Tagged shopping

What's New

Gender-Based Signs at Half-Pint

What's New

We agree – kids should be kids, and all kids should love all types of play, all types of colors, all types of clothes.

We love that some stores are beginning to take away gendered signs.  We have often thought about doing the same.  We have had many passionate parents even ask us if we could.  It’s not that we don’t want to, but let us explain.

The entire sale is filled with items, brought in by consignors, in just hours.  600+ consignors bring in their items and have to put their items on the sales floor in the proper places, and want to get in and out as soon as possible!   Volunteers want items to have been put on the sales floor in the right spot – like by like!   There are just a few short hours to get the entire sales floor ready for the sale.  From 8pm until 11pm, volunteers work frantically to make sure everything is organized.  The less work that they need to do, the more likely that the sale is easy to shop.

And we know shoppers want to be fast.  Most people only have a short period of time to shop and they want to zero-in on where they need to go.  Me?    My youngest is a slender 7 year old who loves crafts, and soft bright colored pants.  For him I shop in 5, 6 and 7 boys, and 7 girls for slimmer fitting bright colored straight legged jeans and soft pants.  I shop in the craft area, game area, and boy toys (because he also loves star wars and pokemon with a vengence).  And I always peruse the girls toys and the nursery area, because you never know what might catch my eye (like the cloud lamp I bought him last sale).  And I always shop girl and boy shoes because he really loves all colors and tends to have narrow feet.   I don’t feel funny about it, because he doesn’t shop with me, and even if he did, he knows what he likes and what fits.

That said, we have no interest in making children feel sad, confused, or stereotyped about anything!  Starting this sale, after Consignors have come and brought their items and after the volunteers are done sorting, we plan to remove the ‘boy toy” and “girl toy” signs.  We will re-label them simply with “toddler toys” and “big kid toys”, and perhaps some more specific signs as able and appropriate.   We will keep the clothing signs as they are.  Not sure if your item goes on the boy or girl side?  Ask a friend or another consignor and they can help you decide.  We know that with itty bitties it seems extra ridiculous, but our gender neutral areas have NEVER been shopped well (for the same reasons as we listed above).

We’ll see how it goes for shoppers and revaluate after the sale.  Let us know how it goes!

The 14th Annual Half-Pint Resale is here! Shopping tips inside-

The 14th annual Half-Pint Resale is here!  

Get your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.  Fall and winter are right around the corner – and my guess is that there are littles (and school-aged bigs) who could use some new-to-you clothing, some toys, and how about a few birthday gifts stashed away – all on a budget?

14th Semi-Annual Fall/Winter Half-Pint Resale
Madison Curling Club

Saturday, September 13, 2014- 8am-7pm
Sunday, September 14, 2014- 8am-1pm (when everything is half off!)

Here are a couple of  things that might help you prepare for the season’s biggest 
shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers in the GEAR/LARGE ITEM AREA will help you purchase large items so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience (look for the signs on the wall).  Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area during a few hours of the sale to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  Read more about the types of baby carriers you might find at Half-Pint Resale on our website, with a guest post by Cynthia Bachhuber, Wraps & Slings South Central Wisconsin.

2) There are two main areas at the Madison Curling Club.  In the lobby area, there are tables, seats, and places to just take a load off!  Feel free to come in and take a seat, nurse your baby, dig into some food from Slide Food Cart (which will be onsite during lunch and dinner hours Friday during the presales).  You are more than welcome to come and hang out – we only ask that you leave all yet-to-be-purchased items on the sales floor.

New this year, early in the sale you’ll also find our new area, BIG EXPRESS, which will feature large items that might not otherwise fit on the sales floor, and that you purchase separately from the items on the main sales floor.  And good news, you can use your credit card to purchase these items.  We’ll hold them there or you can take them right out to the car!

The main sale area is in the arena part of the building.   We will have hold tables where you could bag your items, if you say, need to go sit and nurse your babe or use the restroom.    NOTE:  The temperature in the arena area is similar in temperature to the temperature outside, due to the nature of the space.   Dress in layers!

3) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

4)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anytime before Noon on Saturday).   It gets crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children of any size that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they do not play with the toys or sit in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things (and then the item is unsellable) or have had people pass over things they want to buy because they think that they are accounted for, only to find out later that the person using the item wasn’t intending to buy it, and then a consignor lost the sale.

5) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out.

6) Don’t forget to come on Sunday during the Half-Price sale!  Everything (excluding rare green-tagged items over $75 that a consignor asked to be excluded from the sale) is half-off!

Fullscreen capture 8252014 105038 PM7)  Do you tweet?  Post on facebook?  Instagram?  Post your #hpscore after the sale and maybe you’ll win some Half-Pint goods!   Also share the event on facebook!

8) Did you know that you can recycle all of your plastic bags after Half-Pint?  If you can’t use them again, check out these tips!

8)  And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.


-Ellen and Lisa

PS – Half-Pint is only possible because of the tremendous community we are a part of.  Say thank to these folks next time you see them

PPS – Save a couple of bucks for some super awesome Half-Pint goods such as our awesome Midwest Clay Project handmade mugs (tees and reusable bags still available as wellYou can carry the Half-Pint love with you year round.

Donate or Consign?

photo (79)

A friend of Half-Pint sent us a great podcast  (7/25/12) on what happens to all of those clothes you donate to Goodwill.  Did you know:

  • Non-profit Thrift Stores get so much clothing in donations that they only keep, on average – according to the podcast, 10% of the clothing that is donated to them.  The remaining 90% is sold to textile recycling firms at 5-7 cents per pound.
  • Of that 90%, only 15% is bought by the textile recycling industry (used to make recycled products).  The Council for Textiles says that they recycle 3.8 million pounds of clothing a year.
  • What happens to the rest?  It’s shipped oversees.  Some people estimate that America’s #1 export is used clothing.  And almost everyone agrees that it’s destroying African economies (see here here and here).

And what about all of that new clothing?

  • Americans buy, and then throw away, 70 pounds (or more, depending on your source) of clothing and textiles annually.  Some say that textile waste is 5% of landfill waste.  Some fabrics, like polyester, can’t be composted and don’t decompose well.
  • The WWF says that 5,200 gallons of water are needed to raise 2.2 pounds of cotton – about the amount needed for one pair of adult jeans.

So what to do?  

I mean, Goodwill is a good non-profit organization, doing good things.  As is SVDP.  And I’m a big fan of buying beautiful new things for my kids (and myself, let’s not lie).  I’m not suggesting that we stop buying things at thrift stores, or even making donations, necessarily.  It’s about being smart about HOW MUCH we do it – and where we buy what we need.  The podcast host suggests that the best thing you can do is to share clothing in your community as much as possible, such as at clothing swaps and consignment sales.

Being a responsible consumer is such a complicated thing.  We love finding thrifty deals, new and used, at thrift stores and elsewhere.   New is sometimes necessary, and often good.   And someone needs to shop all of that thrift because otherwise it DOES end up oversees or in a landfill.  But it’s a good reminder and a great reason to consign or share with local non-profits the items that we buy (new or used!)

Want to read more?  Check out this great Slate.com article, as well as Elizabeth Cline’s book, “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion“.

-EC and LS

Important change to the sale of Cribs

Friends of Half-Pint,

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently created a new set of safety standards regarding cribs.  The new standards state that any crib manufactured before July 23rd, 2010,  CAN NOT BE SOLD OR DONATED.    Enforcement of this standard takes effect on July 28th of this year.   Due to the short period of time between the July 23, 2010 and the upcoming sale, Half-Pint has decided to suspend the sale of cribs indefinitely.  We apologize, as we know this effects both our consignors and shoppers, but we simply can not afford to risk potentially selling a crib that is not in compliance with the new CPSC standard.

Please note that the suspension of sales ONLY APPLIES TO TRADITIONAL CRIBS.  It does not effect gear such as Pack N’ Plays, co-sleepers, and bassinets or any type of mattress.  We still sell these items and they are often highly sought after by our pregnant mama’s.  If you have a question about a specific piece of gear, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

More information regarding this new safety standard can be found on the CPSC website by clicking here.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and compliance with this issue.  At this point the decision to suspend the sales of cribs is the best way for us to ensure the safety of our shoppers and their families.  We will continue to evaluate the situation for future sales and will keep you updated if anything changes.

-EC and LS

Shopping Tips for Spring 2011 Half-Pint Resale

Trying to work on Half-Pint on an election night is a lesson in focus.  I’m not sure I’ve succeeded…  However….

Something we can ALL get excited about is THRIFTINESS!

Let’s do it!

This coming weekend is the 7th annual Half-Pint Resale, the area’s largest (not to mention local) children’s consignment sale.  With only a few days left before the sale, we hope you’ve got your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.

Here are a couple of other things that might help you with your shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers with a QUESTION MARK sign on their backs are the volunteers assigned to helping you.  Wondering about cloth diapering?  Can’t figure out how to use that bizarre but interesting looking contraption?  Don’t understand how to check-out, need a bathroom, or can’t find the bags?  They are there to help!  Volunteers with a GEAR VOLUNTEER sign on their backs will help you purchase large items in the front gear area so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience.   Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  As always, we’d love to hear if it was a help!

2) Who are those folks selling the delicious cookies and sandwiches with the ready supply of hot coffee right outside our sale doors?  Why, it’s the ever delicious and socially conscious Ironworks Cafe. Trying to decide to buy or not to buy?  Just remember that every purchase helps teens learn important skills regarding running a business – or perhaps is even making a future chef!  ‘Nuf Said.

3) Parking! We talk about alot about parking because it isn’t plentiful at the Goodman Community Center.  However, the staff there are truly fabulous and have worked with other businesses around the area to have overflow parking.   You’ll want to take a look at this post and map, but also be watchful for signs as you get to the center, as there may be signs out leading you to the jewel of the parking world.    And please, we are begging you NOT to park in anything labeled “fire lane” or “no parking”, and in the Madison Kipp lot that is right across the railroad tracks from the GCC lot. (Danke!)

4) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

5)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anything before 5pm on Friday).   It gets so crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they aren’t playing with the toys or sitting in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things which they become unsellable.  Thanks for understanding!

6) There will not be an Express Lane at this sale...  I don’t imagine there are too many people saying boohoo because for those of you who have waited in that Express Lane earlier in the sale when the lines are longer, you know that it didn’t actually get you through any faster and was hard to manage.   SO!  In light of that, we’ve added extra detagging stations at the checkout and faster ways to bag your items.  Here is crossing-my-fingers that the lines move swiftly!

7) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  Remember that items can stay on the Hold table for one hour maximum.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out!

8) Finally, don’t forget to bring a donation for the Goodman Community Center’s Fritz Food Pantry.  Thanks to the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, everyone who donates will be entered to win ICE CREAM FOR A YEAR.  (And no, it is NOT April Fools).  You will find the donation box in the Lobby of the Gymnasium (the location of the sale) Thursday – Saturday.

And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.  Thanks for understanding!

Looking forward to seeing you:
Friday 2pm-8pm, and Saturday 8-Noon, and 1pm-5pm (when everything is half off!)

-Ellen and Lisa

The Basics of Half-Pint

So you’re new to Half-Pint.  Maybe you have a little one on the way, or you’ve just moved to the area.  Maybe you just got word of this great resource for your family, and you are wondering – how does this all work?


From a purely logistical standpoint, Half-Pint Resale doesn’t have a “home” per se.  We love our current location, but because Half-Pint Resale is a four day pop-up event kind of deal, we are mobile.  Half-Pint Resale is twice per year, taking place in both spring (featuring spring and summer clothing) and fall (featuring fall and winter clothing).  Our current location, which we love and adore to the enth degree, is the Goodman Community Center and their lovely lovely gymnasium.  They kindly tell all of their regular programs to take a week off and they let us take over their fine center.

All of the “stuff” (racks, etc.) live in various places around our homes.   An office?  That would be our dining room tables, which, after our day jobs are complete and our children go to bed, we fortify with our laptops, Cherry Coke Zero, Coffee, Microwave Popcorn, and all forms of Gummy candies.

The Stuff that is for sale at Half-Pint

Where does all of the stuff come from?  Hundreds of families out in the community have it all stored away in their basements in big giant bins right this very instant!  Whether they have been holding on to it for sentimental value, or they have always wanted to find a way to retain a little of it’s original purchase price by reselling it, it’s a treasure for another family waiting to be found.  This “stuff” is all items that are geared towards pregnant moms, newborns, to kids around the age of 7.  It’s strollers, it’s pack and plays and exersaucers, it’s breast pumps and cloth diapers.  It’s tremendous amounts of clothing and toys.  If it’s something you are looking for – someone out their in the community has it and would love to pass on the good deal to you and your family.

I’ve got stuff!

Great!  Consignment is actually a fairly easy process.  There are a lot of details on our website, but basically it goes like this:  You read the consignor agreement (which basically states that you will hang, tag, and price all of your own items per our basic guidelines, and then in return will receive 70% of the sales minus a small $5 consignment fee).  You sign up to be a consignor online, and then we send you a consignor number, which you use on all of your tags to identify your items.

And then you set to work finding all of the awesome, stain-free, current items around your house that are in sellable condition and tag them.  All you need is safety pins and tags, which you have photocopied from a pdf file on our website.    We also suggest a glass of wine or some other treat, but that is really up to you…

You bring the consignment items on the Thursday before the sale to the Goodman Community Center (during a specified time).  Fabulous volunteers check all of your items in and you put them on the sales floor.  Done, you brush your hands of the items and squeal in glee.

You don’t even need to come to the sale (although I can’t imagine staying away!).  On Sunday morning, when the sale is over, you have the option of picking up all of your items that didn’t sell (you will have stated this on your consignor agreement).   You could also have decided to donate any left over items to our Charity of Choice, and in that case, you could just wait for your consignor check to appear two weeks later.   (See more below)

The Sale

The entire sale is set up on Thursday night after Consignor Drop-off is over.  For a few hours, a few volunteers and ourselves sort and label like mad-people and finish up final tasks.  Friday is a fun day.  There are two presales before the sale itself is open to the general public.  The first is the Volunteer Presale.  We treasure our 150+ plus volunteers, so the first is a thank-you all for them.  As a special perk, Volunteers are eligible for bringing their children.  The second is the Consignor Presale.  Each sale lasts an hour and a half.

The public sale opens at 2pm.   During the sale there is a volunteer in the “Gear/ Large-Item” area to help you if you want to purchase one of these non-carry-able items.  There are also volunteers with question marks on their backs, there to answer any type of question you might have.  There are volunteers in the Baby Carrier area to help you become acquainted with the different types of carriers available.  You also will find volunteers helping with line management, checking people out, at the cash registers, and doing data entry.  Finally, you will find a volunteer in our “Loot Valet” area, which allows folks to purchase items and leave them by the door for easy car retrieval and stuff pick-up.

The sale takes cash and check at the moment.  And we love it when people bring their own bags.


Yep, on Saturday, when we open in the afternoon at 1pm, everything is half-price, accept for a few items that have green tags (and will be over the $75 price).  1-5pm on Saturday is bargain hunting mania!!!

Then What?

It all happens in reverse.  Items are sorted – some go to a local charity and are picked up that evening and taken away, and other items get sorted back into the 200+ bins that were left by folks who wanted their items back (it’s a big BIG task).  Everything is taken down and loaded back up into the U-Haul.  We go home and collapse, and come back Sunday morning for about two hours to make sure everyone who wants them gets their bins back.  All consignors get their checks in the mail within ten business days.

But what can you really find at Half-Pint?

Oh, you can find a LOT! Prior to the sale I fill out our cheat sheet, and am often able to score something in every category on the list.  I’ve seen most every baby contraption you can imagine, not to mention trendy baby carriers, strollers, diapers.  If you think you might need it or want it, we probably have it.  Items are generally priced at about one third of their original value.

I hear there are lines.

It’s true, there are lines.  When you are trying to move 15,000 items in and out of one somewhat small room in a matter of just 16 hours, there are bound to be a few lines.  We do our best every sale to tweak the check-out process.  Know that we are constantly watching and assessing!

How do I volunteer?

Go to our website, click on Volunteers, and fill out the online registration form!  You don’t need to have prior Half-Pint experience!  Volunteer shifts are three hours long, and entitle you to a pass to get into the Volunteer Presale!  Good stuff.

Anything else?

Just ask!  Lisa and I are always happy to be in touch!  Just send us an email at halfpintresale@gmail.com.

Oh, and WHEN is the next sale?  We would be remiss if we didn’t remind you of that – You can find all of the information HERE. Also check out consignment information (here) and volunteer information (here).

Happy Thrifting!
Ellen and Lisa

2 Days of the Best in Kid’s Thrift is coming your Way

It  doesn’t feel like Fall, and we hope it doesn’t creep up on us too fast. However, you can’t deny that it’s reaching the end of July, AND many of us are starting to think about back to school. We promise to enjoy August, but in the mean time, it wouldn’t hurt to take a few seconds to prepare for what will inevitably come.

Enter Half-Pint Resale. No reason not to take advantage of some summer nights and glass of wine to start going through the basement bins to figure out what you can sell to make room for what you’ll need this fall, and figure out what you need so you can be ready to take advantage of thrifty prices on quality items you need (ok, and want).

First, get the sale on your calendar.  We’ll again be holding the sale at the ever Awesome Goodman Community Center, located on the near east side of Madison, in one of our favorite hoods (lots of awesome shops on Atwood Avenue, and situated right on the bike path!)   We’ll also continue to have  Loot Valet service which allows shoppers to leave their purchased items with a volunteer attendant to later drive-up and load their great finds into the car with ease.  No fretting over a distant parking spot – so Shop Away!  Consignors, we’ll continue to have similar service for consignor drop-off as well.

And of course, high quality, affordable clothing and items will continue to Rule the Day(s). Two days of the best in Kid’s Thrift.

The Lowdown (Here we go…)

Thursday, September 16
Consignor Item Drop –  1pm-8pm

Friday, September 17
Early Sale for Volunteers Only – 10am-11am  (volunteers may bring children to sale)
Early Sale for Consignors Only- 11:30am-12:30pm
Public Sale – 2pm-8pm

Saturday, September 18
Public Sale – 8am-Noon
Half-Price Sale – 1pm-5pm (sale closes from Noon-1pm)

Sunday, September 19th
Non-Sold Item Consignor pick-up – 8:30am-10:00am

Registering to Consign

It’s certainly not too early to register to Consign! Here is what we got for you for our SIXTH Half-Pint Resale, coming up in just nine weeks-

First, we ask that you take a minute to read through the ins and outs of consigning.  Read carefully through “what to sell”.   Then click, fill out the form, and with another click of the “Woohoo” Button, you’re in.  From there, you’ll get an email back with your number (or a confirmation of the number you’ve used in the past if you a Half-Pint Consigning Veteran).  Download and print out the tagging template and the Tagging Guidelines and you’re in business.  We have been so impressed with the fair and affordable prices consignors pass onto shoppers and believe this is cornerstone to Half-Pint’s continued success.  Half-Pint Resale is only as good as its consignors and we think the world of the folks who Consign with us.

Early Registration

As in the past, we’ll again be offering Early Registration incentives!  Register before August 15th and….

(for new consignors) – Win a pass to wave your consignor fee and a $10 gift certificate to the sale! (2 winners!)

(for returning consignors) – Win a pass for you and one friend to enter a half-hour early into the Volunteer Sale – (1 winner!)

Partnership Opportunities

There are always ways to partner with Half-Pint!  Think that you have something to share with the Half-Pint community? Let us know!

Atwood Summerfest

And don’t worry.  It might be nine weeks away, but we’re still here, and out and about, taking advantage of the sun.  Come see us at Atwood Summerfest!!

And as always, contact us if there is anything you need.

Happy Purging and Tagging!

Lisa Seidel and Ellen Carlson, Half-Pint Resale Organizers