Sensible moms want value for their money. When it comes to children’s clothing, toys and furniture, Pittsburgh kid consignment stores offer the cute and trendy fashions for the most demanding toddlers, as well as infants, mid-size kids, and teens.
And for the temporary wardrobe required of pregnant moms, some shops keep a separate department of tasteful maternity wear.
Some shops operate on a true consignment basis.
As Nancy Lia, owner of The Has Bin in Bethel Park, puts it: “Everything here belongs to someone else.”
Consignment store staff members inspect offerings and curate selections to choose the best up-to-date items for their customers. Consignors – the sellers – sign a contract and receive a percentage of the sale price, generally around 40 percent. The agreement stipulates a time period — about 90 days — after which the items can be returned, discounted or donated to a charity.
Some stores purchase used items outright, then resell them. Some shops do both.
“I hand pick everything and make sure everything is really good,” says Mia Demeo, owner of A Child’s Wardrobe & Adults Too in Squirrel Hill. “I’m looking for better name brands, things more recently bought.”
Quality is an important detail. Just because you want a bargain, doesn’t mean you should sacrifice style.
“You get all of the same labels you get at the mall, and they’re at a third of the price,” says Emily Mulvihill, team leader at Consignment Cottage in Moon, which carries a good selection of maternity clothing. “All of our clothes are no more than three years old, so everything is current styles and trends. Everything is in really good condition.
“So it’s win-win,” she says. “You’re getting cute things for really cheap.”
Ready to shop? Follow these tips:
- Visit the store often because merchandise rotates fairly quickly. Inventory can change daily.
- Know your prices and look over items carefully before you buy.
- Allow enough time to browse. Racks are often hung with one-of-a-kind items, so you’ll want to spend time looking. The easiest stores to navigate are those organized by sizes and styles.
- Looking for something special? Some stores will keep a wish list for you.
- Don’t hesitate to buy that darling outfit. It could be gone when you return.
- Check out the shop’s website or Facebook page. Some offer email updates, coupons and special events to save even more money.
Ready to sell? These tips are for you:
- All items must be clean and freshly laundered.
- Clothing should be neatly folded, with buttons buttoned, zippers zipped, and snaps snapped.
- Most shops will not accept clothing that is older than 1 to 3 years.
- Expect to pay a fee to open a consignor account, ranging from $10-$12.
- Check the store’s website before you visit. Some shops have special hours for accepting consignments.
A Child’s Wardrobe & Adults Too
This Squirrel Hill consignment store has been in business for 23 years. The store specializes in a selection of carefully curated clothing and shoes from infant sizes to teens – plus adult clothing. Children’s brands include Ralph Lauren, Baby Gap, Mini Boden, Hanna Andersson, Nike and Under Armor for kids.
In maternity, the selection is small but of good quality, ranging from coats to shorts to pants.
A Child’s Wardrobe is open 10 a.m.-5p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays at 2200 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-422-3033
The Has Bin
At 26 years of age, the locally owned Has Bin in Bethel Park is the granddaddy of area children’s consignments stores. It’s huge, with 3,200 square feet of space filled with clothing, toys, accessories and baby equipment. Maternity wear gets space here, too, with sizes from extra small to extra-extra large.
The store has a locked play space for toddlers, as well as carts that accommodate baby carriers, to help out moms.
For kids clothing brands, look for Gymboree, Janie & Jack, Justice, Hollister, Forever 21, Pink and American Eagle.
The Has Bin accepts clothing by appointment twice a year, ahead of the season so that fresh, new fashions hit the floor at the right time. The store is currently accepting spring and summer clothing. (Maternity, Halloween costumes, holiday outfits and big baby items are welcome at any time.)
As a benefit for sellers of larger baby items, the Has Been uploads photos to its website and Facebook page – some even get a Craigslist notice – to help sell the item.
“We have people from across the board that shop here – high income, low income,” says owner Nancy Lia, who took over the store six years ago. “We try to keep a nice selection of everything.”
Open 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays and Wednesdays, at 4734 Library Road, Bethel Park. 412-835-9111
Once Upon a Child
As a national chain of resell stores, Once Upon A Child has multiple, locally owned franchise locations in the Pittsburgh area. The parent company also franchises Plato’s Closet and Play It Again Sports, other sources of bargains for kids and teens.
You can take your clothes and toys “with experience,” as they call it, to a shop for evaluation. Once Upon a Child pays cash for the items they believe they can resell. They accept toys and baby gear, too.
Once Upon a Child locations include Ross, Monroeville, Robinson and West Mifflin.
Kid to Kid
Another nationally franchised store, Kid to Kid in Ross is one of the newest to enter the Pittsburgh market. The mini-sized signature pink door is an attraction for little ones who love having their own entrance.
Kid to Kid purchases quality toys, baby gear and clothing outright to resell. If you choose to receive store credit instead of cash, you’ll get an extra 20 percent. Lots of discounts are available, including one for grandparents, military, foster parents, and frequent shoppers.
If you have leftover items that aren’t purchased, you can donate them to charity without any extra effort on your part.
Open noon-5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays at 7440 McKnight Road, Ross. 412-837-1601
There’s no baby or kid stuff here, but the maternity department at Consignment Cottage, Moon, is worth a mention. As a lactation specialist and registered nurse, owner Terry Chesky has a particular interest in new moms.
Brands include Pea in a Pod and Motherhood Maternity among the selection, with sizes from extra small to extra large. Included are jeans, career wear, button-up blouses, T-shirts and jerseys.
Consignment Cottage is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays at 234 Moon Clinton Road, Moon. 412-262-0833
CONSIGNMENT SALE EVENTS
Just Between Friends
At Just Between Friends events, huge spaces are filled wall to wall with racks of children’s fashions, baby equipment, toys, and accessories. The merchandise is well organized, with categories, sizes and the like taken into consideration to make shopping simpler.
And for safety, Just Between Friends has partnered with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All infant equipment is inspected for recalls and current standards
Shoppers can expect savings of 50 percent to 90 percent off retail prices, planners say.
The sale events include clothing from infant to teen sizes, as well as maternity wear. You can find books, games, and DVDs, as well as video game systems. Toys and craft items are on the list, too. Loads of equipment and furniture will be offered, from pack-n-plays to strollers.
Three events are coming up for Pittsburgh moms. Shoppers are welcome, as well as consignors. Check the website for details.
Just Between Friends runs March 3 to 5 at Beaver Valley Mall, March 21 to April 2 at David Lawrence Convention Center, and April 21 to 23 at Monroeville Convention Center.
Snuggle Bugs Consignment
The semi-annual Snuggle Bugs mega sale features clothing, shoes, and accessories for girls from infant sizes to youth size 10; for boys, sizes run from infant to youth size 20. The mix includes baby equipment and children’s furnishings. Bikes, toys, games, electronics and books help fill the space. A section with Mommy Essentials gathers baby monitors and nursing pillows, along with pregnancy and parenting books.
Looking to sell that great stuff your kids have outgrown? Check the website for consignor details.
The Snuggle Bugs Kids Sale runs April 1-8 (closed April 4 to restock) at the Iceoplex at Southpointe, Cannonsburg.
Over 400 consignors contribute to the Sunflower Sprouts sales event. Expect brand names in children’s clothing, lots of baby equipment and toys. Volunteer at least three hours and qualify for the early bird sale to get first dibs on the best stuff. Other ways to get in on the pre-sale includes registering as a new mom, grandparent, daycare worker or “hometown hero,” such as a police officer or firefighter.
The Sunflower Sprouts sale runs April 7-9 at Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena, Cheswick.