I really love that the East Bay has so many ways to get quality used kids' clothes. While some childrens' clothes get worn right down to the threads, many are hardly touched. Snow pants, button-down shirts, and newborn gowns are among the items that tend to be worn only a few times before they are too small making used clothes stores a boon for parents. In the East Bay, we have many options between consignment shops and giant swaps/sales.
Here are eight opportunities to get involved in the used kids clothes and gear ecosystem. If I missed any stores or swaps that you love, please add them in the comments:
Best East Bay consignment shops for families
Chloe's Closet on Solano Ave in Berkeley (with two other locations in SF) is a place to buy and sell kids clothing, toys, books, baby gear and maternity clothes. They also have an online component.
Grove Street Kids on Shattuck at Rose in Berkeley offers a large selection of well-curated used clothing for kids and pregnant women. The owner will buy back your high-quality cast-offs for store credit or cash at specific times. She also offers a nice selection of gift items. Check the website for buyback guidelines. See our review of Grove Street Kids.
Kelly's Corner, consignment for kids in the Laurel District, carries clothes from newborn sizes to age 12 and maternity clothes, too. They also stock new gift merchandise. No appointment is needed to consign; however, Kelly's Corner recommends you call first to see if your items are needed.
Lauren's Closet. This Alameda resale shop on Park Street is huge with lots of space for you to browse and for little ones to play. Wide selection of new and used apparel for children and adults. Special section for dancewear. Speaking of gigantic, Toy Safari (also a resale powerhouse) is just down the road. Our review of Lauren's Closet and Toy Safari.
Mommy's Trading Post, Alameda on Lincoln Ave. In-person or online consignment of maternity, nursing, babies, and kids items including clothes, toys, and gear.
Once Upon a Child, Newark on Cedar Blvd offers new and gently-used baby stuff to save you money.
Ruby's Garden on Telegraph Ave. in Temescal. This boutique has a hip aesthetic, and more new stuff than used, but still offers access to some lower-priced, barely-worn items. Ruby's will buy some of your gently used clothing for store credit only. Bonus: proximity to Bakesale Betty and semi-regular fun events. Check the website for hours and policies. See our review of Ruby's Garden.
Silver Moon Kids resale shop on Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland buys and sells name-brand children's clothing, shoes, and toys in sizes 0-12 years in excellent condition.
Valentine's Baby and Kids consignment on Piedmont Ave. offers both new and second-hand clothing, accessories, toys, books and gifts for children from newborn to age ten with extra preference given to organic items. Hooray, there's a small play area.
Massive consignment swaps for families
If a gigantic clothing swap is more your style, you won't want to miss these events. Get on their mailing lists, pronto.
Twins By the Bay Annual Garage Sale. The date for this yearly sale just passed in September but keep your eyes and ears open for the next one: Twinsbythebay.org
The Twin Valley Mothers of Twins Club's Used Clothing & Equipment Sale is held twice a year (recent event on September 29) and features items from approximately 200 sellers. If you're looking for maternity wear, clothing for newborns to teen, car seats, single and double strollers, swings, bouncy seats, baby carriers, cribs, high chairs, safety gates, this is your mega resource, for one day only at the Alameda County Fairground in Pleasanton. All items offered for sale go through a quality control process, so it's like a fancy garage sale. More details here.
Other marketplaces for used gear and clothing for families
Berkeley Parents Network Marketplace mailing list is a great place to list and find bundles of clothes. While not really a consignment shop or swap, putting them into collections by size makes the most sense, for example “Boys clothing size 6” or “Maternity size small”. If you're a parent (or kinda like a parent) in Berkeley, sign up for this resource.
What did I miss?
[Photos by Whitney Moss or via the retailer as indicated]