Aug 04 2008

Saving money at Once Upon a Child

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All you mamas out there no doubt have already discovered the store Once Upon a Child.

It’s new to me though, and I love it so much I just wanna tell ya all about it!

Once Upon a Child is a second-hand store which specializes is baby’s and children’s clothing. You can bring in your gently used items to sell (I don’t know how much money you can expect to get) and buy clothes, toys, and gear.

The selection at my closest store is incredible. There’s a TON of clothes and it’s well-organized. Each item I saw was in excellent condition because the store is picky about what they’ll accept.¬†Many items still had their original tags on them, and everything looked new or almost new. No stains, rips, missing snaps, or anything bad.

Prices are awesome. We found onesies for $1 each and cozy sleeper gowns for $3.50 to $5 or so. Prices vary, so you’ll just have to look at the tag. Some of the more complex outfits (good for holiday pictures, for example) were $10 to $15.

We bought a few clothes, and I know we’ll be back in the future to look at their bouncy seats ($15 for the ones I saw!), swings, strollers, bedding, carriers, etc.

After our shopping trip there, we went to the mall and Target. I wasn’t really aware of the prices of new baby clothes, but I was shocked. Waaaay overpriced for something a baby will wear just a few times. What’s even more–we weren’t entirely impressed with the selection of clothes we found at mall retailers. They were just OK.

I think there are some deals to be had on clearance racks in first-hand stores, but based on our first experience at Once Upon a Child and how much we loved the prices, quality and selection, I think we’ll be shopping there a lot.

Clothes are one of life’s necessities, but why pay more if you don’t have to?

By the way–we’re having a baby boy!

Other ideas: See if there’s a Freepeats in your area! Head over to BabyCheapskate to learn more about it. Also try craigslist, eBay, and passing along hand-me-downs to friends and family!

Where do you find baby clothes?



23 Responses to “Saving money at Once Upon a Child”

  1. congrats! baby boys are great fun! we love “once upon a child” but they never accept anything from me for resale (guess my boys are too hard on stuff to meet their standards)…oh well!

    Kelly’s last blog post..The view from here…

  2. I have shopped at Once Upon a Child too, but what I have discovered is that some of their clothes are just as much as new clothes. I love Old Navy’s baby clothes and also Children’s Place. Target also has a lot of cute clothes!! I have a baby girl this time around (she has 2 older brothers). Congratulations!!!

  3. I will be posting a How-To on Friday regarding making money through children’s consignment shops.

    I have seen a Once-Upon-a-Time close to my home but didn’t know that it was a consginment shop. I thought that it was just a children’s clothing store.

    I will be adding them to my list of consignment shops to visit.

    Congratulations on the news of the babies gender.

    Hadias’s last blog post..My Favorite Seafood Recipe

  4. Congratulations! Having a boy is so exciting!!! Just make sure to watch out when your changing his diaper…they are known for projectile peeing!

  5. Hey Kacie, I just nominated you for the “blogger awards” over on my site http://www.savingyoung.com. Check it out.

  6. Around here there are wonderful church consignment sales in the spring and fall. We have a huge one at our church and it has EVERYTHING–cribs, toys, clothes, gear, anything you could ever need for baby. And at fantastic prices. I’ve often found clothes with tags still on them for $2-3, and they run half-price deals on the last day. Keep an eye out for those!

  7. Congrats! We will find out what we’re having soon.

    PT’s last blog post..Prime Time Money

  8. All my friends swear by garage-sale shopping for baby clothes- I’m not sure if they buy anything new for the baby at all. Once Upon a Child sounds like it’s a great way to get guaranteed-good-condition used clothing. Also, baby clothes are offered on Freecycle all the time. Joining your local group just to see who is out there may prove useful.

  9. My most favorite place to shop for baby clothes is Kohl’s. They have the best deals on clothes out of anywhere else I’ve found.

    Oh and their clearance racks are AMAZING. If you go there and there isn’t much clearance, check back a few weeks later, and they’ll have a ton!!!

    I never shop at consignment stores because I know I can find stuff priced the same or cheaper and brand new at Kohl’s. One thing to note… Kohl’s website clearance prices aren’t always that great… check the stuff out in store for better deals. I usually pay between $1-$3, per piece. Even better if you have a Kohl’s charge and get the additional percentages off (and pay it off monthly, of course!).

    I go to Kohl’s towards the end of every season and stock up on clothes for my kids for the next year. Oh and I have found great deals at yardsales… but those you have to pay attention because sometimes the clothes are stained up or zippers are broken or whatever. Oh and I’ll only pay up to 50 cents per piece at a yardsale… unless it’s a whole outfit in good condition.

    Oh and The Children’s Place… online… I find good deals and they often have coupon codes available… and you can shop through ebates for cashback! Their clothes are really well made, so they’ll last for your little guy, his potential siblings, and then you can sell it and make some of your money back since they hold up so well!

    Sorry to ramble, lol.

  10. OUAC is my fav place for nice clothes for David. i’ve found some of their outfits cost just as much as new on clearance, but if David needs a new sweater or pair of jeans or something for an occasion, it’s much cheaper there than at a store, usually. i try to do all my shopping at garage sales, but for the special things that come up, we always go to once upon a child first. i’ve never found good deals at old navy, though i admit i don’t go there very often and maybe miss the good sales. Sometimes Target has basics for like $2, but it is rare.

    Once again, congratulations!

    jessica @pianomomsicle’s last blog post..Tip on thrifting

  11. The very best place is a nice consignment sale. Not a consignment shop that’s open all year, but a two- or three-day temporary one. We have an amazing one in our area, and like you said about Once Upon a Child, the lady is picky and that makes all the difference. The good thing about the sales I go to is that you set your own prices, and you know up front what % the sale manager is getting.

    I went to Once Upon a Child the other day and got a few cute fall outfits for Suzi. They also had the RazBaby toothbrushes and teethers (but those were new, not used), which I was so happy to find!

  12. Great ideas, everyone!

    I’ve got to admit, I’m not a big garage saler. They’re great and you can find amazing deals, but you’ve gotta be patient and really work for it sometimes (hitting many sales before finding a good one).

    I don’t really have the patience for garage sales, and I’m not so good about getting up early on a Saturday morning.

    That’s why one-stop shopping works the best for me right now.

  13. One word: hand-me-downs (or is that three words?)

    I have three boys and I just rotate the clothes in when they have grown into them. Also, a woman at my church gives me some clothes from her son who is a few years older than my oldest. At 5, 3, and 3 months, the boys actually think is cool to wear hand-me-downs. I’m sure that will change.

    Grandmothers are the other source I have for clothes. I let them buy the special outfits for pictures and such.

  14. Once Upon a Child also runs Grab Bag specials a couple times a year (my store’s doing it this Sat!)

    You get a bag, and can fill it up with as many clearance items as will fit, and it costs $10.

    FYI- Carters brand baby clothes run one size big. So the 3-6 month sleepers are more likely to fit a 6-9 month baby. Good to know for seasonal preplanning!

  15. Let me be the lone voice of dissent and state I hate Once Upon A Child.

    They pay very very little for what they accept. And they hardly accept anything. So selling to them doesn’t work for me. It isn’t even the condition – they just only accept certain things. It is not worth it for me to drive there for what they pay for items. I can Craigslist them easier.

    They charge too much. They charge 3x what you can get things for at a garage sale. Sometimes more.

    Not everyone has the patience for garage sales (although here it seems every garage sale has baby clothes) but keep your eye out for the big church consignment sales. You can usually get a LOT more for a LOT less. Or watch your local Craigslist.

    Congratulations on your little boy!

    paidtwice’s last blog post..Sunday Link Love: July Review Edition

  16. I love Once-Upon-A-Child. The best is definitely when they have their blow out sales. They have the $10 bag sale, like said above. But, they also have a sale a couple times a year where all clearance items are a dollar. Last time, I got gap jeans and old navy and children’s place shirts and dresses for $1!! It was awesome.

  17. I shop at charity thrift stores (Salvation Army has great baby clothes, Goodwill Select lacks selection), cheap big-box stores, and Babies ‘R’ Us, mainly in the clearance and layette (for onesies and PJs) sections. Carter is my favorite brand and I love finding them gently used. I also must say I have a lot of hand-me-downs from relatives.

  18. Congrats on finding out it’s a boy–how fun to now assign a pronoun to him :)

    We are huge on hand-me-downs–it works great if you’ve got friends/cousins who have had kids already. If you are “first” in your group, then it’s a little trickier.

    To be honest, we have bought very little for both our kids–I pick stuff up on clearance, but they still get clothing as gifts from a lot of people.

    Have fun getting ready for the little one!

    Here’s a trick I learned early on–tape the receipt (or gift receipt) directly to whatever it is you’ve purchased/gotten as a gift until you start to use it. With both kids, I’ve ended up needing to return things (they grow SO fast), and it’s always great to have the receipt right there.

    Michelle’s last blog post..And Now, She is Three

  19. The key to getting the best deals is to shop the end-of-season sales.

    Target, JcPenney, Lands End, Sears, Old Navy and Kohls have awesome clearance deals. (I’m talking $1 for some items!) If my kiddos are too big/small for the clothes when the time comes to use them, I give them away as gifts or sell them (sometimes for a profit!)

    I also like to do the garage sale thing, but it is time consuming. You have to love the thrill of the hunt!

    Christina@Northern Cheapskate’s last blog post..Get Free Samples of Nature Made Vitamins

  20. Personally I don’t like consignment shops. I have 4 children 2,5,8,and 10 and believe me I’ve tried the consignment shops. I find that I can buy NEW clothes for the SAME PRICE at Walmart as what the consignement shops charge for used clothes.

    While, baby clothes don’t get worn out quickly because baby’s grow so fast, there is no way I can find used clothes for a 10 year old boy that looks half way decent.

    Give Walmart a look. They have outfits for $5, sleepers for $5-6 and if you look now they have $3 clearance items.

    One good thing to look at in the consignment shops is girls church dresses. They are SO expensive in the stores and the girls don’t wear them out very fast. Boys on the other hand are ROUGH on clothes ;-P

  21. I didn’t know that Once upon a child was still around. I first used that chain store about 15 years ago when trading in my daughter’s baby outfits for toddler stuff. I really liked it when I took down her stroller and traded it for a large outdoor doll house.

    As to buying onesies there, I would stick to buying them at the local dollar store. Our dollar store has a wide variety of children’s’ cloths for a buck.

  22. Don’t get too excited. It’s often over priced and they are CHEAP and picky about what they’ll buy. Same with Plato’s closet. Look at End of the Season sales–you can usually do just as well. My niece, a new Mom of a boy in June, did say they cloth diapers and accessories were a decent enough price due to shipping from online places. A few bargains can certainly be found at OUAC–like dress clothess, but check Goodwill on Dollar day for dress shoes! You’d be shocked at what you can get! I also second the Dollar Tree idea–I’ve bought little clothes in there for my kids’ stuffed animals. They have been spilled on, cat peed, taken outside and washed and come out fine. Garage sales are ok if you don’t waste a mint on gas getting there!! Baby showers really help–hint, hint!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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