'Bag Day' Sale is a Biannual Budget Boost
Bargains at Neverending Child Saturday are bound to be huge
Such a simple name as Bag Day doesn’t do justice to the enormity of bargains to be found. Going home with more than $100 worth of children’s clothing for $20 warrants a richer name, like Gold Bag Day. Considering what one would pay for these items at original prices, perhaps the event should be renamed Platinum Bag Day.
Bag Day at the Strongsville children’s resale shop Neverending Child comes only twice a year, so don’t miss it. The next opportunity to experience the thrill of a great deal starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Though the sale runs through 5 p.m., those who don’t get there by noon will find an awful lot of empty hangers. The deals are just that good.
Wise shoppers will leave their children at home. The store gets crowded, especially in the first two hours. What’s nice about this sale is the inclusion of all clothing items, not just select ones. The store’s Parent Club members are allowed in at 9 a.m., so a line starts forming early in an adjacent space store owners acquired last year. A lucky few winners of the store’s biannual telephone contest get first pick at 8:30 a.m.
“It’s like bees swarming,” Neverending Child sales associate Kathie Wilkens said, describing the 9 a.m. influx of parents racing to grab deals.
I go mainly for the expensive, brand-name items. I’ve stuffed probably hundreds of dollars worth of Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Children’s Place, Gap and Nike into the sale bag, which Neverending Child provides.
The store sells children’s clothing in sizes newborn through 14. There are a few aging pieces, but many items look hardly touched. I’m usually able to find a decent number of brand-new items with tags still attached. I’m still gloating about the never-worn H&M jeans I picked up at the last sale. Original cost was $20. Neverending Child offered it for $9. Fortunately for me, no one bought it before then so I rolled it along with more than two dozen other items into my $20 shopping bag.
Each shopper is limited to two bags to fill with clothing, shoes, coats, mittens, belts and anything else wearable. I pack things tightly. I’m not alone on the floor of the store rolling each item and piecing them together like a puzzle inside the bag. I don’t like to see gaps of space. If I do, I’ll find another T-shirt to stuff in there. The value of Bag Day increases with experience.
Toys and other non-apparel items are not part of the sale, but they’re worth checking because they tend to sell quickly. On a recent visit to the store, I overheard Wilkens tell an inquiring caller that she had just sold a particular toddler bed to a woman standing at the register.
“You have to really buy this stuff when you see it because, boy, it’s gone,” Wilkens said.
Rich and Margie Strekal, the store’s owners since 2007, are particular about providing quality items that residents in Strongsville and nearby communities want. I was surprised Rich wasn’t there on my most recent visit. He is almost always on hand to offer assistance with a genuine smile. One of the reasons I like shopping there is that the workers are so pleasant.
The store’s Parent Club is free and open to anyone. Membership provides a 10 percent discount on anything in the store, excluding Bag Day sales. With thousands of Parent Club members, the store builds repertoire and tries to find what they’re looking for. If Neverending Child doesn’t have a particular item, shoppers can leave their contact information for notification when someone has sold the item to the store.
Wilkens said the store attempts to provide a huge range of items for each stage of child development. The store sells a large variety of infant items like cribs, swings, nursery furniture, playards, mobiles, strollers and feeding accessories. Items for older children include a huge array of toys, books, movies and bedroom décor. My sons love the two-for-a-buck deal on Hot Wheels cars, but I’m sure they’d rather I purchase an air hockey table or other play item from the store’s Step 2 showroom.
Wilkens said the classic Cozy Coupe car is a hot springtime seller. The holiday seasons prompt grandparents to come in and pick up a highchair for their young visitors. Rich has told me in the past that outdoor play equipment is another hot item. Many non-clothing items are new and came from liquidation sales at a variety of stores, such as Target. As an authorized Step 2 dealer, Rich sells an array of the popular play items, including current models.
I appreciate that the store’s layout is stroller-friendly. Wider isles also will be helpful on Saturday as I’m on my knees scouring khakis on the lower racks. I can hardly wait. And I can hardly wait to see what the Strekals put out for spring and summer after all of Saturday’s Bag Day craze has ended.
Neverending Child is located at 12245 Pearl Road, Strongsville, just north of Staples. For more information about Bag Day or store operation, call (440) 572-3002.