The Best Place to Buy Used Gear: A Consignment Shop!

Garage sales always seem like too much work to me. I don’t like waking up early to snag the best deals, I don’t enjoy driving around, and it seems like a pain to wade through piles of other people’s cast-offs to find a few good pieces of clothing or furniture.

This is why I prefer getting my secondhand goods at consignment shops. Everything has been culled over, so the clothes are in good condition and up-to-date with the current trends. If I like Danish Modern furniture, I can usually find a few shops devoted just to that style. So convenient!

But did you know that garage sales will save you 50% or more over consignment or thrift shops? You did if you read our book, the Eco-nomical Baby Guide! We go over the pros and cons of all the usual resale methods to help you find the best deals on used baby gear. I am lucky enough to live within walking distance of a few different children’s consignment shops. I drop in frequently to keep my child properly attired. I’ve found good deals on toys, too.

Where do you prefer to find your secondhand children’s gear? Garage sales, eBay, thrift stores? Why do you prefer one method over the other?


  1. For kids cloths, the best deal in Seattle is Salvation Army–most items are $1 or $1.50 and are usually in good shape. I also use two local consignment shops (in walking distance!) since I can get some trade-in value for outgrown items. And finally, for gear/toys specifically, I’ve had quite a bit of luck with Craigslist and my local moms’ mailing list. For Craigslist items, I don’t mind driving to another part of town if I’ve seen a photo and know what I’m getting.

  2. We buy 99% of our son’s clothes from a consignment shop. I just can not justify buying new. I looked online a bit (Kajiji) but there is just too much out there and I can’t see what I am buying right at that moment.

  3. I dislike garage sales also for the same reasons you listed above. I like Craig’s List (for toys) and thrift stores (for toys and clothes) best, but a consignment store would be a great option too (although, pricier) — have to look for one near me. I only look for stuff on Craig’s List within a few miles of me since I dislike driving. I enjoy the hunt in a thrift store — but now that I have 2, it’s only fun if I do it without kids.

  4. You put “gear” in your title which makes me think of strollers, car seats, baby carriers, etc. It should be noted that there are certain baby items that one should be wary of buying secondhand. Due to what seems like a high frequency of recent recalls, any “gear” item (furniture and toys too) should be carefully inspected and reseached before purchasing.

    I love raising a green baby, but I put her safety first.

  5. For clothes, I can’t even remember the last time my kids wore something new. Not that new is horrible, but I love the Arc thrift stores here in CO. On Saturdays they have half off sales on almost everything in the store. I can usually buy a whole new wardrobe for both my boys for $60, give or take. My husband and I also buy the majority of our clothes there. As for gear we bought a convertible car seat for $50 (it had 5 star ratings from more than 150 people) for our almost one year old, his old infant car seat came from a trusted source, second hand. We invested in a double jogging stroller, we thought it justifed because they can be really hard to find second hand, and we use it a LOT.

    For me, there’s little I’d rather do than spend an hour or two scouring my local thrift stores looking for just about anything.

  6. My favorite place to buy kids stuff is a local PTO’s twice-a-year consignment sale. It is chock full of items (way more stuff than the local consignment stores) so it’s easy to get almost the whole season’s shopping done in one shot. There is also a wider variety of items — our consignment stores will only take name brands and don’t take larger items (outdoor play equip, for example) which limits what is available, but the consignment sale will take anything that is right for the season and in saleable condition. For the most part, prices are cheaper than the consignment stores. Whatever I can’t find at the sale I supplement by buying at a consignment store or on craigslist or new. Unfortunately, thrift shops are quite far away for me.

  7. Twice a year we go to the Just Between Friends sales

    We really stock up at these.

  8. I prefer garage sales, church sales, and thrift stores. The clothes at the consignment store in our area are pricey, close to the price of new clothes. I also peruse craigslist, but mostly for gear.

  9. I have had the best luck with ‘garage’ sales put on by my various local pre-schools. They sell all or mostly kids stuff and when you get 20 or more families together they have tons of selection. The Mothers of Twins sales are supposed to me similar but on a huge scale.

  10. Check out Just Between Friends (JBF) seasonal sales events. Prices are generally 30-90% with majority of items being over 50% off retail. You can also sell your items and make 65-70% back on sold items. These items are quality new and gently used items and are inspected for recalls so you are getting safe products (unlike at garage sales sometimes). These are fun events and volunteers, consignors and first time parents can shop the exclusive presale! Don’t miss it! They are nation-wide!

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