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Kids' stuff: The L.A. Kids Consignment sale overwhelms (in a good way)

October 5, 2010 | 11:30 am

IMG_1831 Faced with more than 50,000 kids' items displayed in an airport-hangar-sized warehouse, it's hard not to panic.

But somehow, the L.A. Kids Consignment Sale, which is held in different spots within Greater L.A., is actually quite manageable — and the prices make the trek to dodgy warehouses in places like Santa Clarita, Monrovia and, last weekend, Burbank, well worth it.

First off, the sale is well organized. At the Burbank sale, clothing was kept in its own area and meticulously categorized by gender and size — so there was no digging through heaps of garments or any such foolishness. Big-ticket items, including cribs, strollers and jumperoos/saucers, also had their own areas, with lots of open space around them for test-driving and in-depth inspecting.

And these "necessity" items were smartly kept apart from the sale's endless bins of toys and books, which occupied another whole room inside the warehouse.

IMG_1830 Prices are good -- and get better the final day of each sale, as a ton of merchandise is marked down to 50% off. Baby clothes, for example, range from $2 for a graphic tee or simple onesie to around $8 for nearly-new outerwear.

Though some of the gear wasn't so nicely priced (a seriously faded Oeuf "bouncy" chair, for example, was a jaw-dropping $67), there were major bargains to be had on used toys and books, which were priced at $2 to around $16 for new, unopened Melissa & Doug wooden games.

I walked away with a bag of baby-boy clothes — 10 items in all, including two Gap onesies and a groovy tie-dyed cotton bodysuit my son would hate me for later — for a mere $37.

But getting out of the sale wasn't nearly as easy as getting in. The line to pay took 40 minutes to snake through. So, do like I did and bring a funny friend to chat with. Oh, and leave baby at home.

Upcoming L.A. Kids Consignment sales:

Oct. 22 to 24: 24901 Stanford Ave., Valencia.

Nov. 12 to 14: 1625 S. Magnolia Ave., Monrovia.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photos: Inside last weekend's Burbank sale. Credit: Emili Vesilind / For the Los Angeles Times