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In Kids & Family

Guide to second-hand shops for kids


We've all splurged on darling outfits for our mini-me, but for the most part, spending top dollar on kids' clothing seems silly. After all, they grow faster than sea monkeys, and it seems rolled-up pant legs become floods overnight.

For many parental types, buying used clothing is the way to go. No doubt, the best deals are found at the Salvation Armys and Value Villages of the world, but these shopping experiences require parents to have enough time and patience to sort through racks of stained or old-school-in-a-bad-way duds before finding a 2T winter coat that works.

Hence, second-hand shops with gently used items have become increasingly popular with cost-conscious parents. The prices are higher than at a "regular" thrift store, but the merchandise is distilled down to clean, nice stuff that, in most cases, costs less than you'd pay at a mall. Plus, many of these shops will buy -- or sell on consignment -- the clothes and toys that Junior outgrew.

"I bought my daughter's Thanksgiving and Christmas dresses this year at a second-hand shop," says Rube Janick. "They looked brand new and cost about half what they would at Kohl's (Department Store)."

Milwaukee would benefit from more second-hand shops for kiddies, but we do have a few good ones. Please use the talkback feature to suggest any others.

Milwaukee (and surrounding areas) second-hand and consignment shops for kids:

A to Z Kids

873 W. Layton Ave.
(414) 482-2880
Baby and kids' items for resale and on consignment. Hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; from Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Bellies and Babies Boutique
N88 W16733 Main St., Menomonee Falls
(262) 893-9945
A consignment shop that supports "natural" parenting. Items for sale include cloth diapering supplies, baby wearing slings, maternity clothing (rental and resale), baby clothing and more. Open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Children's Orchard
11110 W. National Ave., West Allis
(414) 321-1146
Children's Orchard is an "upscale resale" shop that buys and sells gently used, brand name clothing, furniture and accessories. Often, they have on-line coupons for additional savings. Open Monday-Saturdays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., with the exception of Thursdays, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lots for Tots
867 S. Main St., West Bend
(262) 335-3331
Consignment shop offering quality, used clothing, toys, books, baby equipment and furniture. Lots for Tots is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Luv Unlimited
2649 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
(414) 744-2540
Although Luv's is really a place for Mom or Dad to treat themselves, it does have a limited but very hip selection of vintage baby and kid wear. The shop is open Tuesday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mom & Me Maternity

7046 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis
(414) 443-0339
Maternity and baby clothes from newborn to 7 years old. Also carries furniture, toys and more. Open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m; closed Sunday.

New To You Kids
5020 S. 76th St., Greenfield
(414) 325-7512
Buys and sells everything for kids, including furniture, clothing, books, toys and more. Open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Playroom Closet
9306 W. Greenfield Ave.
(414) 727-9065
Playroom Closet is a very large, clean consignment shop open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Talkbacks

pharris414 | April 11, 2011 at 10:21 a.m. (report)

I guess I should mention the name of it... its called heavenly kidzz. Duh! heres the website if you want to check it out: heavenlykidzz.com

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pharris414 | April 11, 2011 at 9:41 a.m. (report)

Also, there is a great one in bay view. In my opinion the best second hand children's shop in Milwaukee. A great place to get used cribs, stollers, toys etc.. also, they have a used maternity section for those who don't want to pay full price for clothes that will only fit for a few months.

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MyTwins | June 1, 2008 at 1:49 a.m. (report)

I don't understand why people get so offended when consignment or resale stores do not take their stuff. These stores can not take everything that comes into their stores. If you had limited space in your store, would you take stuff that you know will not sell?

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stitchnvixen | Jan. 4, 2007 at 3:29 p.m. (report)

Late responder here... but had to add to altalee's comment that unfortunately not always are the things we need to recycle "gently used" as that term is understood by these consignment stores. Fact is, kids get things grungy and if you have a designer-label outfit that is cute and in solid pieces one little spot on a sleeve should not make it undesirable. Another problem is they are extremely picky about toys and baby equipment, even if it is clean and in good shape. I say avoid the middle man -- join freecycle, list on Craig's List or give it to Salvation Army or whatever and give someone else the opportunity to get good use out of good items!

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altalee | Nov. 28, 2006 at 12:23 p.m. (report)

In theory these places are great however, I once spent a month prepping clothing to take to one of these places. Washed, folded, boxed and labeled. All were stylish. I didn't include anything with rips or stains. Hauled in about 6 boxes and hauled the same out of the store 2 hours later. They destroyed my hard work, took what they want and paid me nothing. I will NEVER try to sell clothes to one of these places again. eBay, Craigslist, friends or goodwill.

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