Let’s just get this out of the way: I hate shopping. For clothes, for me, especially. I love to HAVE new clothes, I just hate having to pick them out, try them on, usually go up a size, curse my weakness for pizza, and so on.
For some weird reason, though, I love secondhand stores. There is a treasure-hunting element that distracts me from my usual shopping anxiety. I’ve also found that I do better with fewer choices, and the selection in these stores is typically boutique-sized. I browse, I choose, I get on with my day. And bizarrely, I view these castoffs as vetted by the women who wore them first: someone loved it enough to buy it once. It must be OK.
My weirdo shopping rituals aside, there’s a whole other reason I’m such a fan of consignment selling and buying. It’s recycling! I grew up in a big family. We didn’t waste anything. We recycled cans back when they had pull-rings. This is part of my DNA.
I love the concept of reusing and recycling, but here’s the real payoff: the prices are amazing. And if you go consignment versus garage sales, you’re going to find much higher quality, top brands, and practically no rips or stains. Believe me: I’ve had my share of items rejected by consignment shops because of the tiniest flaws or signs of wear.
So this month, as Kansas Women Bloggers does its part to Make the World a Better Place to Be and to Blog, I’ll share a few of my recent consignment finds for me and my kids.
Last fall I got winter coats at a local consignment shop for both my daughters for $20. Total. And they looked virtually new (I wish I could say the same now). Even a new Gap coat for my littlest would have run me at least twice that much.
I do much better when I participate in children’s consignment sale events like Mulberry Bush Consignment or Just Between Friends. But my goal here is usually to break even between what I sell and what I buy. This spring, I earned about $75 in net sales but spent $120, so I busted my own rule, but just look at a couple of my finds:
Yes, the tags are still on that Carter’s outfit. I paid $5 for it, and I think another $5 for the shoes. Not-so-humble brag.
Here’s a sample of what I scored last fall. My 7-year-old wore the cream-and-black dress for Christmas. The cat already belonged to us. (Click the picture for a larger version.)
I won’t lie: you can’t get rich selling your and your children’s old clothes. But I’m easy to please. I got super excited when a check for $8.50 showed up out of the blue for a skirt I consigned two months ago. The beauty part is, that’s more than I paid for this top and a pair of light cream pants to go with it at another nearby shop:
And I didn’t have to sit in my driveway in a lawn chair haggling over pennies with Garage Sale Marge from down the block.
Co-Editor, Kansas Women Bloggers