Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hail to the Gods of Consignment

Today I practiced the middleman of the three "R's", as I conspired to harvest a spring/summer wardrobe for my eldest daughter. Reusing was never more fun. This morning, at one of my favorite kid consignment sales (see below for details), I picked up well-made dresses, like-new shoes, fun tops and crossed everything off my list for a song. (On the last day of these sales, most items are 50% off). To put a finer point on it, the final cost of 7 dresses, 6 short-sleeved tops, 3 shorts, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 bathingsuit, 1 pair of pants, 8 pairs of socks, 6 pairs of tights, and 4 puzzles came to $83.

Of course nothing trumps free hand-me-downs from friends with older children. (Thank you friends, you are at once generous, with lovely taste in clothes and a knack for keeping them looking new). But if this should fail to provide a full wardrobe, buying consignment is an excellent way to conserve natural resources. You are taking from the supply already available rather than demanding new production.
Before you go buy new, hunt through consignment shops for furniture, clothes for babies to adults, home decor, cookware, serveware and more. Garnish the thrill of the bargain-hunt with the satisfaction of having demanded less of the Earth. Especially with furniture, you know what they say, "they don't make 'em like they used to."
For the kids consignment sales, get on their email list to be notified of upcoming sales and then you can plan your kids' clothes purchases around these, saving new purchases as a last resort. Consider helping work the sale, and then you get to shop the night before the general public (which must be very awesome the night before the 50%-off day). Use The Bargain Watcher to find out about upcoming sales nationwide and your local consignment shops:

In Atlanta, here are my two favorites, because of the enormity and quality of their selection:
1. All 4 Kids (, North Atlanta
2. Kidsignments (, Gwinnett
For general shopping, check out:
1. My Favorite Place, 5596 Peachtree Industrial, Chamblee, GA 30341, (770) 452-8397, 10:00 - 5:30, 7 days a week - officially a flea market, but vendors sell new, antique, miscellaneous items - everything, and you get another 10% off at checkout. I will eventually post pics of my most awesome finds (including a solid-wood rocker-armchair for $150, and a set of bar stools and table handcrafted from salvaged wine barrels for $170). For the tea lover, go today! It is the perfect place to collect a tea service, with a new infusion of china cups, creamers, teapots and sugar bowls tucked here and there every time I visit.
2. Plato's Closet - here you will be sure to find trendy clothes at inexpensive prices for teenagers and up, many locations - (
3. Craigslist - many people already utilize Craigslist, but I just want to remind you to go to it before you go to the store. ( Using Craigslist, I scored a perfect-condition Pottery Barn twin iron bed for $150 and wrought iron screens for $25 each to repurpose as a chimney trellis.
Bargain-shoppers and "greenie-weenies" as my neighbor calls the Earth-friendly can be one and the same on the consignment scene.

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