The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

consign me up!

on September 11, 2012

Babies are expensive! And as many of us know, things can be pretty tight when you’re trying to raise a child (or children) on one income. I just had a little bit of a reality check when Schy outgrew her first pair of shoes. Yep, the $40 pair of Stride Rite shoes that she has only had for TWO months! So, yeah, if her feet grow a half size every two months from now until who knows when (age 2? 3?) that is potentially $240 per year! And that’s just for one pair of shoes! Nevermind cute little holiday and special occasion shoes that she’ll only wear once or twice. Just another reason for those of you parents with late walkers to count your blessings!

Buying shoes and clothing at a rate like that are not exactly what I would consider to be environmentally friendly. They are worn just a handful of times, if that, and put aside to hopefully someday hand down. At least that’s how it works in my house. We had it good for a while when Schy was younger. She has a cousin just 5 months older than her. You remember… the one whose mommy graciously gave us the world’s most annoying toy? We were fortunate to receive all of her hand-me-downs and Schy wasn’t yet walking so there really was no need for a good pair of shoes. Not to mention we almost had enough clothing from the baby shower to last for the first year of her life. Ahhhhh. Life was good.

We are at the point now that we need to start buying new seasonal clothing and shoes for her. I have taken obsessively to ebay, just searching for a nice pair of gently used [quality] shoes for her so I don’t have to spend $40 on the next pair. I know that there are tons of moms out there in the same position… appalled that their child has outgrown these adorable little shoes that have barely been broken in. What a waste!

Last winter, a good friend of mine had taken to consigning her daughter’s clothing. She was able to bring in the clothes that her daughter had outgrown and essentially trade them for second hand, gently used clothing in the next size up. And they were nice quality, often name brand clothes. Her daughter was excited because she still got to shop for them and they looked like new and they were new to her. I could see myself getting into this, but not at the time. I had a dresser full of clothing that would last for a year. Well, that year has come and gone.

So, I’m now discovering the beauty of consigning. These shops are everywhere, as are parents whose child wore a pair of baby Gap jeans once before they outgrew them. Schy and I went on a shopping trip today to find jeans and pants for the fall. I ended up with 3 pairs of name brand jeans and two pairs of leggings for $21.85. They are adorable and look like new. These shops are generally pretty picky about what they will sell so you can expect to find nice quality items. After all, who wants to buy clothing that looks stained and worn out. I didn’t have any luck in the shoe dapartment, but I did just win a shoe lot on ebay, 5 pairs for $19.14 including shipping! Two of the pairs are new with tags and the other three are in excellent used condition. Score!

I haven’t been the consigner yet so I can’t report to you from that side, but this store was packed with clothing so I imagine that it’s not a bad gig. I have two or three totes of ‘like new’ clothing in the attic that i will have to go through someday. I’m sure someone else would just love some I the ridiculously cute dresses that she wore only once. So this is my green revelation for the day. Consigning rocks! There are so many great used items out there that have so much life left in them. It’s like recycling clothes. Chances are Schy will wear these pants a few times, outgrow them and they will STILL be like new.

Give it a shot. You may be able to pass along some of the clothes that you have stored in the process. If you don’t know where to start simply google consignment shops in your area. The guidelines and policies for buying and selling are generally on the site and if they are not, stop in. Check it out. You’ll be surprised, trust me.

Have consigning tips? I’d love for you to share!

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2 responses to “consign me up!

  1. Rachel Battaglioli says:

    Biggest tips I have are:
    When buying, look for the awesome sales for end of a season and stock up. If the stuff doesn’t fit when the times comes, just reconsign them again.

    When consigning, wash and Irin EVERYTHING! The items will sell for more and much faster. Also, clean the soles of the shoes.

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