I am the 1st to admit that when I was pregnant and my friends were telling me that I just HAD to check out this one sale, I was not sure I wanted to buy my baby "used" clothing or gear. I was a snob about it and thought of it as something I would never do. My mom and I went to the first time mom's presale and we quickly became hooked! We found so many cute things for less than we could have bought them brand new retail. I expected dirty, worn items, but that was not the case. Some things even had tags on them and had never been worn! Sales are picky these days and everything is inspected for stains and wear at the door. The sale's reputation is on the line and quality of the items they accept is important to them.
I started shopping consignment thinking of it as "school or play clothes", but soon I started buying almost an entire wardrobe of baby clothes this way. I was seeing Kelly's Kids, Polo, Gymboree, and Gap for less than $5 an outfit and in excellent used condition. To me it isn't any different than when someone uses hand-me-downs for a 2nd child. Actually in most cases, the condition is better. I am very, very picky and selective when I go to a sale and I have a list of things I do to decide if it is the quality and price I want to buy. No, I do not know the people I am buying from, but I always go straight home and wash everything and Lysol all of the toys and shoes. I do not know anyone that has caught anything from buying used clothes! :-)
Nicholas is a messy child. He plays hard and eats like a toddler. I don't want to spend $35 on a shirt from the Kelly's Kids catalog when I can get one next year for $5-10 at a sale and if he ruins it the 1st time out, I didn't just waste $35. Same goes for Polo, Gymboree and Gap. I found a pair of Polo navy shorts at a sale last month for $15, but they are brand new, with tags still on them. A savings from retail and it won't be nearly as traumatic for me if he gets something on them that won't come off. Here are a couple of examples of outfits I've bought him at consignment sales.