Family Looking At Clothes On Rail In Shopping Mall

The Consignment Life

Shopping on consignment was not an unusual or embarrassing pastime when I was a child. It was simply part of my upbringing. My parents both worked full-time jobs at a time when interest rates topped out at more than 18%. Middle class families were struggling; I was only a couple of years old but I can only imagine the incredible financial stress Canadian families must have felt during that time.  

Buying second-hand shouldn’t seem like a last ditch effort to provide for your family. Whether there’s higher inflation and interest rates (circa 1981) or an economic boom, there’s certainly no shame in seeking out resale shops. Here’s why:

You’ll pay 50% less

While discounts vary, buying second-hand can cut your bill by more than half, compared to buying brand new. Many stores offer additional savings too. For instance, if an item doesn’t sell within a 30 day period, it will likely be marked down and the price will continue to be slashed by as much as 80%.

Special occasion outfits for kids can get pretty costly so instead of buying the perfect holiday dress brand spanking new, look for second-hand items that look brand new. Chances are that Christmas dress was worn only once anyway.

Mother Earth will thank you

You can be savings savvy and eco-friendly at the same time. When you purchase previously owned items, you’re not only spending less, it also means you’re saving those pieces from ending up in our landfills. Buying something that isn’t fresh off the production line means there’s no major carbon footprint and plus, you’re adding value to your community by shopping locally.

Seek out additional deals

Being thrifty doesn’t have to simply stop at the register. You can sign up for additional perks like the Super Savers Club at Value Village, for example. Much like other store incentive cards, you’ll earn additional discounts and offers. By donating gently used items you’ll also receive coupons for a few dollars off your next purchase, making it a double win!

Buy and Sell

You can sell on consignment in-store where there are generally a couple of ways you might be paid for your goods. It’s best to know what sells well and which items the store’s owner might be looking for.

A simple way to purchase gently used items is by downloading buy and sell apps like VarageSale or Letgo. After creating a profile, you can post photos of your items, set the price and make quick transactions by porch pick up if you choose. It’s also a great way to buy pre-owned items and in some cases, you can even haggle for a lower price.

You’ll find exclusive items

You don’t have to believe thriftiness is part of your DNA to score a great deal.  There’s a special uniqueness that comes with purchasing something second-hand, especially if it’s considered vintage. You can find really interesting statement pieces that are a fraction of the cost of something of similar value brand new. Finding designer and other name brand labels are also a big win.

It’s a no-brainer

Buying brand new is simple but searching for thrifty deals can save you a lot of money over time. There are many ways to buy gently used items both online and in-store. Swapping items with friends and family members is also a bonus, especially if you have children close in age. I certainly won’t turn my nose up at a hand-me-down.

Here’s a bonus: The yearly savings can be stored away in an educational fund so your children will be able to reap the benefits long after they’ve outgrown all of those clothes!