As the third child and second girl in a family of four children, I was well accustomed to second-hand clothing. I never minded (or knew) the difference between a hand-me-down outfit and a brand new, off-the-rack ensemble. (Well, at least not until sixth grade and the saga of the Hypercolor t-shirts and Guess jeans!). With back-to-school shopping in full swing, I plan to hit the racks at these spots below to save some money, shop a little greener and get rid of some of the clutter in my own house that comes with three littles.
Kid to Kid Scottsdale
We have found many treasures at Kid to Kid’s Scottsdale location, located just off the 101 at Shea. My daughter signed up last summer for ballet class with the City of Scottsdale, and I found all of her dance wear at this location, including tap and ballet shoes. Some of it actually is brand new, while other items are very gently used. For back-to-school shopping, head right to the shoe section, which is where you tend to spend the most money at regular retail spots. They have so many great brands, including Stride Rite, Sperry Topsiders, Janie and Jack and more, all at significantly reduced prices. With how fast kids feet grow, let’s get real and put them in second-hand shoes, right? They have a loyalty card, which garners 20 percent off your entire purchase once the card is filled, plus you also can sell your gently used items for cash or store credit.
Once Upon a Child
For selection, it is hard to beat Once Upon a Child. Rows and rows of clothing, children’s play equipment, baby necessities and hard-to-find specialty items greet you upon arrival. They also have a loyal shopper card, as well as take items you wish to sell for either cash or store credit. It is almost always a better value to take the store trade, as you know that you are going to need more kid clothes! A tip for August shopping: check out their Halloween costume selection first, as these are always very gently used, and your kid will wear this outfit one time (not counting dress up).
Kid to Kid Paradise Valley
This location, at Tatum just north of Paradise Valley Mall, is a bit bigger than the Scottsdale location. I find it typically has a greater selection of “equipment” such as strollers, carriers, etc., and also more bikes and items of that nature. Again, the shoes are always a first stop for me, especially for back-to-school shopping. I always find special occasion wear here too. Like the other Kid to Kid locations, they also have a loyalty card and accept items for purchase.
Located at 114 Street and Shea, this is a great place to stop after open play at The Little Gym nearby. Like the other spots mentioned, they have a buying policy listed on their website. Pay attention to the hours, as there is nothing more frustrating than getting all the kids here, only to find you are outside of the buying hours. Most notably, they do not buy on Mondays. Also, look for items they are currently in need of, as this will get you the best value for your trade. I learned that they also rent items, a great idea if you have family visiting and need, say, a high chair, but no longer have a baby in the house.
For Scottsdale-based moms, this location at 7th Street and Glendale can be a bit out of the way. They closed their Scottsdale location last spring, much to the dismay of many of my friends. I am not a regular shopper at this spot, but know that their specialty tends to be high-end clothing at discounted prices. Think Splendid, Janie and Jack, Ralph Lauren, etc. I have heard their selection tends to be better for girls, so keep that in mind before making the drive.