Due to economic struggles in America, the lines at the neighborhood thrift stores appear to be a bit longer. Especially on Wednesday at the Salvation Army where nearly all clothing is a whopping 50% off. The S.A. (Salvation Army) in the north Bronx on Jerome avenue has shoppers lined up outside before the 9am opening on Wednesdays. There is never a shopping cart available as the eager shoppers bolt through the doors when they open. I did find a less crowded S.A. on Quincy street in Bed-Stuy that is a huge warehouse, tucked away down a quiet street. In downtown Brooklyn, Unique Thrift has opened which helps alleviate the crowds at the Good Will and S.A. in that neighborhood. I have been thrifting since my college days at Syracuse University, after one of my roommates showed me a Chanel purse and other goodies from the local S.A. In my numerous thrift store excursions I always saw women perusing the baby/children’s rack and grabbing up all the tiny treasures they could find. I am definitely the Thrift store Queen when it comes to my own personal closet.
However, I will be honest my own child has only 1 pair of khakis, New with tags, from a consignment shop. I prefer gently used clothing from my dear sister and brother-in-law. In the past years as a mom of a toddler son, I have received numerous hand me downs from my nephew who is 18 months older. We had so many hand me downs that my nephew began saying to my son, “Hey those are mine!” or “I have the same shoes!”. As the boys have gotten older, they are nearly the same size now and second hand items aren’t as plentiful. I ended up opening a Children’s Place account and shop during sale weeks when our boy has a growth spurt. I also have a cousin (who I consider a sister) with a little boy 18 months apart from my son and he gets third hand me downs! It’s so much that my poor cousin can’t keep up and I end up stashing the lot in a closet or giving some to a local church. I asked FKN Facebook followers and Twitter fans the following:
Do you shop at thrift stores, consignment shops? Are you a serious Hand me Down family? Please let me know thoughts and opinions about used kids clothing.
I received interested insight from some parents like Roslyn C @seamskarmic.com:
“I am a mother of 2 boys, 2 yrs and 6 months. I am in favor of consignment shopping for my kids clothes, as well as my own clothes. With constant growth and changes the kids go through, it costs too much money to buy them brand new clothes that fit their growing bodies (every 4-6 months). I would do “hand me downs” but I have no family around and we actually don’t have a lot of kids in our family anyway.”
Roslyn, a mom of 2 young sons and business owner is in favor of consignment shopping. In fact she even started her own online consignment site.
“My passion for quality, brand name kids clothes has led me to build a company that helps parents on a budget shop for high quality, hand-picked, and mother approved gently loved kids clothes. Our company is called Seams Karmic. We are an newly launched Online Kids Clothing Consignment and we are the simplest way for busy parents to Shop, Sell, AND Donate gently loved kids clothes. We offer quality kids clothes, newborn to child size 8, at discounts up to 80% off retail. The best part about Seams Karmic is you never have to leave home; you can fill your closet and sell your outgrown clothes anytime, day or night. We pay upfront for clothes sold to us and we buy every item that meets quality standards for resale (like most offline consignment stores). Our twist though, and we’re one of the only consignment shops that do this, is that if we cannot buy an item because of quality, we offer to donate the item on the sellers behalf, and return to them the donation receipt (and good karma)! “
An anonymous parent replied to the email blast refused to ever shop for their children at thrift stores.
“I will be honest I have been to the Good Will only twice in my life. Once when I needed a zombie costume for Halloween and another time with a friend who is an extreme shopper. I guess I am a germ-a-phobe, but I think being there just freaks me out. I definitely wouldn’t by anything for my daughter from a thrift shop. I’m concerned about the origins of clothing and how they clean them. (No offense to anyone who shops at thrift stores just not for me!)”
Where to go:
- 3 Insider Tips to Start Thrift-Store Shopping Now (treehugger.com)
- Swap.com Online Thrift/Swap Shop for Clothing, Toys, More + Free Shipping Code (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Out with the old in with the new: Donate to local thrift shops (swrnn.com)