While many shoppers are added to the Walmart philosophy, savvy moms can discover new ways to purchase upscale, quality children's clothing at (or below) Walmart prices.
The Outlet Mall
The outlet halls present a selection of dozens of stores within one locale, drawing massive crowds to their discount prices. To view your local choices, do a Google search for your state.
Numerous high-end stores in one location
New clothing without defects
Travel time and gas money to get to your local mall
Amount of time necessary to search through numerous stores
Budget: $$ – $$$
Semi-annual Clearance Sales at Designer Stores
If you are a good planner and have extra cash to buy clothes a season in advance, join the ranks of thrifty moms who have made a science of catching the end-of-season sales at Gymboree, Children's Place, Gap, and high-end boutique stores.
New clothing at closeout prices
Timing is everything. If you shop too soon, you miss the better deals, but if you wait too long, you'll have no selection.
You still have to shop at stores in multiple locations.
Budget: $ – $$$
If time for shopping is an issue, you should consider purchasing clothes online. If you go the eBay route; however, there are several things to keep in mind. First, hone your search to include exactly what brands you're looking for, as well as the condition of the clothing (new, excellent, average used condition). Secondly, if you have more time, search within the description as well, even though it will pull up more items. Keep in mind that many eBay sellers are still inexperienced in the listing process, lacking the knowledge of how to maximize their buyer pool with the best keywords in their title. To find a real bargain, use a service that searches through people's misspelled titles: http://spellingsearch.com .
Convenient and time-saving
Shop from home
You still pay shipping.
You are at the mercy of the seller's description and pictures, since you can not handle the clothes before buying.
Budget: $ – $$$
Local Consignment Stores
Many a mom has thrilled over resale finds. Especially in today's unusual economy, even the parents of the best-dressed kids often buy and sell clothing via the consignment route. Search on yellowpages.com for consignment within your city for the best options.
Designer brands at 1/3 or less of the original cost
Most consignment stores are not large enough to house a huge selection, so your search is limited.
Budget : $ – $$$
Semi-annual Consignment Sales
The growing trend in giant resales produced two times a year has spread across the country, with good reason. These massive events draw hundreds of consigners to a one-week event, providing an unbelievable selection in each age-range, and often including maternity clothes and baby furniture as well. To find one in your area, search online or browse your local papers, as they're usually held in September and March.
Huge selection of designer brands at 1 / 8-1 / 3 of the cost.
Get rid of your children's old clothes at the same time to earn spending money for the new season!
Meet and have fun with other local moms.
Budget: $ – $$