We asked our sellers to share some tips they might offer to first time shoppers. Below is what they sent us. Please note that opening day does promise the best selection, but it also can mean long checkout lines and big crowds. We only have one line for regular checkout but it includes LOTS of tag cutters and cashiers. Please be patient as we are trying to check out shoppers as quickly as possible. Pre-sorting and selecting only the items you plan on purchasing BEFORE you get into line greatly helps with the speed of this process. On opening day, your time to checkout time could be long so bring a friend so you can take turns shopping while the other waits in line to “line sit” and move your items along as the line moves. Or hire a "Scout" to line sit for you when one is available!
- Be sure to bring something to carry your bargains in and make sure it is large enough for everything! Think it’s big enough? GO BIGGER!!! It needs to be easy to pull when fully loaded to the top with items. We do not have shopping carts there for you to use, but sometimes there are Boy Scouts selling large bags in case you forget your cart.
- Be prepared for long lines. If you shop at either the preview sale or on opening day, be prepared to wait.
- Bring a snack, drink, and patience when you come to shop. Try to eat before shopping. During many days during the event, we have a local favorite chicken sandwich place here but in case they are not, you might want to consider bringing a snack/drink with you.
- Make sure to bring a list with you. (Click here to print your ultimate shopping guide!)
- Bring a friend! It’s always more fun when you have someone to shop with! Make a day of it… go grab some breakfast, make a coffee run, and then shop shop shop and have fun!
- Bring your photo ID. If you are paying with check or MasterCard/Visa, bring your driver's license or photo id with you. They will not accept either without a picture ID!
- Be nice to the other shoppers and the volunteers. We are all in this to benefit our kids and it can be really fun even during times when they are large crowds - especially when you enlist help from other shoppers! If you are looking for something special and can’t find it, ask someone! It’s most likely there!
- Get there early! The line to get in to the buildings forms earlyon the popular shopping days! The faster you get in the door, the better chance you have to get those coveted 'must-have' items you came for!
- Return unwanted items to the racks (in the proper size please!). Be sure to return your unwanted items to the proper racks when you are finished sorting. Think of the other shoppers and be considerate. The quicker you return unwanted items to the racks the quicker other shoppers can find their special bargain! If you do it for them, they will do it for you. Besides, if you change your mind and come rushing back to the fairgrounds hoping to find a outfit you almost bought but didn't, you'll want to be sure it’s back where it should be so you can find it. (But you should just be on the safe side and take it home to begin with!)
If you come across stains or items with holes or other damages that somehow ‘slipped through the cracks,' please let a helper know! We immediately remove all items that are stained or damaged from the sales floor. We DO make a note of sellers who submit stained clothing and if we come across a seller with a lot of defective items they will not be asked to sell with us in the future. Volunteers do their best to catch these at check-in, but they are human and can miss things from time to time.