Ok, pre-mommy days I would never have thought to buy anything at a consignment shop. I figured you could get things new for just a few bucks more so why get glorified hand-me-downs? I did however shop on ebay and this somehow seemed different then going to a second hand shop though in all actuality it's worse since you don't see what you are getting until it arrives at your door.
Well that's not stopping me from listing my items on ebay but I still am dhooked on brick and morter consignment shops.
Well with the "recession" more and more people are going to consignment shops and more and more people are turning things in. With the way the baby who is already 8 months is growing and needing new clothes, toys and other miscellaneous items I started browsing. The browsing only lasted about 15 minutes before I walked up to the counter with arm fulls of treasures that you could not believe were used!!!
So I have been venturing out to look at other shops and there are tons out there. But one is several steps above the rest if you ask me.
Once Upon A Child is a franchise consignment shop. They are different from the other in the sense that they are more like a retail store.
They pay cash up front for items where other stores only pay once your items sell. If they sell for less you make less you get a flat % and they can adjust the price as they see fit. At a typical store you come in with your items and drop them off (sometime this takes an appointment). The store looks through the items and takes what they think will sell and has you come back to get your items. They then sell some items and you come back to get your money (or a tore credit may be available). Then the items that don't sell will be available to you for you to come back and get or you can donate them. This creates so many trips to the store. Once upon a child eliminates this.
Many shops are set up in buildings that were intended to be homes or in tiny outlet malls and there are so many things piled everywhere with no order to it that you feel more like you are rummaging through a garage then shopping. Plus you will often find damaged or incomplete items.
Once Upon A Child is very particular in what they accept. Clothes must be immaculate, toys must be working and all parts must be accounted for. If there is an issue with an item that they find prior to check out you can often get a discount, but be sure you check before you leave. I did make the mistake of purchasing a bouncer from them and when I got home it did not vibrate properly. It would cut off, turn on, and was completely intermittent at times. I took it back to show them and it did turn on and rather then sit for 15 minutes to show them that it would cut off I kept it. They offered to refund my purchase but I declined, it was still a decent buy since I paid $18 for it and it retails for $38. It was just annoying not getting it in working order but they did offer to make amends. Another large purchase I made recently was a Fisher Price Crawl and Cruise toy that you play with using balls that roll around a ramp. New the item comes with 6 balls, but when I bought it I got 4 balls that weren't even with the set. I realize this was not the fault of the store but most likely how it was brought to them. I called and at first got nowhere but at another point I spoke with a women named Barbara and she was amazing. She located the correct balls, and got them for me going out of her way to do so. This honestly saved them a customer and considering I could be paying double on my care for what I spend there each month it was probably a good move on her part.
Don't get me wrong, typical consignment shops are still great and I do drop by a lot but the majority of my shopping at these types of stores is done at Once Upon A Child. And remember to always ask if whatever price you see is the best price they can do. You would be surprised at how often they come down.
Another good consignment shop to check out is http://www.babybottoms.biz/
and Once Upon A Childs website is http://www.ouac.com/