Amy Tanner has been shopping the biannual Milledgeville Exchange Consignment Sale since its inception in spring 2012. With three girls at home to take care of, Tanner has always appreciated the good deals she finds at the sale. When the previous owner of the sale, Charis Barker, decided to move back into full-time employment, Tanner jumped on the opportunity to take over the sale from her.
“I just didn’t want to see it go away,” said Tanner of the sale. “I loved it so much for my kids. I know so many other moms that say that they love it and it’s been such a benefit for the community.”
Tanner took over the reins from Barker after the fall 2018 sale. She is now prepping for the third Milledgeville Exchange sale under her direction, which will take place March 18-21 at the National Guard Armory in Milledgeville.
Milledgeville Exchange sells used clothing for children, teens and women at discounted prices. Also included in the sale are maternity items, scrubs, women’s shoes and purses, home décor, toys, puzzles, games and books. Baby equipment such as strollers, bathing and feeding items, bouncy seats, cribs, portable cribs and highchairs always prove popular with shoppers. Homeschool curriculum items are also featured at each sale. Sports equipment such as cleats, helmets and leotards are other common items in the inventory.
For the spring sale, Tanner focuses on accepting spring and summer apparel such as shorts, dresses, capris, leggings and short-sleeved shirts. Shoppers are often pleased to find good deals on Easter outfits for their children at the spring sale. Prom dresses are another popular seasonal item.
Shoppers will want to make note of the discount day that takes place on the last day of the sale. On Saturday, many items are marked down to half price.
“Even if you come through during the week, it’s always good to come back through on Saturday because there might be some items you had your eye on, and on Saturday, you’d be able to get it half of if it’s still there,” said Tanner.
In addition to attracting plenty of shoppers, Tanner is also recruiting consignors and volunteers to help make the sale a big success.
“The biggest challenge has been finding enough help because it takes a lot of manpower to run the whole event,” said Tanner.
Tanner explained that volunteers are crucial in assisting with such tasks as setting up, receiving consigned items, keeping tables and racks organized during the sale, breaking down at the end of the week and re-sorting unsold items.
As a benefit for their time helping out, Tanner offers a variety of rewards to her volunteers. Volunteers who work four hours and also consign items will have their $12 consignor fees waived. Those who work eight-hour shifts will receive 80% of their sales rather than the standard 70% consignor cut. Volunteers who help with setting up or breaking down the sale will receive 90% of their sales. Tanner is willing to work with volunteers’ schedules as needed. All volunteers, regardless of whether or not they consign items, are offered access to a special pre-sale the evening before the sale opens to the public.
Those wishing to consign items can get started by registering on the Milledgeville Exchange website. There is a $12 consignor fee to cover the costs of advertising, renting the building and mailing checks to the consignors after the sale is over. Consignors can also pick a time online to drop off their items at the armory. After registering, consignors will receive a welcome email from Tanner with tips for how to get started on prepping their items for sale.
“All of the guidelines for how to prep the items are on the web site,” added Tanner.
Consignors set their own prices, and they can decide for each individual item if they want to include it in the discount day and if they want unsold items to be donated at the end of the sale.
“We partner with local charities,” said Tanner. “The foster care system helped out a lot last year, and Crossroads Pregnancy Center.”
Unsold items that are not donated need to be picked up by the consignor at the end of the sale. Tanner advises consignors to hang on to unsold items and try selling them the next time as the tags are reusable at subsequent sales.
Tanner encourages shoppers and consignors alike to follow and share the Milledgeville Exchange Facebook page for updates about the sales and for pictures of special items available the week of the sale.
When asked about her favorite part of taking over Milledgeville Exchange, Tanner said: “I like seeing all the stuff that comes through. I like meeting the people and talking to people and talking to the moms and seeing everybody get excited when they find something they’ve been looking for and they just can’t believe the price that they find it for.”
Milledgeville Exchange’s spring sale hours will be Wednesday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday, March 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.