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Pros and Cons of Consignment Sale Shopping

Okay. I’ll be honest. I can’t actually think of any con’s when it comes to consignment sale shopping for my children. Now, this wasn’t always the case. I admit, I can tend to be a bit, well, snobbish (for lack of a better word) when it comes to things like dollar theaters, thrift stores, garage sales, restaurants specializing in pancakes or waffles and the like. Consignment shopping used to be high up on the “I just don’t do that” list. I figured, sure, it might save a buck or two but I prefer to go to stores where I know I’ll find what I’m looking for. Oh, I’d wait for sales and sign up for store emails to receive coupons, but still I preferred the ease and convenience of conventional shopping to the chaos and mess of what I assumed consignment sales were sure to be. One of my hang-ups – it’s about to get real all up in here. Don’t judge. – came from a fear of my children walking around looking like they were wearing consigned clothes. Looking back, I suppose somewhere in my subconscious I must have believed that people tried to pawn off dirty, worn clothes that their kids were done messing up on poor, unsuspecting schmucks who happened to be looking for a bargain. In our home, we work hard to raise our children to be respectful and obedient, and as a part of that training, looking clean and presentable when leaving the house or entertaining was a part of that. So clearly (in my narrow minded view) that couldn’t be achieved with whatever I happened to piece together at the nearest consignment or garage sale. Well, long story short, I’m happy to report that I am a consignment sale convert! I will never forget the first moment I stepped into Boutique For A Week’s fall sale three years ago. After taking a moment to swallow my pride once I realized just how wrong I had been, I walked up and down rows upon rows of adorable little girl clothes and hardly worn newborn pieces for my baby boy that were – get this – primarily name brand, in stellar condition and incredibly priced. Before I knew it, I had two completely full shopping baskets waiting for me by checkout. And I hadn’t even hit the shoe racks or tables laden with toys! I was sold (pun intended). I brought home my bags of loot and promptly laid everything out the living room floor, detailing the price of each and every item to my dear, long-suffering husband. And the best part? My kids still looked cute. The quality and selection of clothes has improved at each BFAW sale I’ve attended and, yes, I’ve made sure to hit each spring/fall sale BFAW has offered. I have not paid full retail price for a single article of my children’s clothing since my first BFAW consignment sale. And that includes specialty items such as Easter Dresses and coordinating Christmas clothes for my babies.

One thing that has become part of my sale prep ritual has been checking out some of my favorite kid clothing stores (GapKids, JCrew, Old Navy, etc.) and getting an idea of what’s upcoming each season for trendy little ones. I’ll even get my kids in on the fun. My daughter loves online browsing with me, pointing out her favorites. So as I make my list of what each child needs and their respective sizes, I’ll add items specific to each seasons trends. For example, this fall my daughter has taken a liking to fun animal prints as well as bright, jewel tones while my son favors the layered hipster look, matching stripes and graphic tees with bold colors. And, now that I am a I like to think of myself as a seasoned consignment sale shopper, it’s way fun to scoff and realize how incredibly overpriced the majority of these items are (29.95 for a pair of 4T jeggings?! I know, right?) and make my kids personalized shopping lists confident of the deals I know I’ll find. Watch out Boutique For A Week, I’ve got my lists made and the countdown has begun. ~Emily