NCT Basingstoke Nearly New Sale
Saturday, October 4, 2014.
Dear Mummy, it’s a wet and windy day and we’re all house bound watching telly and playing with playdoh. You hear on the grapevine about Basingstoke’s NCT Nearly New Sale and decide to pop down to see if you can pick up some bargains.
You’ve been an advocate of NCT for sometime and joined a group when you were pregnant with me. Along the way you made some friends for life, who helped you through the late stages of pregnancy and early motherhood. Taking part in an antenatal class was one of the best things you did, for support, education and aftercare. If it wasn’t for NCT my mummy probably wouldn’t have breastfed me…..she probably would have hidden away in the house and the NCT group gave her the confidence to get out of the house in the early days to attend Coffee & Chat on Fridays at Brookvale, Basingstoke and have friends introduced her to sling meets and the whole world of baby wearing.
We’ve both attended nearly new sales in the past, my mummy has carried me in her sling while browsing the sales. However this time, as I’m a little terror at present, she leaves me at home *sob*, you can’t take buggies or pushchairs into the sale rooms due to health and safety and how busy it gets.
They really jam pack the sale rooms as you can see from the pictures. It’s a buyers heaven! I stay at home and terrorized family friends while mummy ducks out.
She later informs me that it wasn’t a wasted trip and brings back two large bags filled with goodies, all for £35! She’s got at least £100+ worth of toys, a lot of them still in wrappers and all in mint condition…they do look like new! I’d never know the difference and I think that’s the point 😉
She tells me she queued for 20 mins in the rain in the non-members queue (which gets in 15 minutes after the NCT Members) the sale starts at 1pm, but luckily for mummy the organisers let us all in early due to the rain – that’s nice of them. She donates £2 to gain entry, usually it’s only a quid which is great value for money.
The NCT Nearly New Sale is not a Carboot or a table top sale where sellers bring their goods and sell direct to the public. The sellers arrange via the NCT branch before to sell on behalf of them for a small charge, which is great when you think about it, someone else selling your stuff for you, no mucking around with setting up and sorting out change and dealing with buyers.
There are 2 large sale rooms which are split into departments, so all books will go together from multiple sellers up on the stage of the hall, the clothes rails are clearly marked in ages on the left hand side as soon as you walk through to the second hall etc.. As my mummy’s been a couple of times she has a fair idea where everything is and makes a beeline to the books and the toys. It’s like supermarket sweep trying to fill her large NCT shopper bag which is handed out at the doors.
In the first hall there are large toys (e.g. bikes, slides, swings, small trampolines, scooters) but it’s been raided by the NCT members which got a head start 15 minutes earlier. Even though my mummy is 20 people from the front of the queue not much is left, it’s worth getting there early, a good 30 minutes before the sale opens to get some of the larger items such as cots, prams, high chairs and moses baskets. The good thing is that if something large was to take your fancy you can pay, get a receipt and leave your items in the holding area, and return once you’ve finished shopping in the second hall.
When mummy enters the second hall it’s a hive of activity, people whizzing around everywhere, there is a little bit of jostling at the toy tables, people grabbing and bagging, but it’s all part of the experience…it’s like the NEXT Sale, you aren’t going to grab a bargain unless you get stuck in.
A great thing about the autumn sale is that they have a fancy dress clothes rail, which is perfect for finding fancy dress costumes and we pick up some Pom Pom and a little monster costume for £2.50 and £1.50 respectively. Another bottle neck is the shoe area, a lot of parents make their way to that area first. It’s a great idea that everything is sectioned together as it helps buyers to find similar items all in one place.
Mummy loves the fact that she can browse without having the pressure to buy and people looking over her shoulder. She picks stuff up and puts things back down, it’s great that before the payment tables there is a quiet area with tables that parents can pre-sort and double check their goods and that they are happy with their purchases and put things back if they don’t want them.
There is enough friendly volunteers to help and we are helped by Emily, Pat and Tracy who all seem like they are enjoying themselves too. It must be very rewarding helping a charity such as the NCT.
All in all a good day at the office for mummy. It’s the best children’s market she’s been too and much busier that the other Children’s Baby Markets that are around. The prices are competitive with other sellers and very realistic and reasonable, that’s why items fly off the shelves. My mummy informs me that 70% of toys that I play with have come from these NCT Nearly new sales… Perfect. Well worth a visit. To find a local sale near you visit the NCT website and find your branch.
In the end my mummy bought me 5 books ranging from The Gruffalo to Peace at Last, a fancy dress costume and Pom Poms, Happyland characters and a house, a WOW Aeroplane, a Fishers Price tractor and farm animals, a Playdoh Set Rucksack, some clothes, a shopping food basket with cool plastic fruit and veg and some Christmas presents which are a surprise. Ooooo exciting 🙂
Love Bella Xx