With merchandise that’s a step above what you find at most yard sales and prices below the ones charged by regular retail stores, consignment shops and sales are a great resource for parents. In fact, resale is one of retail’s fastest growing sectors with over 25,000 consignment, resale and nonprofit resale stores scattered across the country, according to the National Association of Resale Professionals.
We have a local business that organizes several pop up consignment sales for kids clothing throughout the year, and I always mark the dates on my calendar. In my more than ten years as a mom, I’ve had great experiences as both a buyer and a seller and have seen first-hand that consignment sales have lots of advantages!
Every parent knows that kids grow fast. Sometimes it seems like you blink and they’ve gone up a size — or two! Between their growth and the different demands of the changing seasons, it often feels like children are always in need of new clothes. Buying at least part of their wardrobe at consignment sales lets you get what they need without breaking the bank.
Get a Better Selection
You can find some truly fabulous bargains at yard sales, if your child happens to fit the size and style of clothing being sold. Since they are often run by no more than a handful of families, most yard sales have very limited selections in terms of size and gender. Consignment shops and sales gather the best merchandise from hundreds, if not thousands of sellers. That makes it much more likely there will be clothing that’s the right fit for your little guy or gal. And, unlike buying online, you can see, touch and even smell the item before your buy it, so you really know what you’re getting.
Find More Variety
Have you ever noticed that all the clothes on sale each season blend together? Whatever trend is in seems to be what you’re stuck with. (Did anybody else think low cut pants were ridiculously impractical for little kids?) Because their merchandise spans years of fashion fads and trends, consignment shops and sales have a much wider variety of styles, colors and patterns. Why not encourage your child’s individuality by letting them fall in love with a shirt none of their friends will have?
Buy in Season
Swimsuits go on sale in February. Sweater started popping up on store shelves near the end of August. Heaven help the poor mom or dad whose child hops a size or two after the Christmas holidays because they’ll be hard pressed to find any winter clothes despite the chill outside — unless they hit their local consignment shops. These stores generally only take merchandise that is seasonally appropriate.
Reduce, reuse and recycle, right? Reusing lightly used clothing definitely create less environmental wear and tear than growing materials, assembling them across the ocean, and shipping them to a store near you.
Enjoy resale value
Most consignment shops sell like-new or lightly worn quality items from the brands that parents trust. That means that any garments that survive their time with your child unscathed can be easily resold. You won’t earn back what you paid for them, but you might find yourself with a little seed money for your next round of clothes shopping.
Purchasing children’s clothing at consignment shops and sales is a smart way to stretch your family’s clothing budget while still getting clothes your child will be happy to wear. To find a consignment shop or sale near you, talk to other parents or search online. Chances are, you’ll find plenty of people willing to discuss their finds. Shopping in consignment shops has become so popular that people often brag about their shopping expeditions. In fact, many websites have sections like Reddit’s Thrift Store Hauls that are just for showing off your latest bargains.