Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of 2nd Hand Shopping...

So I'm all about finding bargains.
And when it comes to kids clothes, and sometimes my clothes...I really see the benefit of shopping 2nd hand. Especially when you can find clothes that have clearly never been used for 1/8th the cost.  This is why I've started shopping at thrift stores and second hand shops. When it comes to kids clothes, it makes a lot of sense to buy 2nd hand, when you consider how fast they grow out of clothes.

When I was abroad the summer of 2009, I loved nothing more than digging through a good thrift store in the cities of London and Budapest. But finding a good thrift store in the states can be like trying to find a good hairstylist...while some are okay very few really know your style.

Ultimately I'd like to find a good thrift store where I can just trade clothes. This is my dream. To never have to spend money again on clothes...to just bring in my used clothes sell them and then shop for some new clothes! As I am attempting to pair down my massive wardrobe I'm hoping this will work out...though part of me knows I'll end up spending at least a little bit.  Now this dream could never come true if you only bring your clothes to places like "Platos Closet" and "Once Upon a Child".  While these can be good places to shop and find a great bargain...it should always be your last stop for selling. I have yet to find a thrift store who will pay good cash for baby clothes (I'm quite new in that department)...but I have found a great little second hand store to sell my clothes to. It's this cute little shop in Lincoln Square called "Savvy Seconds and Firsts." A few weeks ago I brought in 3 reusable bags filled with clothes to sell. Owner Christin, bought 1/3 of the clothes I brought in and offered me $100 in cash or $150 in store credit.  I was shocked! I was used to Platos closet taking 10 of my items and offering me a mere $10!  I didn't know which option to take...I liked the things in her store and could easily see myself spending the $150, but cash is nice too. So she offered to split it...she gave me $50 in cash and $75 in store credit...which seemed like a good way to go for me.  Afterwards I took the remaining bags to Platos closet where I got an extra $15 and dumped the rest in a donation bin outside Panera.

Now I'm in the market to find a good place to sell baby clothes. I made the 'Ugly' mistake of taking things to "Once Upon a Child" today...they took 4 barely used outfits and offered me a mere $4.33.  Ugh!!! But since I'd spent my time looking through their racks and found some good bargains...I gave it right back to them, and then some.  But here is the "Good"....always shop the end of season sales at Platos and Once Upon a Child.  Platos usually has clearance racks for $2 and today I found clearance racks at Once Upon a Child for $1!!! I was thrilled to find some Ralph Lauren Polo outfits for 3-6 months in this bargain rack!!! I scooped up 5 outfits and with my trade in only spent $5!! Now that's not too bad!!

My favorite find on the $1 rack today...Ralph Lauren polo onesie!!

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