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Kids Stuff

Part of my job when I was a Manager of a thrift store was to have a general knowledge of how much items cost new at retail price so when we would price an item it would be a fair price for the buyer. I always look at the ads in the Sunday paper and have looked online to see what the price of things are these days. That is one of the drawbacks of never buying at retail price, you may experience sticker shock upon entering a mall or trying to find an item new online. Stuff is expensive! Especially toys and items for kids.

I don’t have children of my own but I do sympathize with parents. I honestly don’t know how they do it. But I do know where they can get the superfluous items, which are always at the top of the importance list for kids, for a lot less. Also, the idea of buying all of your kids’ clothes new is somewhat silly when you can buy the clothes at a discount price and if he/she comes home with a hole or a stain it’s not a big deal. Yes, I am talking about the thrift store again. Most thrift stores do sort all of the clothing and only put out clothes that don’t have holes or stains and are gently used. Why pay $20 or more for a pair of jeans when you can get 4-5 pairs of jeans or more for that price.

I had this conversation with my mom awhile ago and she said that she wanted better for us and that’s why she bought us new clothes but if she had it to do over she would have definitely bought most of our clothes second-hand. Kids clothes are the best to buy second hand and are sometimes more gently used than adult clothes. When you think about it, at the rate a child grows, that kid isn’t wearing that outfit for very long. Some kids might be embarrassed or think that a thrift store is beneath them but you should take them there as young as possible so they are used to it and make a game of it. Make it fun. Allow them to pick out regular, rand name clothes and explain that they can have more clothes that fit their style as opposed to 1-2 outfits at a retail store and let them pick out some play dress-up items, such as hats, boas, etc. to show them how much fun it is to shop thrifty.

Next, is toys, yes, the utmost important items in a child’s mind. While perusing ads I was shocked at how much toys cost and I was saddened by the thought of many a child only getting 1-2 presents while Mom and Dad skipped eating for a week to afford them. At the thrift store where I worked, I found my nephew 2 leap frog learning toys and a simulated car toy for a total of under $10. All they needed was wiped down with Clorox wipes and new batteries and abracadabra he loved them! Retail price of each leap frog toy was $20-30 and the car toy was $15 new. He had no idea they weren’t new nor did he care and his mom is on board for the toys to come. Challenge for you if you have kids or know someone who does, try and find a toy at a thrift store for under $5, clean it up and get some dollar store batteries if needed and see if the kid likes it…After all, it’s just kid’s stuff.

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