Carrie Kirby, an Oak Park mother of three and the author of the Chicago Tribune column Frugalista, buys nearly all of her kids' clothes secondhand - including their underwear.
When it comes to searching for gently used finds, Kirby says many people confuse thrift shops with resale stores.
"I think of my shopping options as a spectrum," she says, "from the cheapest thrift stores to rummage sales, consignment events, eBay auctions, and then on up to the higher-end resale shops."
Children's resale and consignment is big business-nationally, and here in the Chicago area. According to an industry trade group, the number of resale/consignment shops has increased at a rate of about 7 percent annually for the past two years to more than 30,000 stores in the U.S. Some stores work on a straight consignment model, others buy the merchandise outright and some use a combination of approaches.
Kirby shares some tricks of the trade:
Kirby reminds sellers and consigners to keep the following in mind when they try to sell their items:
Here are five resale shops we're raving about. Do you have a favorite? Comment below!