Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saving Money on Baby and Children's Clothing

Hi, so many of my friends have come to me asking about how I save so much money on designer clothes for my daughter.  So, I thought I would share a few money-saving tips with you:

1. Thrift stores - believe it or not, a lot of people won't shop at them.  Call it stigma, call it whatever you want, but I say their loss is our gain.  It means that there are lots of deals left for you!  I go to thrift stores often searching for designer clothing in my daughter's current and upcoming sizes.  I will only buy an item if it is reasonably priced.  I look for items that are designer labels (Gymboree, Ralph Lauren, Gap, Janie and Jack, April Cornell, Lilly Pulitzer, Joe's Jeans, Trumpette Socks, etc.).  I also look for REALLY REALLY CHEAP items in some of the less designer labels (Old Navy, Carters, Osh Kosh, Children's Place, etc.).   Insider tip: go to the Salvation Army Family Thrift stores on their Family Day (usually Wednesday), when all clothing and accessories are half price!  I got a trash bag full of Gymboree and Gap clothes for my daughter's fall wardrobe for $27.  These items were new, current styles - many of which I had passed over in a trip to the outlets the week before because they were to pricey.  One thing I do is only buy clothes that I could easily consign if they end up not fitting.  Right now I am saving them for my next child, but they could easily be consigned if I needed a little extra cash.

2. Consignment sales - Shop early for the best selection, late for the best deals.  Many consignment sales have an hour or two that they go half price on selected items at the end of the sale (usually Saturday afternoon).  Call the sale organizer to learn the exact parameters of their sale.  Click here to see a list of children's consignment sales sorted by state and region.  Also, check Craigslist and your local paper for sales not listed here.  Consignment sales are a good way to make some money to buy your little one new clothes!  Never participate with a sale that offers you less than 50%.  I have gotten as much as 60% with consignment sales.

3. Craigslist - I recommend using Craigslist wisely.  A lot of times people offer big lots, most of which is crap.  But sometimes you luck out.  Never commit until you see all the items - I didn't look over all the items once and guess what?  Some of the items did have stains, despite the fact that the ad said no stains.  I use Craigslist for bigger baby items, because you can score some AWESOME deals.  I got a bumbo with a clear tray for $15, and a Baby Bjorn carrier for $5.  Enough said.  My advice is NEVER go to meet someone without a friend, family member, spouse, etc. with you.  You never know what kind of creeps are out there.

4. Consignment Stores - Like consignment sales, they offer gently used baby and children's items.  You have to be really picky, because some places, in my opinion, charge too much for their items.  I have seen items I got for a $1 or 50 cents at the thrift store going for over $10 at a consignment shop. 

5. Outlets - Great if you shop end-of-season clearance racks for the next year.  Tricky, because you are guesstimating what your child's size will be a year from now.  Keep the tags on, because items new with tags do better and fetch a higher price if you consign them.

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