Saturday, September 12, 2009

Commando shopping

This morning I decided to go to the Moms of Multiples semi-annual sale. When I was pregnant, I looked into joining this group, but the annual dues are $40. I'm too cheap to pay that just to get into a rummage sale an hour early. I'm sure they do other things as well, but I also don't need playgroups or baby basics lessons at this point in my life. So, I had to wait until 9am with everyone else. I knew it was a popular sale, but I under estimated the desire of pregnant women (I've never seen so many pregnant woman in one place!) to get good deals on baby stuff. Even arriving early, I was still probably at least 100 women back from the door. The standing in line part was fine, though there were a couple dicey episodes between cars in the parking lot. But then it was time to shop. Perhaps I should have titled the post 'Speed shopping'...these women were serious. I saw entire dress racks empty in the space of a half an hour. I was only there to see if I could find some matching/coordinating outfits for G. and L. in larger sizes. The trick was to scan the racks looking for duplicates while dodging grabbing hands and trying to move down the row. I only found a couple outfits, but that's OK since I only brought a little money and the ones I found were pretty cute.

But the whole experience leaves me with many questions. First, if the group is charging a $1 admission fee to the literally hundreds of shoppers who were there today, why do they need to charge such an exorbitant membership fee? What do they do with all that money? Second, what on earth were the women going to do with all the clothes they were buying? Each shopper was allowed to bring one laundry basket into the sale. I saw women toting laundry baskets that had clothes stacked easily 2 to 3 feet high. I don't know how they carried them around. How could one or two children possibly wear all those clothes? (And if they were buying for quadruplets, perhaps that membership fee would have been worth it.) Is there some children's clothing black market they were suppliers for? I was sorely tempted to go up to some of them and ask. I wish one of them was standing in line next to me as I was waiting (in a line longer than the one to get in) to check out with what felt like a very small amount. It's easy enough to start some small talk and comment on who you're buying for. Maybe they belong to some little known sect that doesn't believe in the use of washing machines. I know I sound a little snarky, but I'm truly mystified. I'm not sure if I'll go back to the next sale in the spring. Because of the early bird shopping, there were very few matching outfits and the prices were higher than the thrift store I usually frequent. But, if I ever feel like just people-watching, it's an excellent venue; it just needed a coffee bar with some stools to sit on...though someone might have bought them if they were unattached to the floor.


Mrs. Deem said...

You are a brave woman! I'm not sure I've ever been bitten by the "thrill of the hunt," bug. The sock sale at Fred Meyers is enough to crumple me to floor in a fit of tears. I would definitely choose to people-watch.

I love your blog. =)

Joanne said...

We have those in sales here in Canada ..POMBA sales. I am suspicious that the people buying tons of stuff resell it at 2nd hand baby stores and make a huge profit. Whatever. It's fun to watch the mayhem!

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