Secondhand Kids Clothes – Shop Smart in Central Ohio!

I love bargains – I hate shopping for them, but I certainly do love them…especially when it comes to kids clothing. When my girl was born she was in preemie sizes, so let’s do the evolution of clothing in my household just for my girl:

  • preemie
  • newborn
  • 0 – 3 month
  • 3 – 6 months
  • 6 – 9 months
  • 9 – 12 months
  • 2 years
  • 3 years
  • 4 years
  • 5 years
  • 6 years

Jeesh! That’s a ton of sizes and many clothes that have trafficked their way through our home. I couldn’t imagine my shopping bill if I had to buy new clothes every step of the way. Luckily, my cousin and friends have been generous with hand-me-downs. I am also tremendously thankful for secondhand shopping opportunities. There are shops, swaps, and consignment sales dedicated to helping parents out when it comes to buying clothes for their quickly growing children. Seriously, don’t burn a hole in your wallet if you don’t have to. Name brand clothing can be found at a fraction of the cost of their new counterpart, it just takes a little research and shopping time on your part. Let me help you with the research part. Here’s some places I’ve either had luck or have heard of others having luck, as follows:

Swaps and Consignment Sales
These are spectacular. Tables upon tables set up marked by size, a room with tons of toys, buckets of shoes, and racks of coats. Swaps generally happen in the spring and fall. Be sure to sign up for their mailing lists so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to shop and save! Some of them open doors early in the morning and some are in the evening, and there is a small door fee (around $5 cash) and possibly a parking fee. I would suggest going without your children because it can get crazy and it’d be easy to lose track of your child. Others are set up where each person selling items has a table.

My suggestion is go early, bring cash, and bags or a laundry basket to take your loot home. You’ll not only avoid some of the crowd, but you will get first pick. Please read through their information and call them if you have any questions. Here’s some I know of:

Columbus Mothers of Twins Sale (coming up September 24, 2011 from 8a – 12p with 8a – 9a being the power hour sale costing $2 extra):

Mom 2 Mom Sale in Powell (coming up October 1, 2011 from 8a – 11:00a and then 50% from 11:30a – 12:30p):

Peace Love Swap (coming up September 4, 2011 from 4:15p – 6:30p):

Three Bags Full (sales going on end of September throughout October, see if there is one in your area):

Once Upon a Child
There are a number of stores around the city and they carry clothing from baby sizes up to youth sizes. They even have uniforms and sport items such as football pads and soccer shoes! Clothing is typically seasonally appropriate, and be sure to shop early for Halloween costumes and winter gear.

They buy used clothing as well, so if you want to make a little money back on your clothing investments, put them in a laundry basket and make an appointment. This goes for toys, too. Also, kids can keep busy while you shop. They have toys everywhere!

Trader Tots
This is a resale shop that has children, teen, and maternity clothing. It is located in Grandview off 5th avenue and is similar to a Once Upon a Child. Lots of great stuff for a fraction of the cost! I’ve found super cute designer stuff from catamini to the Tea Collection. Again, for a fraction of the original cost.

*Let me state, some of the employees that work at resale shops look at the clothing, not necessarily the designer. So, many times I find designer clothes for about the same cost as a Gymboree or Children’s Place item. I am not a designer shopper by any means, but it is a treat to find something really nice that I can afford.

Thrift Stores
Check out your local thrift store’s kids’s section. You never know what you’ll find!

Got other ideas? I’d love to hear them! Share away in the comment section.

About cBus Mom

cBus Mom offers suggestions and reviews of kid-friendly activities in Central Ohio. I am a Columbus, Ohio mom and I like to get out and explore with my kids.

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5 Responses to Secondhand Kids Clothes – Shop Smart in Central Ohio!

  1. Cathy aka The Attached Mama August 24, 2011 at 4:29 PM #

    Has anyone ever been to the Peace, Love, Swap? Is it just totally crazy busy? Are things fairly organized (size, season, etc.)? I would love to hear some reviews of what the swaps are actually like. Or see pictures.

  2. Bree Anderson August 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

    These swaps are new to Columbus but there is an order an standard. As with all new things there is a learning curve but I bet it’s an incredible event! And, yes the items should be in order. There is a drop off time, a set up time and a shopping time.

    To find out more on how this works and what is ‘expected’ you can see the site here-

    For $5, door prizes, kids playing (free) and the opportunity to snag some great things I think it’ll be worth checking out! I love this concept.

  3. Janelle M August 24, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

    Hi, my name is Janelle and I’m the swap organizer in Columbus for First, THANK YOU CBUSMOM for the blurb about our upcoming swap on Sept. 4!!! Cathy, good questions – this is actually the first in Columbus! And we are super excited about bringing/having this resource in our town! It is very important to us to keep things decent and organized. It’s important to me and it’s important to the company.Things will be arranged by sizes and item type (i.e. short sleeve shirts all together for one particular size). It’s going to be held at a family friendly venue (MY GYM in Powell) so if you would like to bring kids, there will be something for them to do. If you click on the link below, it will take you to a video which will show you how it works and show pictures from past swaps. Feel free to email if you have any more questions or if I didn’t answers thoroughly :) - Hope to see you soon at one of our swaps and thank you again CBUSMOM!!!

  4. Aubre Rice August 31, 2011 at 7:48 AM #

    I love thrifting! Here are some places I have found great kids choices!

    Goodwill located on Morse just West of State Rt. 3 on the South side of the street. It’s a new location and is very well organized with tons of kids clothing! They have nice try on rooms.

    Ohio Thrift located at 161 and Cleveland Avenue. Great kids section and fairly organized. Also tons of mom and dad clothes! Note, there are NO try on rooms.

  5. Bethany September 4, 2011 at 2:36 PM #

    I mostly shop at thrift stores, even for myself. A shop I’ve been finding a lot of clothing at is the Volunteers of America on Henderson Road in the Marc’s/Lifestyle plaza. The prices are fantastic!!