Kids go through a lot of clothes. Just ask my washing machine.
In general, I'm not a very frugal person, but when it comes to kids clothing, I am just as happy to pick from a stranger's hand-me-downs as to throw down my credit card at Baby Gap. At Grove Street Kids in Berkeley, the clothing is as well merchandised as I've ever seen in a used clothing store, so I am just as likely to find something, albeit a gently used something, that I love as I am at a regular retail store.
Also, I take great pleasure in selling back my kids clothes when they've outgrown them. Children's resale is a beautiful cycle. Bring a shopping bag full of your cleanest outgrown items and the proprieter of the store will filter through, selecting the ones that she can resell. She gives you the option to take cash for your items or credit (a bit more value than the cash) at her store.
Anne Marie at Grove Street Kids is very clear on what she can sell and will not allow you to waste her time discussing the merits of any of the other items in your bag. Her buying hours are strictly observed – but you can always drop off your bag and come back for it later. If you are intent on selling your clothes, check her website for buying hours and news about what she's looking for based on current season.
As part of Mandy's quest to report on the greatest consignment shops for kids in the East Bay, she found a great maternity top and learned something new about my favorite go-to resale shop:
It is the smallest of the shops I visited but very quaint, clearly labeled and well stocked. Displayed on the patio of the shop were clean used baby necessities like a car seat, strollers and swings. These are items I did not see offered in the other shops. The staff was friendly and helpful. Grove Street Kids has a small table and books in a the corner for kids to play as parents shop with an affectionate sign reading something to the affect of “Unattended Kids will be sent home with a cup of espresso and a free puppy” which made me smile.
I struck out here by trying to sell clothes they were not buying at this time, any clothes sized 12 mo or under; I should have paid more attention since they are diligent about updating the website. I was happy to see the large maternity section. I purchased a pretty silky maternity blouse, for the rare occasion that I will leave the house in something other than yoga pants this pregnancy.
I learned that Grove Street Kids is affiliated with the non profit organization Loved Twice and donates an abundance of clothing for disadvantaged mothers and children. Grove Street Kids is soon to be an official drop off for the Loved Twice donations to make it even easier to connect clothing with the kids that need it. The social worker in me absolutely loves this.
Where to find it:
No longer on Grove St (AKA MLK Jr Way), you can find Grove Street Kids at the top of Shattuck near CVS and Live Oak Park.
1385 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
Phone (510) 843-kids
Related post: Tips for reselling your kids’ clothes
[Photos: Mandy Chuey, Whitney Moss]