Thrift stores, yard sales and swap meets are always a source of serious bargains when looking for children’s clothes and baby gear. And with back-to-school just around the corner, many of us are in the market for kids’ clothes bargains. However, often what’s available is not the best quality or it’s out of style. When you shop at a consignment store, on the other hand, someone else has done the legwork for you, so you’ll find a better selection of stylish little duds.
Vancouver Consignment Stores
Beansprouts is a good place to find pre-loved designer outfits for your little one. It’s at 4305 Main Street, just south of 27th Avenue. You can’t miss the cute bean sprout bars on the shop window. Beansprouts is a well-organized little store which has a small selection of consignment clothing and shoes for children alongside their beautiful new high-end clothing, wooden toys and a selection of new carriers. There’s also a play area to amuse your younger family members while you shop.
Just a few blocks north of Beansprouts on the same street is Kiddo, another great stop for consignment shopping. They moved to a new location at 3950 Main Street in November of last year, so they have a little more room now. This bright store has a small variety of gently-worn clothes for kids up to eight & consignment maternity wear. Don’t miss the shelf of preloved toys at the very back of the store. Their new books section is full of great titles too. Their little play area includes a kitchen and lots of toys to keep your little ones occupied while you shop.
Last, but certainly not least, is Wee Ones Reruns: a hidden gem if you’re looking for a great kids consignment store. Look for the mauve facade and planters outside 612 Kingsway, one block west of Fraser Street. When you step inside, you find yourself in a quiet environment, away from the traffic noise of the street, with a couch to breastfeed on if needed and toys your kids can play with. Wee Ones is a fixture of East Vancouver, having been open 16 years. Sandra, the friendly and knowledgeable owner, has usually got time to chat and is happy to answer any questions.
The store is packed with good-quality consignment clothing and shoes for kids up to about age seven, cloth diapers, carriers, toys, books, safety equipment, furniture, strollers and more. The racks are well-organized by gender and age. Most things are about half the cost of buying new. They also carry some new clothing, toys, sunscreen and other items for decent prices.
Consignment Shopping Tips
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping at a consignment store:
- Selection varies each time you go, so go often.
- If you see something that you like, buy it, because there’s likely only one and it may not be there if you wait a week.
- Check out the Green Zebra coupon book for further savings–Beansprouts and Wee Ones both have coupons in there.
- Look over each item before you buy, just in case there are any flaws.
- Ask about the returns policy–it’s often more limited than when you buy new.
- Sign up for their mailing list so you can get advance notice of sales (Wee Ones has a big on on Earth Day, for example).
What are your tips for getting the best bang for your consignment shopping buck?
Lisa Corriveau is our East Side Contributor. When not writing, she can often be found at the park chasing her little boy, sewing clothing, cycling, reading just about anything, performing on stilts, eating chocolate or drinking craft beer. (Sometimes several of the above simultaneously.) Lisa lives car-free in East Van, with toddler, husband and a few bikes. You can also find her on her blog, The Sprog.