Thrift and Consignment Store Adventures of January 2012!

Last week, I finally dove into the world of Thrift and Consignment stores and boy what a discovery it has been! I mean, I’d been to our local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores on occasion but this time I checked out some local smaller thrift stores and a quite larger one a few miles away. Since I didn’t start my post with “I’ll never do that again or I was in shock!” you can guess that I had a fairly decent experience in thrift store shopping.

I went out this weekend without my husband or the kids to shop. And wow, I really need to do that more often. It was nice not to have to keep up with wandering children, feeling rushed as my husband stands around bored out of his mind, or my son trying to pull down my shirt to nurse in front of a crowd of people. My friend Lindsey and I had been wanting to start shopping for the kids next sizes and also for the spring and summer seasons way ahead of time. I think we are really just eager for the Spring to arrive. Living in Oregon where it rains for almost the entire Fall and Winter can be pretty taxing at times and is known to cause some real cabin fever!

The first consignment store that my friend I checked out is called The Red, White, and Blue.  And I really think I need to leave a review about it on Yelp because the ones on there are enough to make you not even check it out! We went on Saturday so we’d prepared ourselves for a crowd. I was only hopping I wouldn’t have to fight for items, get accused of eyeing somebodies merchandise in their carts, get jostled, and all the other scary things you can think up in crowded place to shop! It honestly wasn’t too bad and it was nice to be able to look around without constantly correcting my preschooler (stay at my side, don’t touch that, get off the floor, …the list goes on)  and making sure my baby didn’t grab or rip anything down while in his Ergo carrier since he’s at the perfect height for that while attached to me.

As we entered the store, I was pretty confident that I was going to find exactly what I was looking to get for my son and daughter but I was shockingly wrong! I could find almost nothing in my daughter or my sons size and I wasn’t being picky either, it just wasn’t there! One thing I really disliked was how the items in the store were organized, the clothes mainly. Instead of sorting them by size, they instead choose to group them in sections by color. And that was a pain to dig through. I was in shock to see a boys button down shirt for 3.95 with all the buttons missing! I mean I guess you could replace them yourself but it’s not worth the price of almost 4.00. I could easily get a brand new shirt off a clearance rack at Target for that much.

On a more positive note, I loved their toy/craft/book section! They had some awesome deals on toys and books that  I’ve actually seen on e-bay for much more in price! I have recently been looking to collect the Leap Frog fridge magnet sets and there was one there BUT my friend Lindsey got to it first! She was also looking to get these sets too. I let that one pass because I did have a Word Whammer coming in the mail and she saw/touched it first. No fighting among friends for toys or clothes. It’s funny though because we are both looking for similar things and the same sizes for our kids! I did happen to score a nice lot of five Preschool books for $1.95! One of the books is wipe-able so my daughter can practice writing her letters and numbers. I’m so happy with that find!

 

Honestly, I still can’t believe there was nothing there for my children clothing wise! I’ll have to check back when they restock and make sure the next time I go, it’s not on a weekend. It was pretty busy but at least the lines moved quickly to check out. I’ll have to always remember to keep cash on hand for spontaneous trips to that store because they don’t accept credit/debit cards. I did find their prices on used clothes to be a bit high at 8.00 for a ladies top and 10.00 and up for a pair of pants. After scoring an entire box of Ann Taylor clothes for 25.00 through Thred Up, I’ve become a bit picky at prices of used clothes!  So, after an almost unfruitful trip to the first thrift store, we headed to a much smaller thrift store in our area that is owned and run by a Christian family that I’ve visited by myself a few times now.

The smaller thrift store is one of my favorite places to go. It’s a lot less overwhelming, things are organized well, and the people who are running the store are very polite and helpful. This month, I’ve purchased several articles of clothing for my children and myself from this store. I found the prices a real bargain and the quality in like new condition. For example I was thrilled to score a pair of Osh Kosh Jeans for my son for just 1.99 and knit pants for just .99 cents each for both of my kids! The pairs I didn’t post that I picked up for my daughter were all Carters and they were completely brand new! The Circo Jacket and the sweet pink top pictured above cost me no more than $3.50! I also got a few tops for myself since I am ridding my wardrobe of all my mommy nursing/maternity tops. Tops for myself were a little bit more but still priced well! It made me happy to have saved so much money and to support a store that is helping families save money.

 

I had a half off coupon to a local consignment store that expired at the end of this month and because we still didn’t find a whole lot at the other store, we decided to see what this store had to offer. I’ll have to say we were literally shocked at the state of these clothes. There was some items with pilling and fading and the clothes were all marked at about 4.00 and up. I was literally shocked that they were even trying to sell clothes in that state name brand or not! Used tights for over 3.00, really? You can buy a brand new pair for Target for that price! I saw some of the same items that I’ve been thredding to other mommies on Thred up there for like $6.00 each.

A lot of items were outdated and looked really worn out too. I am one to really take care of my families clothes so I was in shock really at what was there. I saw a pair of shoes I just bought at Goodwill for Melody that was brand new with tag for 3.00 selling in the store obviously used for about $9.00. I almost felt sorry for the store and I really hope they start getting some better items in and that they’ll seriously mark down some of the things they are selling!

Now it wasn’t all in vain, I did find a really cute purple polo top for my daughter in the clearance section in the back. And I got a cute Gymboree 12-18 month top for my son only because I had the half off coupon because there was no way I was going to by a used top for $6.00 at a consignment store that my son will probably only wear for 6 months or less.  This really was real shocker. I’ve gotten much nicer things on e-bay, thred up, and at other thrift store.

Now after a lot of misses and some hits, we decided to check out Target to see what the almost never disappointing clearance racks had to offer.  I was really needing some tops for Melody to wear since I just passed her 3t things on to other mommies with daughters that could use them. I left spending a little more than I wanted too for as many items as I got but the tops were brand new. She’ll be wearing them for quite some time and she won’t go naked! I was actually super happy about our Target trip because I scored a Breathable Mesh Crib Bumper for 5.00 regular over 20!!!! I had been wanting one those for a while. Now I  won’t have to worry about Owen getting his legs or arms stuck in the bars of his crib!

So are we set for the Spring and Summer season? Almost…I still need two piece pj sets for Melody & Owen, swim suits for the kids, sandals for Melody, a few t-shirts for Owen (NO onesies because they don’t fit with his cloth diapers) and a few pairs of knit shorts for both of them too. I’ll hopefully luck out on these items in the months to come.How about checking out Lindsey’s thoughts on our trip HERE. And be sure to share about one your favorite or least favorite experiences thrift shopping!