This is the fourth (and final) in the series of Resale posts as we attempt to find the best local children’s resale. (Although if we happen across another great find, we’ll definitely let you know!)
One of the best discoveries I made during Milena’s first year was the fall Half-Pint Resale held at the Goodman Community Center. We didn’t make it until the final day (during the half-off sale), and we still came home with a bag full of beautiful, like-new clothing! I was back for the spring sale, and I’m already itching for September to come around so I can stock up for this coming fall and winter!
Half-Pint Resale is a local, mother-run two-day children’s consignment sale organized by Ellen and Lisa (two local moms who put the sale together in response to the needs of their family and friends) and held semi-annually in early spring and fall. Area families consign their gently used items, giving area families a unique, affordable way to purchase quality clothes sizes 0-7, toys and baby gear.
“We’re proud that we can partner with other local agencies and businesses and that we are a local alternative to big box, chain-store shopping. The majority of the money that we make from the sale goes to pay for needed expenses, such as our location fees, insurance, racking systems, supplies, UHaul and Table costs, and other incidentals. The money that is spent at the sale stays in the community, whether it’s paying back the consignors (70%!) or paying other local businesses for their services. We’re proud that all of the money that exchanges hands before, during, and after the sale stays local!” – Ellen & Lisa
Raising Madison recently talked with the ladies from Half-Pint Resale and asked for their tips on finding the best resale in the Madison area. Here’s what they had to say:
“We love to find good deals – and we’ll go out of our way to find them – but it’s one of the reasons we started Half-Pint! It’s so hard to find what you need when you need it without going to a million places. (Because we’re personally obsessed with finding our kids awesome things at good deals, we do, but it shouldn’t be necessary). What we personally love about Half-Pint is that we can honestly check a bunch of stuff off of our lists which makes supplementing so much easier. So when it comes to our kids’ wardrobes, we do a combination of Resale and Cheap.
Craigslist – We love looking for things we need on Craigslist. This works better for toys, large items (Lisa just got her Rainbow Play System for a third the price of an original). I just recently bought my kids each a good quality practically-new sleeping bag for half their new REI cost. There are also tons of services online that you can use to watch Craigslist for you.
Garage Sales – They really are the best place to get the Cheapest stuff. Church/School/Fundraiser Garage sales give you the best bang for your buck because people donate all kinds of good stuff for their cause, and you get all shirts for a $1, no matter what the brand. I recently found a pair of gently worn keens – which will be great for outdoor play – for only $2 at a school sale. I also scored some Dado Cubes, which my husband had been coveting for our kids, for only 50 cents. Lisa keeps special money set aside for Garage Sales in her car at all times since you never know when following a hand-written sign in the rain will lead you to a treasure trove of un-picked over kids stuff. One other tip – we also tend to not go to sales that are posted. It’s the easiest way to START your garage saleing (head to one that is listed, and then look around the hood you are in and see what else you can find). But people who post their sales on message boards know what they are doing – and price their items higher.
Happy Bambino – We really do like their eco-boutique. It varies a lot, but we’ve found some great treasures. Plus we just like going there!
Lady Moxie – This wasn’t around when we were preggo, but they have a great resale Maternity section. Prices are a little higher, but the quality and selection is amazing. Lots of stuff you can’t even buy new here in Madison.
Purple Goose – They have GREAT sales, and they have the craziest selection of kids clothing. I got my kids matching Claesen shirts that I think are so unbelievably awesome – all at 40% off. They were still spendy, but I’m so glad I bought them. They have a great selection of Tea clothing as well.
Capitol Kids – Always worth checking out the clearance rack!
Target – Their clearance rack is always good. The great thing about Target is that they have several waves of seasonal clothing, so you can get summer things on clearance at the beginning of summer (if they are already on their second wave of summer fashion). So as long as your little doesn’t mind a swim suit that is “so-spring”, you’re in good shape. Lisa bought her daughter’s summer suit Memorial Day weekend, already deeply discounted.
Dig-and-Save – it’s not for the weak – it’s hardly for the strong. But if you can get past that you are digging for stuff in extreme filth, you can find some cool things. My favorite Oink Baby outfit that my son wore (and that Lisa had previously purchased for her son on Ebay for over $20) was in one of their big giant boxes. Because on Wednesdays everything is 50 cents a pound, I probably paid a quarter for it. We’ve found great games, vintage toys – heck, this isn’t kid related – but I even found my favorite pair of glasses frames. They also have a ton of bikes and scooters.
Goodwill – Of all of the Goodwills, I like the East side the best. But we also really like the one off of South Towne Drive when we can get over there. The best one for toys, we’ve found, is the one by Verona Rd. I got my son his birthday present there (a First Act Drum Set – normally $100 at the store, for $8)
Marshalls – Lisa shops their religiously. Beginning of the season – great selection, amazing brands, good deals. Middle of the season – not so good. End of the season clearance – I got my son a down coat for next year for $15.
Ebay – You’ve gotta search, but you can find some of the coolest stuff. We make lists of our favorite brands (many European), and then search them – sporadically, but obsessively.
HauteLook – There are tons of these “invitation only” sites, but we’ve found some great stuff. Prices aren’t always all that cheap after shipping, but at least I could do it in the middle of the night without leaving my home!
Buying Wholesale online – Really, this is one of our favorite ways to buy discount. You have to find a BIG group who wants to order the same stuff that you do. We love sites like Blankstyle to get our American Apparrel standards, which both of our kids live in as our plain colored staples. We love how they fit, we love their colors, we just love it.
And then, there is always the “embelish your own clothes” or make your own clothes route, which I love to dabble in (although I don’t have nearly the success that some local parents do – my favorite blog – Elsie Marley – now, She’s an expert. And since she’s a friend, I steal her ideas constantly.”
Thanks so much for your insights, ladies!
The fall/winter Half-Pint Resale is September 17 & 18 at the Goodman Community Center. You can find more information regarding sale times and other details about shopping the sale on the website. And don’t forget to check out the Half-Pint Resale blog for more thrifty and green ideas for outfitting and raising your very own half-pint!
The Goodman Community Center is located at 149 Waubesa Street, Madison.