So how do you keep on top of the costs of these?
Well, the NCT are a charity who support expectant and new parents (their current campaign is "the first 1000 days") in dealing with their new bundles of joy. They saw a gap in the market for the re-sale of nearly new items (because babies often will take one look at the bouncer you spent £80 on and scream) and so started their nearly new sales.
You can attend as a buyer, an NCT member, a seller or a volunteer.
Personally I opt to be a volunteer because then I get access to the PRE-SALE aka. frantic scrambling for all the best items !!!! Polish your elbows, you'll need to be ready. NCT members get 15 minutes ahead of everybody else and then they fully open the doors and the hoards descend. It helps us, as volunteers, to tidy up the tables in between each wave of buyers.
As a seller you pay a fee (different between NCT groups) for a pack of labels which are anonymous (you're just given a number) to prevent foul play, I assume. I have been a seller and I typically average around £40-£50 after their fees have been taken (30%).
I usually spend in the region of £100-£150 per sale (I am an extreme example...) and take away clothes in at least 4 sizes ready for my son's growth spurts. It really has helped me to put together a gorgeous wardrobe and toy collection for him on an absolute budget. I may spend higher than other attendees BUT that's ALL of his clothes (mostly designer wear) for at least 2 years in there. I've never spent more than £8 on a single item in the sales, and most (90%+) is priced under £5 for a quick sale.
I can't recommend the NCT Nearly New Sales enough - they make becoming new parents more cost effective than ever!