Coronavirus isn't stopping the giant, back-to-school consignment sale Just Between Friends Tucson.
The sale is returning online and in-person, at 4881 N. Stone Ave. at Stone Avenue and River Road. The in-person sale is spread out over a longer period of time to promote social distancing, with pre-sale days Sept. 16-18 and public shopping days Sept. 19-20 and 25-26.
New this year are two online options for shoppers who aren't comfortable coming in person.
"Just Between Friends is a children's consignment sale, pop-up event that happens twice a year," says Shawna Wilfert, the co-owner of Just Between Friends Tucson. "Local families prepare their items and drop them off for us to sell them, and they make 60 to 70 percent of the selling price."
On Tuesday, Sept. 8 Just Between Friends will release a limited number of personal shopping packages. Later, after the first shopping weekend, organizers will post certain items to an online store.
The personal shopping package is kind of like Stitch Fix for your kids — you'll purchase either the $99 or $149 package and then provide information about the size, gender and clothing preferences of your children. You can also leave notes about specifics — maybe you want to avoid graphic tees or look specifically for shoes — and add if you're looking for anything else such as a stroller or toys, Wilfert says.
On the day you reserve, a personal shopper will create a collection of items based on your preferences. They'll collect at least $100 of items and then video call with you, giving you the chance to say yes or no to each item. Anything you choose to keep above the package price gets added to your bill. Then, you'll arrange a time to pick up your treasures curbside.
"We've been in Tucson since 2008, so we really knew our families," Wilfert says. "And I knew a lot of our families, they themselves are immunocompromised or they have family members who are. But our kids still keep growing during quarantine, and we still need things. Plus, families have had financial hardships on top of regular life, so we wanted to make JBF accessible to everyone."
Wilfert says that most families who shop at Just Between Friends sales save 50 to 90 percent off of retail prices. Consignors set their own prices — haggling is not allowed — but most people price items at about one-third of what they retail for, Wilfert says.
All consignors must arrange an appointment to drop-off their items. For more information about consigning, visit nwtucson.jbfsale.com.
"We're not sanitizing everything, but we do do our recall and safety checks," Wilfert says, adding that items will likely sit untouched with several days between drop-off and opening.
After the first sale weekend, Just Between Friends will add some of the larger items to an online shop that will allow you to arrange for curbside pickup.
For those who shop in person, masks are required and social distancing measures will be in effect — including a virtual check-out line that eliminates the need to stand in line to make your purchases. Organizers are also asking that shoppers reserve tickets online to help manage occupancy. Tickets must be reserved for pre-sale entry.
"We're also going to ask that if you don't need to shop with your child, that you don't," Wilfert says."If you need to bring kids, we understand, but if possible, we're asking people not to and to help us with the social distancing and safety. But we understand that not everyone can do that."
In-person shoppers have several options, including free admission to early sales for consignors, first-time parents, teachers and military parents. The public can also purchase tickets to select pre-sale times for $15 and $10. In-person shoppers can also wait until the last weekend of the sale to take advantage of half-priced items.
"It's going to be fun," Wilfert says. "We have all the same great bargains and all that kind of stuff. We just trying to make sure we're being safe."
If you go
What: Just Between Friends Tucson is a massive children's consignment sale
When: Pre-sale Sept. 16-18; Public sale Sept. 19-20; Half-price days Sept. 25-26
Where: 4881 N. Stone Ave.
Cost: $10-$15 for the general public to attend the presale; $2 at the door or free with online tickets for public dates; free for half-price dates
More info: Visit nwtucson.jbfsale.com to get tickets