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I know every city doesn’t have kids’ consignment sales and stores, but many do. If your city does, you should really take advantage of them. Most places don’t let you consign things unless they’re really clean and with how fast kids grow, most clothes don’t get worn that much. Especially when they’re babies they don’t know the difference between clothes from a consignment store and clothes from the mall, so take advantage of the cheap clothes while you can! Plus you can instill in your child at a young age that it’s okay to get things at a consignment store and you can save money throughout their childhood!
If you want to see a great example of the type of sale we’re referring to, I recommend visiting http://www.cccsale.com
Our city has a few semi-annual sales in which you can buy and sell kids clothes, toys, car seats, etc. At these sales, consignors set the prices so you can really end up with great deals if you look through the racks. These sales, depending on how big they are, will last anywhere from one weekend to two weeks, with the largest discounts at the end of the sale. Those are great times to go when you can get things for half-price. At these sales I have also purchased great toys. I got a jumperoo that looked new for $40 that would cost $90 in a store. You definitely have to take into account safety issues like buying something like a used car seat, but most things are perfectly fine to buy used – especially clothes!
Sometimes consignment stores are even better than the semi-annual consignment sales. There are a few in our city but there’s one that I go to often. Their normal prices on clothes for young children are already cheap and then they have awesome sales. At this particular store, their footed, fleece pajamas are around $5-6. At any regular store, they’ll be anywhere from $15-25 new, so that’s already a big savings. But as they get close to the next season, they really start having big sales in order to make room for the new clothes. Recently, I got pajamas for the rest of this year and some for next year for $1 each! I always try to wait until my daughter needs a new size (she’s moving from 6 month to 12 month clothes!) to go buy new clothes so I can get the best sales, like 75% off their regular prices. I just bought clothes for the rest of the winter, this spring, and next fall, purchasing about 70 articles of clothing, including pants, shirts, and pajamas. I spent $85, including my $10 off that this store gives for every $100 you spend. I saved over $300 from consignment store prices, which are already at least half off regular store prices. Some things still have on their price tags because they were never worn!
According to the biggest consignment sale in our area, if you shop at consignment sales from birth through age 18, on average, you could save an extra $36,000. I don’t know about you, but we could always use an extra $36,000!