Sunday, 14 November 2010

Off to the sales

Yesterday, Squeaky & I had Big Adventures.  We first went off to Pontypridd to meet Boyd Clack, as he was signing copies of his autobiography.  I know that name probably means nothing to anyone outside Wales, and may only ring vague bells to anyone living here, but I'm a great big High Hopes fangirl, and he's kind of my hero.  I met him last year shopping in Cardiff & he remembered me, so that was nice, and I've got a new book to read.

We then drove to Cardiff, because there was an NCT Nearly New Sale on.  Have you ever been?  Honestly now.  I know.  When my friend first told me about them, I thought the same.  Why would I want a load of second hand tat when I can buy new stuff, and/or I've got enough baby stuff as it is, I don't need more.  And then I discovered the reality.  Yes, it's a jumble sale.  But it's the best jumble sale in the world.  Loads of beautiful baby clothes, far more expensive than I'd be prepared to buy new, and for nearly nothing!  I was quite restrained to be honest.  I only spent £10.  But for that, I came away with...
  • A pair of Monsoon jeans
  • A spotty Monsoon kimono style top
  • A red flowery cord dress
  • A pink Gap shirt dress
  • A two layer Next top & shirt
  • A pair of Pumpkin Patch cropped trousers
  • A brand new Feu Follet blouse & jumper
In the real world, I don't think I could have bought one of those for a tenner, never mind all of them.

If I say so myself (and I've been told by others too...) I'm pretty good at finding the really good stuff at these kind of events.  How?  I've got a few pointers, if you want to give it a go yourself.
  • Fabric - I don't look for cotton jersey, it stretches.  Look out for more solid materials, stiff cotton, denim, corduroy.
  • Labels - I'm not a label queen, but there's no point in buying second hand supermarket clothes. They're cheap enough new, and not built to last.  Look out for brands that have a reputation for durability & quality, and ones you'd like to be able to buy brand new.
  • Spot the seller's name - all the items at NCT sales are labelled with the seller's name.  So if you find one good thing from a seller, keep an eye out for their name on other labels, there's a fair chance there'll be other things you like.
  • Condition - the obvious one.  Check for wear, seams, etc.
  • Wearability - make sure you pick things that you're actually going to be able to get some use out of.  That fuchsia pink tutu may be cute, but will it actually get worn? (This was the swaying factor against a very cute Gap poncho yesterday)
  • Budget - Maybe an overall budget, depending on your circumstances, but certainly a Per-Item budget.  That way you'll bypass the cute-but-optimistic items, and go straight for the real bargains.  I didn't pay more than £2 for anything, was prepared to go to £2.50.
  • Labels Again - look for things that still have shop tags on.  What better way to gauge quality than a brand new item?
So yeah.  Hit the nearly news, and tell me what bargains you've found.

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