7 Tips for Back-to-School Shopping at Resale Stores

There’s a big misconception around the idea of shopping resale. Some people may think that you can’t find good quality merchandise at a second-hand store, but that’s just not true. Nowadays, consignment shops offer a wide selection of quality products in a bright, cheerful environment, supported by a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Shopping resale can also help you consume less while saving so much more. Beanstalk children’s consignment shop owner Carmen Ripley Wilson shares some tips to make the most of your back-to-school resale shopping experience.

1. Visit frequently: New merchandise comes into the store daily and onto the floor every day, and moves out equally as fast. You’ll want to stop in often to find the best items.

2. Try something new: At Beanstalk, we hand-select every item our consignors bring us, which often includes top brands and styles in brand new or like-new condition. It’s easy to put together a bunch of fun outfits that can then mix and match and be layered together. Whether it’s shopping for basics or something trendy, you can make your kids’ back-to-school wardrobe unique.

3. Save money, make money: Your dollars will stretch further on top-quality items while saving 30-70 percent off the retail price. In addition, when you become a consignor, you can drop off clothing, footwear and gear you no longer need and watch it quickly grow into a pile of cash! You can then turn around and purchase new items with the cash you’ve made or save it to buy something else. Knowing your kids will outgrow items quickly, shopping at resale shops makes dollars AND sense.

4. Shoes are a must-have: Feet grow a half to a full size every four to eight months; because of this, shoes often are not worn long enough to wear them out. By spending less per pair, parents often can get their kids two to three pairs of shoes at a consignment store for the price of one at retail stores.

5. Keep a list of items needed: Keep a list of the items you need, with relevant sizes, and then visit your favorite resale shop regularly to score those price-saving fall additions.

6. Get on the contact list: Ask the staff if they may be open to giving you a call when your wish list item comes in.

7. Friend and follow your favorite shops on Facebook and Instagram: Follow your favorite resale shops on social media to receive the latest updates on new arrivals, special discounts and sales.

A bonus hint: Contact your favorite shop to determine when fall inventory starts hitting the floor. At Beanstalk, consignors bring in their back-to-school inventory starting in July. By August, we not only have the latest summer fashions, but are also is in full swing for back-to-school shoppers.

Photos by Amy Close Photography

Carmen Ripley Wilson
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Carmen Ripley Wilson

Owner at Beanstalk
As a child, Carmen Ripley Wilson grew up recycling, reusing and repurposing just about everything on her family’s farm in the coastal mountains of Oregon. In 2012, she opened Beanstalk with a goal of providing local families with modern, good-quality, new and gently-worn children’s clothing, toys and equipment at a price they can afford.
Carmen Ripley Wilson
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