I consider myself a fairly trendy and savvy mom when it comes to what I buy my children. I stay on top of parenting magazines and fashion magazines with the same enthusiasm. With that said, I am not to the extreme as to spend way out of my budget, just so my tot can have shoes like some famous persons kid. <---insert lameness here. I will admit that I use to overspend on my daughter. Ridiculous. My daughter was the only child and grandchild on both sides of the family, so you can only imagine. My mom sparked my thrill in consignment shopping shortly after I purchased my home and was going to need to adjust my budget to make it. I hated consignment shopping, because frankly many times the stores stink....literally....and I hate rummaging through rack after rack. Plus, I don't want people to think I am poor!
When the economy took a downturn and we realized that if we wait for things to look better, we may never have another child. When we added Bean to our family, I began to take a very different outlook on my spending. I started shopping at Buffalo Exchange and other local consignment shops on a weekly basis. You almost have to go every week. I started to enjoy the things that I hated before about consignment shopping...except the stinky funk part. For some reason the old grandma smell seems inevitable in resale shops. I still was not sold on buying things gently used for my kids, and felt I was not getting them the "best" if they were using someones hand me downs. Did I seriously work my bottom off in college just to end up buying my kids second hand? Ego was a major issue...I know, ego, can you imagine?!
My mom was the same person who mentioned that she had seen this segment on the news about a consignment sales event called Just Between Friends, that was huge, and would be taking place that weekend. Okay, it looked really neat, but I was still weary. We decided to volunteer and attend the presale, but as you might guess, my mom ended up going alone. When she returned she had the most awesome things to share about Just Between Friends. She loved everything about it, and kept saying, "you really have to go tomorrow."
Later that weekend...
I walked in and was overwhelmed...in a good way. First of all everything was clean, organized, and professional. I started to walk around and began seeing items that were still selling at babies r us for much more! Yes, they were gently used...but they sure didn't look it. I didn't have to rummage through anything, and was the most excited to see Little Tikes, Step 2, and Fisher price, outdoor stuff that was so cheap! You know all those plastic giant toys that cost a small fortune that then fade in the sun but last forever? This stuff was NOT faded and you could tell the owners took really good care of it! I was really impressed. I grabbed stuff quick and placed it in the holding area! I was almost knocked down when I realized that they had a real checkout system and took major credit and debit cards!
What trendy moms don't know about THIS consignment event, is that I found an abundance of Gymboree, Baby Gap, Janie and Jack, Children's Place, Ralph Lauren, and more, of the brands that I bought for my kids! I'm not talking about ancient lines either? I am talking about current styles and recently released pieces, some still with tags! The items were in excellent condition and I felt as though I was robbing the place with the prices of the items I was picking up. Trendy moms know their brands and know the current retail values. I was able to appreciate JBF, because I knew the price of the item at retail value, and I knew the product and quality.
So, that is my Trendy mommy secret. My kids look "hot" <---not literally, and all along you thought I was spending serious dough. Shame on you! Do I still pay full price for designer clothes for my kids? Sure. If there is something you love, get it, but check out a consignment event, and you might be trendily surprised. I think I just made up a word.
Here are some great links for consignment events in your area!