When you think of a kids consignment store, you might simply consider it as a business. A means for someone to make money through sales. However, like with many things in life, there is so much more to it that you might realize.
For Sara Allan, owner and operator of Once Upon A Child children’s consignment store in Abbotsford, BC, her family-run business is so much more than an investment. By purchasing this business, Sara saw a way to not only provide for her family, but to become more involved in the community in a beneficial way.
5 Ways Kids Consignment Makes Parenting Easier
Why pay $150+ on baby equipment when you can find it for half that price on consignment? At Once Upon A Child you can save 50-70% off of current retail prices. That’s a significant help to young families who are often living on a budget that just barely covers their expenses.
If you keep your eyes open, you can save even more money by shopping on special sale days, like the clearance events held at this Abbotsford children’s consignment store twice a year for each season switch. By stocking up on future needs that are currently out of season, you’ll be saving still more. Since the Once Upon A Child brand standard is current trends and next to new condition, you’re sure to find some fantastic deals.
So you’ve gone and spent a bunch of money on new clothes for your little one, which ended up only being worn a few times before they were outgrown. Luckily, the wonderful thing about kids consignment stores is that they give you an opportunity to reclaim some of your spending by reselling what you don’t need any more.
Once Upon A Child is different than traditional kids consignment stores when it comes to how they pay their clients. In some cases, consignment stores offer in-store credit only. At OUAC you are always paid in cash. Also, instead of taking your items for a standard period to see if it sells, here you’re paid cash (30-50% of selling price) on the spot for your items.
Time is incredibly precious to parents. It always seems like there are more responsibilities in a day than there is time to take care of it all. That’s why finding ways to save yourself time is invaluable.
As already mentioned, Once Upon A Child pays cash on the spot for your items, to save you time waiting for the possibility of getting paid. And unlike other consignment stores, they buy all seasons, all day, every day, as opposed to traditional consignment where you have a limit of what you can bring in, and can only bring in seasonal items. There is also no appointment necessary, operating on a first come, first served basis for consigning, and your items will often be quickly sorted through while you’re in the store. (On the busiest days it’s a same-day service at most.) This makes it a lot easier to take in all your items when you have time, without needing to sort through, trying to decide what’s currently in season.
With the invention of FB swap and shops, and other online selling platforms, you might consider trying to sell your items this way, to receive the full payment of the buyer. However, in my personal experience, this is often an incredible waste of time and effort.
After taking the time to type up descriptions, upload photos, and post to different groups, I’ll spend time going back and forth with different people who have expressed interest, and then never do arrange for pick up. On many occasions, when pickup has finally been arranged, I have found myself driving to and waiting at different locations (with a busy toddler), or putting errands on hold to wait for strangers to come to my home. Then the potential buyers show up late, or not at all, and often with improper payment. (Do you have change for this?)
Yes, dropping off items all at once at a store that will do all the selling for you is well worth the time savings, in my opinion.
Connecting With Community
One of the most important things for parents to do to succeed at parenting while maintaining their health and sanity is to build a support system. By connecting with other families and people in their community, invaluable relationships are created. Information and advice is shared, and support becomes available for parents and children to thrive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again – It really does take a village to raise a child.
One of the biggest reasons for Sara’s family to invest in their Abbotsford location of the Once Upon A Child kids consignment was to become more involved in their community. When you walk into this store, you immediately feel welcome. There is a bright and cheery atmosphere, with all of the items – both new and used, from hair bows to bassinets to tiny sneakers – clearly set out by category and size. As the families of the community come in, opportunities are created for parents to strike up conversations, ask each other questions and advice, or simply feel less alone in the sometimes isolating world of a new parent.
Convenient for parents shopping with young children, there is also a safe and contained play area for little ones to hang out while you browse. This not only makes shopping easier, but offers yet another chance for children, and subsequently their parents, to interact and form connections.
Teaching Sustainability With Kids Consignment
I’m sure we all want to raise our children to be positive agents in the world. While we may have strong desires to teach our children to respect the environment and reduce our carbon footprints, sometimes we have to succumb to the basic needs of our families to simply stay alive and sane. Even if keeping a backyard compost or planting an elaborate wildflower garden for the bees is not in your current realm of possibility, every little bit of eco-conscious living helps.
By shopping consignment, you’re not only saving money, but saving the planet by reinvesting in what has already been made. The fast-fashion of today is taking a huge toll on our environment. By choosing to give new life to existing items, we are doing our part to reduce waste and the strain of production on our planet. Through shopping in this way, and sharing this reasoning with our children, we are raising their awareness of these issues, and teaching them to think critically about how our actions effect the world.
Kids Consignment Run With Heart
It makes such a difference when a business is run with heart. Sara really does put her all into her Once Upon A Child location, and wants to see families benefit from the fruits of her labour. “When I hear of a great experience at my store it makes my heart burst. I am beyond thrilled to be doing what we do here, and I am so proud of the team we have. When I at times hear negative or upset comments, all I want to do is sit down with that person and talk with them, connect with them.”
“We make mistakes! We are human. We’re trying so hard to go through thousands of items per week that sometimes we price things wrong or miss a stain. We do our very best to pick only the best and follow our computer system for pricing. Our goal here is to pick the best things for our customers, all while buying from our customers, and doing this all within a small time frame. We want our customers to let us know if there are concerns or if they have a question about something.”
Recently, Sara and her family have branched out to a new clientele, opening up another storefront in the same complex. The new store is called Plato’s Closet, which is another consignment store, but geared towards teenagers.
To get advance notice about upcoming sales events, such as the costume event, swimwear reveal, holiday wear and clearance sales, you can follow Once Upon A Child – Abbotsford on social media (Facebook and Instagram), and sign up for their email list.
Of course, if you liked what you found here today, you might also want to sign up here for my short and sweet weekly email that lets you know what’s new on The Big To-Do List. I’d also love to connect with you on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Here’s to finding ways to make our lives easier without sacrificing quality or ethics! Happy parenting, everyone!
Disclosure: This post has been proudly sponsored by Once Upon A Child – Abbotsford (you probably had no idea, right?). While I have been compensated to share with you about this business, as always, all of my opinions are honest and my own. I never share anything that I don’t feel good about personally. I fell in love with this store a long time ago (and even wrote about this kids consignment store unsolicited previously here), and am tickled pink that Sara contacted me to share more details about her business. You can read my full disclosure policy here.