organizing the sale(s)?
It takes about 3 to 4 months to pull it all off form announcing the date and getting the website launched and then getting in the registrations, working out the floor plan and assigning the tables – all the while you have to post the site here there and everywhere to make sure your turn out is fantastic!

How do you advertise/get the word out about the sale?
I basically tell anyone who will listen ;) I distribute 10,000 flyers or more into the community… and my fantastic vendors always help too by posting the sale at their sports clubs, dance classes, schools, swimming lessons, cubs, brownies etc.

Anything else Bargainista Readers should know about the MOM Sale?
Come line up early… you don’t want to miss it!
For more details visit: and check out MOM sales in other locations.

Happy Shopping.

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