What’s one of the best feelings ever? You might be thinking, “The moment I see my baby’s face for the first time,” or, “The warm sun on my face,” but what I’m thinking is, “A package waiting for me on my doorstep after a day at work.” Don’t deny that you are in love with your Fex-Ex or UPS driver because they bring you gifts. Gifts, yes, that you pay for, but gifts nonetheless. Now with six kids, a big chunk of change is spent on clothing. I’m lucky that my boys share clothes and that lots of my girls’ clothes get handed down, but this last baby is proving to be a bit chunkier than her older sisters and those hand-me downs are the wrong season. If this sounds like rambling and you aren’t getting the point, the point is that I have to buy a new spring and summer wardrobe for my kids this year. It makes me a little cranky (I mean, what’s wrong with swimsuits all day everyday?) but it’s a necessity. I don’t want to spend $45 on a GAP shirt or $50 on a dress from Zara, though, so I’m being really careful. I want good deals, but I don’t want my love of fashion and cute kid looks to slide. Yes, I’m incredibly superficial at times. If you can relate, check out these places for great deals on new or like-new kids’ clothes:
ThredUp — this is an online second hand shop. You can filter through sizes, styles, items, and condition of clothing to get exactly what you want. The prices are much lower than what you’d pay retail, but don’t expect yard sale prices here. GAP dresses in new condition usually go for half of retail price. You can also have them mail you a bag so you can sell your clothes to them. This is something I don’t recommend because you get such a horrible deal on this end of it. You’re better off having a yard sale.
Hansel and Gretel — This Moscow consignment shop for children is incredible. My kids’ clothes (they carry up to size six) often come from here. The store is picky about what they consign, so buyers know that what they buy is good quality, clean and worth the money. The durable brands found here — including GAP, Old Navy, Peek, Boden, Zara, Nordstrom and Tea Collection — ensure years’ worth of wear if clothes are destined to be handed down. Again, these aren’t yard sale prices, but they’re fair. The store also carries baby gear, shoes, books and maternity clothes. Bonus: across the street is a sister store for adults: The Storm Cellar. My life will be complete if they open up a consignment shop for tweens.
Swap.com — Swap claims to be the “largest online consignment and thrift store,” and carries sizes for infants on up, plus clothes for men and expectant mothers. The prices seem legit, but I’ve never tried them personally, so I can’t vouch for the quality. I will say that sorting through this site’s clothes gets old fast. I don’t want to be looking at sweater dresses and fur-lined coats in April. If you’re a “shop ahead” kind of person, this might be a non-issue for you.
Dessie — Dessiekids.com is an online consignment store that was new to me but I’m so happy I tried it out. Downsides: The site doesn’t have a ton to choose from and it shows sold items alongside clothing that is still available. Prices, though, are spot on and featured brands include Matilda Jane, J.Crew, Gymboree, GAP — you get the picture. It was voted one of the best online consignment stores by Red Tricycle which gives it some cred as well.
Schoola — Schoola.com has a wide range of sizes, and each purchase goes towards a good cause. Right now, 40 percent of profits go towards kids’ art programs. The prices aren’t a huge draw, but they aren’t highway robbery either. One great feature is shoppers can filter by brand, so if you know what style you’re looking for, the clothes are easier to weed through.
Many of these sites offer coupon codes or a percentage off a first purchase making it extra sweet. As you’re watching the weather shift from frosty to sunny, consider swapping out your kids’ clothes with new-to-you and shopping consignment. Make some money yourself and save big. Happy shopping!