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Consignment Stores for Back to School Bargains

Everything for back to school from clothing, footwear, lunch bags and backpacks can be found in most children’s consignment stores. It’s the perfect time of year to consign children’s clothing and accessories. Recently posted? Gather the family together and dig through those plastic totes looking for outgrown, unworn or gently used kids clothing. Tripping over unused baby equipment isn’t necessary when it too can be consigned. The dollars earned consigning unwanted items can be put toward replenishing wardrobes or buying age appropriate toys. “It’s never too early to teach your kids to be frugal, or to respect the environment. Our customers are pleased to know the clothes and toys they bring into the store are not going to landfill,” said Amanda Lauzon, owner and operator of two Boomerang Kids stores in Ottawa and Gatineau.

The process of using a consignment service is actually very simple. “It works like this, you bring in your gently used kid’s clothing, toys, equipment or books. Usually stuff comes in totes or boxes. We sort through all of it, price it according to our policy, and enter it into our data base. We tag it and hang it up or put it on our shelves for you. If something you brought in sells, you make a percentage of the ticket price. We keep track of how much you have sold. The next time you are in the store you can take the cash or you can get a store credit,” said Lauzon. Children’s consignment stores can be found across the country. Each store has its own set of policies. Read them over before committing to leaving items. “We like to think our stores offer a good and fair return to parents. A consignment store is not a typical retail store. We don’t represent one particular brand, and we don’t work on commission. It’s a different, more laid back shopping experience for parents.”

Clothing consignment is a practical alternative for budget minded military families. “If your kids are into name brands one pair of pants can blow your budget for that child. Using a consignment service allows you to buy several outfits for the same price. Also, if you did purchase an outfit for your child at a high-end retail store and they outgrew it before they hardly had a chance to wear it you’ll want to recoup some of those dollars. Consigning those clothes just makes your money stretch,” said Lauzon. Calling ahead, before packing your vehicle full of potential items to sell is always best. Stores will accept items according to what sells in their market. “We love baby equipment. It’s very popular. A lot of military families come into our stores in Ottawa simply because they just unpacked a whole bunch of baby stuff like highchairs, pack and plays, and swings. They know they don’t need it, or they are anticipating a posting and want to purge before they move. We take care of it for them. It’s a great way to clean out a garage.” Also, items come and go seasonally. Parkas don’t sell in the middle of summer and shorts don’t fly off the shelves in the winter.

“I got into the children’s consignment business almost two years ago because I am the mom of four kids under the age of five. Parenting at my house is a sport unto itself. By the time clothes made it to the last kid they weren’t fit to be worn anymore. It’s expensive to outfit kids. I was looking for a solution and I liked the idea of consignment. It’s a way to recycle and a way to help other families out.”

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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