Updated 02/23/2011 03:53 PM
Consignment Stores Help Moms Save A Bundle On Clothes, Toys
Buying for a baby can be expensive. Some local consignment stores are helping mothers and mothers-to-be save a few dollars and possibly help the environment at the same time. NY1’s Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following Money Matters report.
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Oh baby, can kids be costly. From tiny shoes to giant toys, parents often spend a fortune on things their kids will outgrow in a matter of weeks.
“A toy like this my boy is probably going to use for two months and it hurts me to spend $100 on something that's gonna be used for two months,” says Flavia Orlandi, a mother of two.
And that’s why Orlandi shops at Once Upon a Child, a consignment store where toys and gear are sold for a fraction of the price. For instance, a toy pony that runs about $80 new can be wrangled at the store for just $10.
Then there's clothing. Once Upon a Child owner Roseann Palumbo says you can lose your shirt shopping at the mall.
“You walk out with two or three items, you're spending $80, $90, even $100 dollars,” Palumbo says. “In here, for that amount of money, you're getting a whole season's worth of clothing.”
The same can be said at Clemetine Consignment, which specializes in delicately worn designer duds for both tiny tots and mommies-to-be. A suit on consignment: $73. That same brand new: $250.
Owner Cara Wall finds spending that kind of money on maternity wear mindboggling.
“I don't think you should ever spend $300 on anything you're going to wear during your pregnancy,” says Wall. “I think you should find a consignment shop, buy a great dress for $50 or $70, and feel great about how you spent your money.”
While saving money is good, there are some corners you shouldn’t cut. For instance, safety experts warn against buying a used car seat. Parts could be missing, safety guidelines could have changed, and if that seat was involved in a crash, it may not function properly.
Also, always check for recalls, something store owners should do, as well.
“We go online and check everything,” says Palumbo. “If it is recalled, we turn it down immediately.”
Finally if you did pay full price, selling your items on consignment may be a way to make back some of those bucks, and help another mother save a few. But even if you don't need to do it for your wallet, consider doing it as favor to mother earth.
“Things get loved by someone else and you don't feel wasteful,” says the Clementine Consignment owner. “You're not contributing to disposable consumerism. You're saying, I want these clothes to get the longest life possible.”
Palumbo agrees, adding that what she can't sell at her Staten Island store often gets donated to church groups and charities.
“Nothing really goes to waste,” she says. “We try to keep our landfill empty.”