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Reduce, Reuse, Go Shopping: Our Fave Consignment Stores

Coulda sworn that fabulous pair of designer jeans still fit your kid, right!? Those gorgeous, to-die-for mini dresses or fancy baby shoes? Worn once. The button-down pin-striped oxford shirt? Still starchy. Amazing toys in all shapes and colors and noises? Boring after six months. Snow Gear purchased for one fantastic snow weekend? Discarded after season’s endings.

Let’s face it folks, babies and tots tear through clothing, shoes and toys as fast as a sunflower sprouts up in the summer. Parents who hope to clothe their kiddos in adorable, gently used clothes and shoes at over 50 percent less than store bought stuff should head for the thriving community of children’s consignment stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Buy, Sell and Trade, it’s a great way to score killer deals on gently used and fantastically adorable clothing, make a little cash money and take the opportunity to invoke the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Marin County

Butterflies and Polliwogs
This great little spot in Fairfax buys clothes for cash. While some items for sale are new, the owners try to focus on products made from organic or natural materials and purchase from companies conscientious about their business practices. There is a HUGE selection of Melissa & Doug toys – all wood, toxic-free, lead free; puzzles, games, stuffed animals and more for boys and girls. For consignment an appointment is required. Call and ask for Gwen to set up a convenient day and time.

Insider Tip: They are calling for winter clothes right now, a great chance to get rid of the too-small snowsuits collecting cobwebs in the closet.

Butterflies and Polliwogs
9 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, Ca
415-454-2509
Hours: Tues – Fri 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Online: www.butterfliesandpollywogs.com

Marin Kids Consignment
Winner of Red Tricycle’s 2012 Totally Awesome Award for best kids consignment shop! After only 4 years of business, Marin Kids Consignment has built a Bay Area wide reputation for the amazing selection of strollers, bikes, swings and clothes for any occasion. Phil & Ted’s, Peg Perego and Bob strollers are displayed alongside great looking exersaucers, backpacks for hiking, and trikes for budding cyclists. Head indoors and the overwhelming selection of shoes, headgear and seasonal clothing for babies, toddlers, tots and kids sizes 10-18 will blow socks off! Head buyer Stephanie has been working with consignment for over 15 years. Her keen eye and bargaining skills ensure Marin Kids continues to have a great selection for patrons. This is not just a consignment shop but also place to find out what’s going on in Marin County. Sign up for their weekly newsletter to find out about great sales, family photo opportunities and even music classes on Sundays.

Insider Tip: Flash your library card upon checkout and receive 50% off one shopping trip.

Marin Kids Consignment
814 West Francisco Boulevard
San Rafael, Ca
415-456-4943
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm – Seven days a week
Online: marinkidsconsignment.blogspot.com

Outgrown
This consignment shop in downtown San Rafael has been around for almost 30 years and it lives up to its reputation. The keen eye of employees ensures only high, end name brand clothing make their way back to moms looking for killer kidde fashion at a ridiculously fab price. Offering gently used clothing from infants up through size 14, Outrown also has one of the better used toy, book and DVDs collections. Need some adorable decals for the children’s room? Chances are Outgrown will have it. Need a baby crib for your little “mama” at home? Chances are Outgrown will have it. Patrons almost always come away from a trip to Outgrown feeling great. For consignment, an appointment is required due to a high volume of garments brought in for consideration.

Insider Tip: Save your Circo and Sprockets gear for the Goodwill bag. This store sticks to its high end acceptance policy.

Outgrown
1417 4th Street
San Rafael, Ca
415-457-2219
Hours: Mon – Sat, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Honorable Mentions:

Corte Madera’s Bell Bottoms & Bibs accepts higher end clothing, books, toys and accessories on consignment during their Wednesday through Saturday store hours.

Mill Valley’s Wee Threads’ convenient downtown location is the perfect drop-in spot when you’re in need of ski clothes, dress-up shoes or a boys suit on the fly.

San Francisco

Chloe’s Closet
This San Francisco fave has two locations. Chloe’s Closet has long been a go-to spot for city moms, and the list of awards for “Best Kid’s Clothing Store” proliferates. Toys! Costumes! Maternity Clothes! Parents can find it all at Chloe’s Closet. The newest location in the Inner Sunset only offers infants – preteen clothes, while the original shop, in Bernal Heights, accepts and resells clothes for kids and moms as well as infant and tot wear.  Be sure to check out the “How to Consign” section on the website, it is a very detailed and organized way to find out if what you have to offer will even be accepted.

Insider Tip: Occasionally on twitter Chloe’s Closet will offer a text coupon for 15 percent off a next shopping excursion.

Chloe’s Closet – Bernal Heights
451 Cortland Avenue
San Francisco, Ca
415-642-3300
Hours: Mon – Fri – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat & Sun – 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Online: www.chloescloset.com/bernal

Chloe’s Closet – Inner Sunset
616 Irving Street
San Francisco, Ca
415-664-4611
Hours: Mon – Sun – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Online: www.chloescloset.com/irving

Peekabootique
This landmark Noe Valley location is a buy, sell and trade with over 20 years of consignment knowledge under the belt. For many years Peekabootique was a one-of-a-kind hybrid kids store, mixing resale along with new, practical items requested by parents in search of high quality, inexpensive clothing. Every new item meets the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) standards for lead and phthalates. All plastic items sold at Peekabootique including bath toys, sand toys and fun little trucks are all BPA and phthalate free. Keeping with the earth-friendly theme all sunscreens sold here rank in the top 10 on the Environmental Working Group’s safe sunscreen list. Appointments to sell items are required and need to be booked 1 month in advance.

Insider Tip: Calendar for the booking month is opened on the 15th of the month prior, so on June 15th you may book July appointments. Check out their Facebook page for last minute cancellations and sale announcements.

Peekabootique
1306 Castro Street
San Francisco, Ca
415-641-6192
Hours: Mon – Fri 10:30 am – 7:30 pm, Sat 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Online: www.peekabootiquesf.com

East Bay

Grove Street Kids
The recipient of several “Best Kids Boutique” awards around the Bay Area! Grove Street Kids owner Anne Marie Elliot is a dedicated mother who loves having the chance to give back to the community while combining her passions of eco-responsibility and fashion. The charming window displays will have every mama screeching to the curb in search of fabulous garments guaranteed to even get Victoria Beckham smiling. The play area in the back will give kids as much excitement as moms finding a to-die-for bargain. Soon celebrating 5 years in business, this great boutique will be moving to an even larger space in the coming months. Check out their blog for the latest updates on the move or sale events.

Insider Tip: Round-A-Bout kids is Grove Street Kid’s frequent buyer program. For every $10 spent get a punch in your card. When you’ve reached $100, turn your card in for 15% off your next purchase.

Grove Street Kids
1644 MLK Jr. Way
Berkeley, Ca
510-843-KIDS
Hours: Tues – Fri 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Online: www.grovestreetkids.com

They Grow So Fast
This Lafayette based, 100 percent used kids clothing store has been a hotbed of consignment activity in the East Bay for over 15 years. From preemie to size 14, there is something for every young member of the family at They Grow So Fast. Owner Sandra welcomes customers to stop by as often as possible to see the new merchandise showing up on a daily basis. What have they got now? Items include Stokke white wood oval crib with mattress, 2 sets of Jolly Kids 4 panel enclosures, Pottery Barn activity table, Kidcraft train table with 2 rolling drawers, a Melissa and Doug Grocery Store/Lemonade stand, Mamaroo, Peg Perego duette stroller, a new Fisher Price Smart Bounce & Spin Pony and much more.

Insider Tip: Save time and get a haircut while picking up some new digs! Pony Tails Salon is located inside the store.

They Grow So Fast
3413 Mt. Diablo Boulevard
Lafayette, Ca
925-283-8976
Hours: Tues – Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Online: www.theygrowsofast.com

CarlaPie Baby and Kids
After opening in 2005 CarlaPie Baby and Kids quickly built a reputation for being a hip and chic boutique consignment store offering gently used, high quality brand name clothing, toys, books, DVD’s and gear for babies, kids and parents. Don’t hesitate to head for the Danville hills for awesome finds from the latest cool kiddie lines including Abercrombie & Fitch, Roxy, Gymboree, Stride Rite, Janie & Jack, Juicy Couture, and True Religion. Looking for the perfect pink tutu? CarlaPie is the go-to spot for those delicious pink tulle get-ups.

Insider Tip: Can’t make the drive? CarlaPie Baby and Kids offers online commerce so check out the website today!

CarlaPie Baby and Kids
109F Town and Country Drive
Danville, Ca
925-552-9946
Hours: Mon – Fri 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun By Appointment Only
Online: www.cpkidsconsignment.com

Peninsula

Generations
Owned by two generations of business savvy gals, Generations Children Store & Family Center offers much more than just gear for the eco-fabulous families in the San Francisco Bay Area. This community center offers killer classes such as: dance for the tiny tutu fan, prenatal massage for the mamas-to-be, and certified healthy cooking courses for foodie fanatics. There is a free Lending Library on parenting books; adoption and doula services are offered, and don’t forget the bilingual sing-a-longs for the kiddos! Purchasing is by appointment only so be sure to make one before heading over to Pacifica for the day.

Generations
450 Dondee Way Suite 2
Pacifica, Ca
650-355-5089
Hours: Mon 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Tues Closed, Wed 12:00 pm – 6:00pm, Thurs 11:30 am – 5:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am – 4:30 pm,  Sat 11:00 am – 4:30 pm, Sun 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Online: www.generationspacifica.com

Outrageous Outgrowns
While this is not technically a boutique or store, a bi-Annual resale event with over 40,000 items is simply too awesome not to mention.  Any consignment lover can’t skip this amazing three day extravaganza, whether doing the buying or the selling! This organization has been bringing Bay Area families together for nearly 15 years, waiting for others to catch on… being green is cool!

Be sure to check the website for the next sale.

Insider tip: Parking is free and on the last day some items are priced at 50% off.

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, Pavilion Hall
344 Tully Road
San Jose, Ca
Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm all three days.
Online: www.outrageousoutgrowns.com

The Lovely Bump
Nestled away in downtown San Bruno, this light and airy shop will shoot any misgivings about shopping consignment out the window. Everything is clean and hung on wooden hangers, it is stroller friendly with wide aisles and a wide mix of new and almost-new clothing, baby linens and gear. The Lovely Bump only accepts brand new or brand name clothing for babies age 0-2. Kids ages 3-14 and maternity wear can be gently used.

Insider Tip: Be sure to check out the kiddie play area complete with in-house entertainment, Larry the Turtle!

The Lovely Bump
509 San Mateo Avenue
San Bruno, Ca
650-583-1159
Hours: Mon – Thurs 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sat 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Online: www.thelovelybump.com

– Gabrielle Cullen

Photos courtesy of Marin Kids Consignment, Grove Street Kids, Peekabootique, The Lovely Bump

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