04 April 2009

'quackers' for consignment

As environmentally friendly as I try to be, I have to admit I was a bit prejudice about used clothing. My dear Lucie has always had good luck at thrift stores. Her place is mostly furnished with great finds. Yet, whenever I would go into a charity shop, I only managed to find outdated clothing that always seemed to smell. Plus, I never really had patience for "digging". Don't get me wrong, I have always donated clothing but I just never 'closed the loop' and purchased used items. Alas, I have seen the light!

What made me see the error of my clothing snobbery ways? Duck Duck Goose! For those who are unfamiliar with DDK, a little background... Duck Duck Goose is a nation-wide "upscale" consignment sale of new and gently-used baby and children's items including clothing, toys, books, shoes, etc. The sellers receive 70% of the sale price of their item. Most events have a 1/2 day on the last day. DDK is extremely well organized and the organizers are selective of the items that they allow to go into the sale.

Here in Knoxville, the event is held each spring and fall. The sale has gained popularity and beginning last year, Duck Duck Goose was able to fill an abandoned grocery store - 25,000 square feet of items! A friend of mine is working the event this year and told me that I simply had to see it to believe it. On Thursday afternoon, I dropped the kids off with Marcus and I headed out to the old Food City to see what all the hype was.

I was overwhelmed by the site that greeted me! (photos above courtesy of DDK facebook site.) As far as the eye could see, racks and racks of clothing all nicely arranged by size. Toys that looked like they had never been played with! Boppy pillows, Baby Bjorns, jogging strollers, crib sets...you name it, they had it! All in perfect condition!

I first meandered over to Matilda's size section and dug in straight away. I could not believe the bargains I found. Gymboree, Gap, Old Navy, Lily Pulitzer, Strasberg, all the name brands were on the racks and at a fraction of their retail price. Now I would never pay Gymboree prices but a $5.00 dress? Not even Target can beat that! Again, the items were in mint condition! Here is a picture of some of the bargains I found.

I next ventured over to Fiona's size but unfortunately, the selection dwindled here. It makes sense though as older children truly play and are harder on their clothing. I did still manage to find a couple of Gap dresses for her.

Then over to the toy section where I scored big time! I found a Fur Real grey and white 11 inch kitten for $2.00. Fiona is crazy about her little Fur Real cat so I was so excited when I found this long hair grey model. Similar models of this cat retail for $59.00 and I snagged it for $2.00 with batteries!!!

Four hours later (yes, I am a lot more patient after having 2 children and "digging" was actually cathartic!)... I walked out with 19 items having to only part with $85.00 - not too shabby, eh?

Consignment just makes sense...

* Children grow out of clothing so quickly, why pay full retail? It makes good economical sense!
* When you consign, you keep items out of the waste stream.
* Buying items at consignment reduces our impact on limited resources.
* Shopping at consignment and thrift stores supports your local economy.
* Many of the used clothing stores do support very worthy charitable causes.

So as you can see, I am a changed woman and am now singing the praises of consignment! I only wish I had known about it when I had Fiona. I could have saved a lot of money by outfitting the nursery and getting all the 'essential' baby gear.

Before you head out to the mall or big box store, why don't you try your neighborhood consignment or thrift store. The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops allows you to search for shops in your area here. Happy (re) consuming!


GinSpaghetti said...

FUN!!! Sounds like you had a great time! And Tilly's outfits are SO cute!!

s engelmohr said...

Way to go, everything looks so nice and it sounds like you had fun.
My oldest daughter with three young kids has always been fond of places like that, and my grandkids look so cute.

LeeAnne said...

I love consignment sales too! There are a couple of good ones in the Chattanooga area that I try to hit each season, and I've recently started selling some of M's old stuff too -- I netted close to $200 each time!

I usually go in looking for play clothes; that way, I don't expect them to be in perfect condition. However, I'm a sucker for the dresses, and I always seem to come out with lots of cute sundresses. Oh well ... at $4 and $5 a pop, I can't really complain. Plus, Maggie always loves the toys I find.

You'll have to let me know when the next DDG sale is in your area; maybe I could drive up! :)

Janet Morgan said...

I'm glad you finally found the world of consignment! I have actually been shopping at consignment sales since Kate was born and have been selling in them for 3 years now. I think they are great ways to find really nice brands and great clothes at a great price! This spring I made over $350 at our church consignment sale on Kate's old stuff that I didn't want to keep. We have several good consignment sales in our area. I got Kate a bunch of Mini Boden stuff for the fall at our church sale at a great price! It is fun.

Jen said...

I have never ventured to the consignment sales, but they have tons of them here. We have a couple of really good second hand stores. We also have a HUGE Goodwill that has tons of stuff. I go through phases as far as thrifting goes, but it is so gratifying when you walk out with tons of stuff and spend very little money.

Dawn said...

Wow! What a find! Love all the bright colors for summer~

We have a few shops near us but I have yet to go....thanks for the inspiration!