When I first heard about the ibu Family Resource Group, it was from a veteran bargain hunter who spoke in hushed and awed tones about their famous Charity Jumble Sale. Not wanting to be overheard in case someone else might benefit from this nugget of information, she whispered conspiratorially about the barely worn branded baby clothes and baby gear she found at the Jumble Sale – all bought for a fraction of their retail price! At the time, I was heavily pregnant and within days of giving birth. Plus, I had already spent what felt like enough money to fund a small nation on baby necessities. I was sorely tempted to go but practicality (and my sore, swollen feet) prevailed. Little did I know what I would be missing.
Who is ibu?
ibu has been around since 1989. That makes it 30 years old this year! It is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation and it was the first parenting support network in Malaysia and remains popular with expats and locals till today. Their main goal is and has always been to support mothers with young children. They run playgroups, support groups, workshops and events – all fun, family-oriented. On top of it all, a good portion of their income goes to charitable organisations and international NGOs to aid disadvantaged families in Kuala Lumpur.
The main beneficiary of this year’s Jumble Sale entrance fee will go to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Mary formerly known as ‘Sanctuary Care Centre Malaysia’ (SCC Malaysia). And not content with just one, there will be other charitable organisations there too. Click here to read more.
Last year, I missed out on several good buys by mere minutes, which included a selection of well-made toddler clothes that were exactly my son’s size and a gently loved Hape kitchen playset! I’m still heartbroken and am determined not to make the same mistake this year. So I went directly to the source and asked ibu for some insider jumble sale shopping tips.
1. Get there early
Most of the hot items (strollers, car seats, safety gates, play kitchens, dollhouses, etc.) will go within the first hour or so. Better yet, join as an ibu family member at the door and get early access at 9.30 am.
2.Make a wish list
Write down/visualise/pray for what you want and keep a keen eye out for them. There will be a lot of things on display, so the list will help to keep you focused (this works 50% of the time as there are sure to be many attractive bargains).
Be prepared to look carefully through boxes and baskets, around and under tables – sellers may have kept some things out of harm’s way.
4. Rinse, Repeat
Make repeat rounds of the tables – new things may be uncovered by other shoppers’ browsing.
5. Bargain with a smile
If you are buying multiple items, ask for a discount with a smile – you never know. But don’t be unreasonable as sellers deserve a decent price for good quality items.
6. Fuel up
Grab some yummy refreshments available at the charity tables or at The British International School (BSKL) cafe.
7. Playtime for the kids
There will be some fun activities by BSKL at the Early Years play area opposite the Jumble Hall. Let the kids expend some kid-energy before shopping or take them after you shop as a reward for behaving well. Do note that children will need adult supervision at all times.
8. Divide and conquer
Shop with a friend and share your wish list so you can cover the tables in half the time. Or take turns minding the kids, while the other hunts for bargains.
9. Be prepared
Bring small change and enough cash.
10.Be a bag lady
Bring bags (the IKEA ones are great) or a trolley-bag so you can cart back your haul comfortably. I’ve personally seen shoppers make multiple trips back to their car with their hoard.
Bonus tip: look up the ibu Tribe and the ibu event page beforehand as some vendors will announce what they will be selling at the Jumble Sale so you can make a beeline for them if they have what you want. A few more useful buyer tips can also be found here.
Remember that your entrance fee is going to a good cause and that there will be other charities selling food, snacks and wares so do support them. ECO Steam Wash will also be there to help raise more funds for the main charity so bring your strollers, baby car seats, baby cot mattresses, toys, air purifiers and more to get each item cleaned and sanitised by high-pressure steam technology, with no chemicals! All unsold goods at the end of the day will go to Jumble Station by Parents Without Partners (PWP). And if all of this goodwill is not enough, there will also be a baby car seat sponsored by Britax up for grabs in the Lucky Draw session at noon, along with vouchers from LinDees Playland and Learning Tree Academy.
Happy bargain hunting!