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I don't ski, I don't drink craft beer and I don't have a dog, but by golly I am a real Colorado native girl.  So now you can still believe in unicorns!  Here's my ode to motherhood, you know because all of us bloggers write like we were the first, only and last mama out there.

Children's Consignment Shops in Denver: A Guide

Children's Consignment Shops in Denver: A Guide

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under crib storage

^^^Baby Remy at 8 months helping mommy "organize!"^^^

I have always been a sale shopper. I love the thrill of the hunt, so it is understandable that thrifting is my jam. Now as a momma to two babies under age two, that sale shopping sniff has intensified! I am even more conscious of spending as I stay home currently and we manage on one salary at the present time. We really have to be smart about any extra expenses, but that can be hard to do when you have babies because they grow out of clothing and shoes monthly and there always seems to be a need for a better chair to sit up in, or a new feeding spoon, sippy cup, more onesies and jammies. Oh, and diapers... they always seem to need more diapers and wipes. It never ends! As they get older, they need new gadgets to help with new activities, new toys to stimulate their growing minds and new physical abilities, outdoor toys, equipment for travel, new beds...you can see how costs quickly accumulate. Mind. Blown.

Consignment shops or Resale Boutiques are an EXCELLENT way to find exactly what you are looking for at a small fraction of the cost. As a momma, I now know how quickly babies are in and out of clothing and items. I tend to avoid buying used pajamas, onesies, socks, leggings, or anything to do with breastfeeding or feeding in general, or anything that goes near the mouth or the bum. That is just my personal thing. Another cool thing about these types of chops is that they are heavily geo-based. Meaning, the types of brands, styles and seasons you find at shops will depend on the sellers who frequent them in that area. My friend and I were just talking about a really great one in Aspen, Twinkle if you find yourself vacationing there, take the time to visit! I was recently in Newport Beach and visited Newport Kids Consignment, where I found Remy's Easter dress, and Lil' Posh Resale Kids Boutique. I found brands like Splendid L.A., Ella Moss at these shops and at much lower prices than they would be priced at in Denver.

So, tacking on to last week's post from Anna of, "And Then We Saved," on her tips for saving money when raising her Henry, I thought I would put this post together for you all on a guide to children's consignment shops here locally. It is a post I have been thinking about doing for some time and took a bit longer to put together from interviews and research, but I felt very informational and worth it to share. This is not an all inclusive list,I am positive there are at least half a dozen others around town that I am missing, so please feel more than free to add to it in the comments with any in your area or tips you have learned from your own experiences. We would love to add to this and hear more!

This post is all about consignment shops. This means you can sell your gear outright for cash or leave it with the shop and they price and sell at a later time, and when it sells, you get a percentage of what it sells for. This is great information for those of you in the market to buy secondhand baby items, but also for those of you who may not want to ever buy gently used items, but maybe you have a whole garage full of designer baby gear and clothes that you want to get rid of. I always suggest this route of decluttering the baby junk after you are done having babies, or if you simply have exhausted all of your friends who are baby mommas as far as handing off items. There is of course numerous charities and non profits, pick any cause and go for it, and there are clothing and toy drop off boxes around town in parking lots everywhere, at least in my neighborhood, but again this is your first step in clearing out the baby clutter. Or mine anyway.

First, sort through all of the baby stuff. Get a plastic bin with a lid to protect the items you want to save for a later baby down the road, or perhaps to hand off to a relative or friend, or maybe even preserve to hand down to your own child when they get ready to be parents. It is so fun to see millennial mommas dressing their babies in clothing from when we were babes because our moms saved it! You may get yellowing over time and elastics sometimes break down, of course styles change too, but how awesome it is to pull out a baby outfit you came home from the hospital in or had your first birthday party in and to be able to put your own daughter in it! For gear and equipment like cribs, as you know if you are a parent or expecting, the guides and recalls are constantly changing so best to be cautious when accepting hand me down cribs, bassinets, car seats, etc. I know friends who have unintentionally upset their parents because they didn't want to put their babies in the crib that they used for them when they were babies from thirty years ago. Remember grandparents, it is not to do with style or that we aren't thankful for the very generous offer, but there are safety concerns to be considered such as the side railings, the slat widths on the bars, and the lever to let down the side feature. You may want to keep smaller gear, maybe a favorite carrier or special toys, rattles, but I feel that play gyms, swings, high chairs, pack-n-plays, bouncer chairs, large toys, etc. should all be given away, sold or donated. The baby market just is so fast and these items change overnight and have added features and bells and whistles all the time. It is best to let these things go and only save the timeless items or personal and meaningful items.

Next, take all your stuff you want to get rid of and sort through based on what you think will sell versus what needs to be donated. Clothing that is really worn can go to Goodwill or Arc or donated, items which you spent more money on or you know were more costly could be consigned or sold to recoup some of the investment. Also, make a pile for "gift" items. Perhaps there was a really expensive jacket that was barely worn or shoes that never were used or stuff with tags on still, keep these for re-gifting (if you do that) or for gifting back to the gifter! I gave a pair of adorable Robeez shoes with hearts to a friend of my husband's. Years later when I was pregnant with Remy, she gifted them back to me, barely used, and I was so happy to see them again and both of my girls have worn, or are wearing them again! Same goes for equipment, gear, toys and books. Classic books and stories, books that were gifts and were inscribed, keep or pass down to your child. If you have a close circle of mommy friends at church or in a group or have siblings or family members expecting within the next couple of years, then consider asking them about anything you have that you might want to let go of before heading to the consignment shop. Last, the pile to sell! Review this list below to see what to consign and where. Try multiple shops for the same items, and different shops for specific items. Whatever does not sell after visiting several shops, donate! For example, one shop may be great for selling gear, but maybe not your clothing, or vice versa.

Back to consignment! The following is a breakdown and guide of several Colorado children's consignment shops. I have been in half of them, and did the interviews and research on all of them. Also, this post comes just in time for a HUGE, and awesome annual consignment sale held by the MOPS at Cherry Hills Community Church in highlands Ranch! It falls in early April every year, and not to be missed! This year it falls on Saturday, April 18th! The large church congregation and group of MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) in this area have a plethora of clothing, gear and equipment that is in tip top shape and of the best quality. It costs $2 to get in and goes from 8 am- 2 pm. They take a break at noon. After that, everything that is donated by consigners goes down to 50% off! So, you can be an early bird and get your pick, or take a gamble and come later for the deals on what is left, or make a day of it and do both! I have only attended once myself, last year, and I was on the later end. I happened to get a Fisher Price bouncer for $4. Arlo LOVED this thing and so did we, even more so than a Maclaren bouncer I had. I also found a Play School play gym mat for about $12 I think. I already had a bouncer seat and a play gym mat, but when I saw what great condition they were in and how CHEAP they were, I decided it was stupid not to get them. I already had a bouncer and a play gym mat that I had with Remy from before, but goig into the sale with an open mind, not really with a list of what I NEEDED or WANTED, I was able to see the benefits in having multiples. I was so glad to have one upstairs in our room, and one downstairs, and we took that $4 seat with us on our road trip and to grandma's on several occasions. This year we have a super busy day but I hope to hit the sale at some point, this time with a clear idea of what I am looking for. You can find out more about this consignment sale here.

When going to consignment sales or shops, go with an OPEN mind. Think ahead, not just in the now. Will you have more children? Do you have a baby shower coming up? Know a needy friend or co-worker who could use some baby items? Think about your living situation. If it is large, you may want multiple items for different rooms so you aren't juggling a baby in one arm and a play gym or chair in the other, been there, done that. Perhaps you have temporary living or small quarters, maybe you want to simplify and sell items you have been given or gifted and only keep a few things. Think about your child care situation. Will you take your baby to grandparents to be watched? Do they have gear? Will you have a nanny come to your home, and if so, will they need a duplicate car seat or gear to keep in their car for outings? Will you travel with baby? Also, don't think seasonally, although the clothing will almost always be the current season, but if you are having a winter baby and happen to be at a sale or store in April for example, think about looking at the warmer weather clothing and equipment, pool floaties, sand box toys, baby carriers, bathing suits, for the age and size your expected child will be when wearing/using it. It may be a year out, but if it is in excellent condition, and the price is right, it pays to get things as you see them rather then waiting until you actually do need them and then can't find them. If space is a concern in your home and you hate clutter, this advice may not apply to you, or consider purchasing it and asking a friend or family member with space to store it for you. Trust me. Kids are expensive and it pays to shop early and often!

In alphabetical order:

Back on the Rack- 600 South Holly Street, #104, Denver, CO 80246 (303) 355-0191

Although I have not actually made it into this shop yet, I have heard really good things about it and am planning to soon!

Process: This consignment shop is By Appointment Only, so call ahead! Also, you are allowed to bring in ONE bag of items for clothing, and ONE bag for shoes, accessories and everything else in at a time. They can provide you with bag, but it was explained to me as being the size of a tall kitchen bag. You will get 45% of what item sells for. If your payout is $65 or more, you will receive the funds by check. If less than $65, you will get a cash payout, but ONLY in $20 amounts per day. So you can come back the next day and the day after or at a later time for rest of funds. Sort of inconvenient, but they need to keep cash in the drawer as a small, independent shop. Items are on the floor for 60 days, after that time if items are unsold, they are pulled and donated to Wishing Well and Epilepsy foundations.

Gear: They do not accept car seats, baths, or crib bedding. Call ahead on other items.

Clothing: They accept clothing newborn- size 12 in children's. They do not accept Circo, George, Faded Glory brands as they can't be priced enough o turn a profit. They do not accept onesies or body suits unless in mint condition. Only accept brand new socks and underwear in packaging and unopened.

Currently Buying: Spring clothing now, and will start buying summer in May. Right now they are really low on boys clothing size 4-8!!!

Know Before You Go: Buying is by appointment only so call ahead if you want to sell!

Childish Things- Palmer Gardens Shopping Center, 3183 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301 (303) 442-2703

I love this shop for a couple of reasons. One, the higher end gear and clothing you will find, although the prices are higher too. Two, the fact that they sell your items at a higher price, means more money for you. Three, the shopping experience is stellar in that the shop is clean, bright, large, tommy, and there is a toy area for toddlers to play while you wait. The restrooms are large and there is a diaper changer there and a chair to nurse. Also, it is a beautiful drive and excuse to go to Boulder! There is a great park nearby and more shopping down the street too, like Nordstrom Rack. It is in Boulder, so because it is a little bit out of the way for all of us in the Denver metro area, it happens to be less picked through. This shop specializes in boutique and higher end clothing. It is a great place to find more unique pieces, dresses, and gifts for kiddos. Also, the gear! They tend to get higher end strollers, high chairs and walkers. I actually bought my first stroller from here a couple of years ago. It was a European brand called Mutsy. I ended up needing a double stroller when I got pregnant again so soon, so I ended up selling my stroller back to them to consign. So if you are searching for a higher end stroller or product, check here, and if they don't have it currently, ask to be put on a wish list for when/if it may come through. If you have a higher end item, this would be my suggestion to you for selling. They sold my stroller in one weekend after I had struggled to sell it on my own on Craigslist for months. This store specializes in items for children age 10 and under.

Process: Bring your items in and leave at the back counter. The staff will sort through and pick out what they will take. They usually put it in a plastic bin in the back to price at a later time. You will be called over when they are done. You will sign a contract and create an online account with them if they take anything and you decided to leave items to consign, You may ask to see what they took so you know and you can check your online account as often as you wish to see if items sold. Items are on floor for 60 days, you get 40% of what they sell it for. Another reason I love this shop is that they tend to price items higher, so although you don't get cash upfront, in the long run, you will get a better return. Books however, are bought up front. The cash you make on items stays in your account for two months. If you fail to come retrieve your funds, it is converted to store credit.

Gear: They do accept cribs, and toddler beds, but must be modern and up to all safety codes, specifications and guidelines. They can always use high chairs, play gyms, activity/exersaucers, etc. They accept potty chairs, but not bath tubs as they are a liability. I have also seen monitors here and even a Boon plastic bib. To be sure if they might take something, just give them a call before hauling it down. They do not accept any equipment older than six years. Legally they cannot accept car seats.

Clothing: They accept extremely gently used clothing, like new, or still with tags. They are very particular on clothing. No fading or pilling, obviously no stains, tears, holes, as with any shop. They do not accept any clothing from big box stores! That means no Cherokee or Circo from Target, no Garanimals from Walmart, no Kohl's, no Old Navy, no Arizona Jeans from JC Penny. Again they cater to a higher end client on the clothing. They do accept Gap, but only over 12 months. For infant clothing, 0-12 months, they will ONLY accept NEW, clothing outfits/sets, and boutique brands only. Items like Oilily, Hannah Anderssen, Splendid L.A., Ella Moss, Pink Chicken, Tea Collection, or anything from boutiques. No Gap for 0-12 months is accepted because they would have too much inventory in this category here. No Janie & Jack for 0-12 months either, but Gap and Janie & Jack over 12 months is accepted. They do not accept clothing older than four years. They also sell maternity clothing and women's casual clothing, tops and bottoms, and shoes like Danskos. They accept children's shoes in good condition size 0-4.

Toys/Books/Games: Accepted.

Currently Buying: Summer clothing, items, shoes. Again, call ahead to see what they are currently buying and/or need and read up on their policies on their website before heading down. It can be embarrassing when you bring a large box of items and they only take one or two things, but just know this is the consignment gig and if this shop won't buy or accept it now, maybe another shop will, or try again later or in another season.

Know Before You Go:  You will not get cash the same day.  You will leave items that they plan to sell and your payout comes when they sell items.  Pay close attention to your contract dates as the clothing could become their property if not sold or picked up within a certain time frame.

Kid to Kid Aurora-Michael Aurora Plaza, 15035 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 80012- (303) 752-2757 (They also have an Arvada location)

This one is a chain, but I have only visited, bought and sold at their Aurora location. This location is busy, and small, so if you have a baby in a stroller or a busy body tot- you may want to go solo and get a sitter. The buying process can be long so bring a smart phone. There is a poster in there with a code to text them to get a percentage off your purchase, and they do have a frequent buyer punch card. You can sign up for their newsletter to get heads up on their sales too. A great place to get Halloween costumes in the fall! I have had at least three momma friends shop here and found great things. Two of them were moms to boys and have both said they found a great assortment of shoes!

Process: Bring in clothing all laid flat in a laundry basket or box. It is easier for them to sort through when items are flat. You will fill out a one-page document/contract. They pre-sort what they want and then those items get processed through their appraisal system to tell them how much they can sell items for. Shop while you wait and then you will be called over to discuss your payout. Cash is given for items up front here. You can also bring in gear, equipment, toys, games and books. The payout is 18-35% on clothing, shoes, toys, etc. and 40% on gear and equipment. You can get 20% more if you decide to get your payout in store credit.

Gear: They do not accept toddler beds, cribs, car seats or baths. You will get 40% of larger items like gear and equipment.

Clothing: Clothing size preemie to children's 10. Larger children's size does well. They also accept maternity clothing. They do not sell Gerber or Garanimals and only take onesies/body suits if they are in original packaging or hangers in sets of three or more, as new. Clothing under 12 months should be sold as a set (top and bottom or romper). One off pieces like a pair of pants or blouse don't sell as well for them, and therefore may not be consigned from you, so pair it up! They take shoes sizes 0-4.

Toys/Books/Games: Accepted.

Currently Buying: Summer clothing and shoes. Looking for outdoor toys, bouncers, play centers, walkers and high chairs always.

Know Before You Go: Although they buy items everyday of the week, Saturdays and Mondays are a busy buying time, so you may want to avoid these days and go at another time if your are pressed for time. Also, they don't accept buys a half hour before closing. You will get more money for larger sizes, bigger kids.

Little Tykes Trading Post- Hampden Villa, 15250 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014 (Chambers & Hampden) (720) 870-7191

I have been to this shop a couple of times. I have never purchased anything here, but I did find several items I considered. They have a huge tent sale, usually in the summer. I was not super impressed by their clothing or shoes for kids here, but there were some gear items, and toys I looked at. It is not a huge shop, but clean, light filled and laid out nicely.

Process: This shop requests that you bring items in on hangers. They can also provide hangers for you to put clothing on is what I was told. They give you 40% of what item sells for. You sign a contract and create an online account. The items are on the floor for 60 days. If items don't sell at that point, they become property of store. (This is similar to Childish Things so be careful and watch your dates on items!) There is a 50 item limit per selling visit for reasons of time. They do not take buys after 5 pm as they are prepping to close. The 60 days starts the day the item hits the floor, which may not necessarily be the day you dropped items off, again, watch your contract! They do not take buys on Tuesdays or Thursdays. From the date the item sells, you can get paid cash 10 days after the sell date because they have a 5 day return policy on items. The money in your account never expires in this account.

Gear: They do not accept recalled items, bike helmets or car seats. Call ahead on larger items. Strollers, high chairs, most other gear accepted.

Clothing: They accept children's clothing infant- 10/12. They accept maternity clothing, but more on the business casual, or career side. Casual maternity wear does not sell well for them. Also think of presentation, on hangers, no wrinkles, clean, quality.

Toys/Books/Games: Accepted.

Currently Buying: Summer clothing, shoes. Anything BOYS! They have a lot of girl items, and will not turn you away if you are selling girl items, however, boys items are in high demand here!

Know Before You Go: Be sure the batteries work in any toys/gear you bring in that requires batteries. If they don't work, you are charged a fee for batteries as they are expensive! Also, if you are selling books, they don't accept any before 1986.

My Kids Closet Colorado- Southlands Mall 6235 S. Main Street C110, Aurora, CO (720) 274-5721

I have only been in this shop a couple of times to browse. It is very small and seemed dark, hard to see clothing and no space for my stroller really. Best to go when you have time to really look. This is more of a resale boutique, cash is given out right for items, not consigned. Only clothing.

Process: There is no limit on cash payouts. Depending on brand and quality of clothing, you will get 20-30% of what they will price item at, or double that if you take in-store credit.

Clothing: They accept clothing preemie to size 20 (teens). No fading, tears, holes or extreme wear, obviously. They accept brands like Gymboree (does well here) Justice and Gap which are very popular.

Shoes and Accessories: Accepted.

Currently Buying: Spring/Summer clothing and shoes. They are really needing toddler sizes 2,3 and 4T both genders!

Know Before You Go: They no longer accept Old Navy brand clothing unless it is brand new with tags.

SecondLove-- Highlands Denver- 3440 West 32nd Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80211 (Lowell & 32nd) (720) 398-8843

Considered a Resale Boutique. I have been in this shop on a couple of occasions when I find myself in the Highlands. It is in a tiny Victorian house and there are stairs to enter, so not stroller friendly. A tiny shop means not a lot of space for toddlers to roam. Think about this before you go to have the best buying experience. They sell women's, men's and maternity clothing as well. They tend to buy boutique style brands or from stores like Anthropologie and J. Crew. Something to consider when sorting out your kiddos clothing. They may buy small toys and books, but it is a teeny tiny place and I have never seen gear, equipment or toys. I believe they sell a few new items and toys as well.

Process: This is by appointment only, and unfortunately they use an odd system of choosing a date online from a calendar feature. They are booked out for buying until May as of today. They select items to buy out-right, offering you 30% cash or 50% store credit of their retail price. They request you edit what you bring in, and limit you to two bags per visit. You can visit their website to see all of their buying practices and polices here.

Clothing: Children's clothing sizes newborn to 5T only, women's and maternity. "We are always looking for one-of-a-kind, stand-out, unique, seasonal, and current items. We represent “every woman’s closet” at SecondLove, and never turn away specific labels. Because we want to offer our customers the best selection of curated items, we ask that you only bring us clean and special pieces—we want to see the best of your best!"- A quote from their website.

Currently Buying: They are currently buying SPRING and SUMMER women’s, children (NB-5T), maternity, and women’s athletic/yoga wear. They are currently looking for these specific wish list items: "dresses, skirts, spring jackets, women’s designer denim, chic maternity, girls 2T-5T and boys NB-5T, Lululemon and comparable brand athletic wear."

Know Before You Go: Parking is limited in this area. Watch for street sweeping signs, etc. There are a lot of other adorable shops within the blocks next door to the shop and great restaurants and a NEW Novo coffee Highlands location, so make a morning/afternoon of it or go with a friend! Bring plenty of spending money as this shop sells some of the best jewelry around too!

I hope you all found this to be helpful! If you ever have a question, feel free to throw me a comment. Again, please feel free to comment with your own expertise and tips too!

...Glo

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