Renee Richins, above, says this is the third time she has participated in the Just Between Friends consignment sale. She was helping to display used clothing Wednesday for the sale at the Tucson Convention Center ballroom. The sale starts today with 40,000 items and ends on Saturday with half-price offerings.


You won't find random piles of clothes at Tucson's biggest children's consignment sale.

A clean and organized display is the key to selling used items, according to Shawna Wilfert, co-owner of the Just Between Friends Tucson franchise.

"If it looks like a store and it's organized, you forget that the stuff is used," Wilfert said.

Wilfert was talking about the Just Between Friends consignment sale, which starts at 10 a.m. today at the Tucson Convention Center.

Wilfert was working hard to prepare for the event, along with several volunteers, consignors and team leaders yesterday - ensuring that everything was neatly placed in its designated spot.

Just Between Friends gives families the opportunity to shop for maternity, baby and kid stuff at about a third of the price they would be at a retail store.

For some, it's a chance to make money by selling their gently used items on consignment.

Consignors keep 65 percent of the money from sales. They can up their earnings to 70 percent by volunteering for one four-hour shift during the event.

At the end of the event, consignors have the option of either picking up leftover items, or having them donated to the Gospel Rescue Mission.

Adrienne Gillis, a mother of a 4-year-old daughter, has been participating in the event for about three years as a consignor and volunteer. She says she's done pretty well with it.

"Bigger items tend to sell the fastest," Gillis said.

She loves the fact that she can bring all of her stuff to the TCC, rather than setting up a yard sale.

Gillis chooses not to shop the sale too much, though. "I want to make more money than I spend," she said.

This is the second time the event has taken place at the Tucson Convention Center.

Over 400 families have brought in more than 40,000 gently used or new items to be inspected, sorted and set up for sale.

In comparison, there were approximately 25,000 items for sale at the January event.

"It's growing exponentially," Gillis said, while placing girls clothes on a rack.

Items for sale include clothes, books, movies, toys, bicycles, outdoor equipment, infant equipment and maternity needs.

"There's so much stuff, it's crazy," said Lindsay Jacoby, a first-time volunteer. "I was here at the end of the sale last year, and it was a lot emptier. I didn't see it at the beginning.

It's good. It means they sell a lot of stuff."

Consignor and mother Penni Blank has more than 300 items for sale at the event.

"I'm excited to clear my house out," Blank said. "I have three and a half years of my daughter's stuff and six months of my son's stuff."

Blank said the sale is much bigger than she expected.

All items are carefully inspected for rips, tears and stains before being put on the sales floor, which is set up like a department store - organized by size, gender and department.

Wilfert said Just Between Friends has a recall specialist on staff that notifies the organizers of recalled items.

If an item happens to be on the recall list, it isn't put on the floor.

"Safety is really important to JBF," Wilfert said. "We want to make sure we're putting out safe items for families."

If You Go

The Just Between Friends consignment sale takes place at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. today through Saturday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $2 on Thursday and free on Friday and Saturday. Parking is free at the TCC.

Saturday is half-price day.

For more information, visit the Just Between Friends' website at

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at or 573-4137.