As I’ve discussed before, I love to save money by using Cub’s unwanted items instead of cash to get him new things. One of the most convenient ways to do this is by visiting a Once Upon a Child franchise. Granted, I have to fly home to BC to do so (Quebec doesn’t have any locations yet), but I was curious about the experience, so I tossed a few extra items in our suitcase on our latest trip out west. I visited the Langley, BC location.
What I brought in: I had a pair of H&M pants, an Old Navy fleece, a Spiderman tee-shirt, an Osh Kosh onesie, Baby Gap hoodie, Ralph Lauren romper, dinosaur hoodie, Keep Calm and Carry On onesie and a pair of fleece pjs. All in all, this small pile of clothes probably cost me no more than $15, since the pieces were either gifts, hand-me-downs or thrifting finds. I was hoping to get about $10 for everything.
How it works: If you have a large box of clothing and toys to sell/swap, you’ll be dropping your goodies off and coming back later to find out what your credit is. I had a tiny bag, so the lovely lady at the counter was able to sort through my things while I browsed. Staff use a computer system that assigns value to items based on certain criteria (including brand), and they have strict quality controls and thoroughly inspect each item.
What I got: The white onesie had a stain (I hadn’t noticed it) and the dino hoodie was a bit pilly, so those didn’t make the cut. For everything else, I was offered around $12. I had found some things I needed for Cub in the racks: a housecoat with detachable cape, a fleece pullover, sweatpants and a pair of H&M pants in the right size. If you trade your items for other merchandise, you don’t have to pay tax on those “new-to-you” items, so that’s an added bonus. I ended up leaving Once Upon a Child with 4 new pieces and a toonie.
Pros & Cons: Overall, I loved this experience. Sure, I went in with more than I left with, but that’s kind of how this type of business works! Although community swaps are a great option too, swapping for items at Once Upon a Child means I know each item I take home has already been inspected and I won’t discover broken zippers, missing buttons or holes. The “big name” items I brought in (Ralph Lauren, Osh Kosh, Baby Gap) were all purchased second-hand or found at swaps. If I’d spent $30 a piece for these items, I would probably not be as thrilled with this experience, but I barely spend that much on items for myself!
Tip: I actually watch out for the brands I know do well in consignment shops like Once Upon a Child or FlipSize when I’m thrifting, since I know Cub will be able to wear them and I’ll be able to recoup most of my money when he outgrows them!
Have you ever consigned your children’s clothing? How was your experience?
I received no incentives for writing this post.