buying second hand kids stuff

I am inherently lazy when it comes to hunting for bargains, it doesn’t seem to be in my DNA. If I go to the sales with the intention of finding a bargain, I quickly lose patience with sifting through tat and head on over to the ‘New Season’ stuff. However, I know people who are always buying second hand and finding amazing little gems that are cheap and gorgeous. To them finding these gems are a fun thing to do! Imagine?! It just takes a bit of patience and presumably knowing where to go…so with this in mind, I thought buying second hand kids stuff would be the ideal first topic for #nemumshour* on twitter!

Last night, I got my cuppa ready (stupidly leaving my tea on the stove. It got burnt) and got to chatting with a small but perfectly formed group of mums and dads (dads are welcome too but that would have made a really long hashtag!). I basically picked their brains for the best places for buying second hand and how they get in the zone!

Buying second hand – 7 Tips for getting in the zone

  1. Be flexible and open-minded – but keep in mind what you need!
  2. Share your wishlist – if there is something particular you are looking for, remember to mention it. There might be one lurking round the back that hasn’t made it onto the virtual or real shelf!
  3. Get there early – if you’re going to a market get there early… or late when they are trying to get rid of the last few things
  4. Look for quality labels for children’s clothing – they are likely to have withstood the test of time better
  5. Set a spending limit in advance – it’s only a bargain if you don’t bankrupt yourself in the process!
  6. Make a day of it – that way you’re not putting pressure on yourself to find the perfect thing, you’re just having fun!
  7. Don’t overdress – again if you’re going to a market… people judge how much money you’ve got by your outfit! Plus you’ll be more comfortable for your day out!

Buying second hand – online

  1. Yes, Ebay got mentioned for bargains, but it also got a bit of stick for being time consuming (all that bidding malarky), taking high commissions and generally being a bit stressful. One mam also pointed out that Ebay is less about buying second hand as a lot of the stuff on there is actually new. So it takes some sifting… A joy for the sifters among you!
  2. Kids like New – I’ve talked about these guys before when I had just spent a fortune on a bumbo for Reuben. In a nutshell, it Ebay (without the money grabbing) for quality second hand kids items. A few mums had tried it in the chat and mentioned that a) they like it because Kids Like New give money to charity and b) you don’t have to pay a fee if your item doesn’t sell. Check it out! And make sure you let Mick and the gang know how you got on as they are always trying to make the service even better.
  3. FSOT groups – I had to look this one up, it means for sale or trade. Ahhh! I then realised I’m in a few Facebook groups that are FSOT. Der! If you type FSOT into Facebook, it should come up with groups that you can join. Some of them may be closed so you’ll need to message them to apply to join.
  4. GumTree – One mum bought something through a facebook group and then sold it through gumtree for the same price! So, it’s worth looking after these little things and putting the effort into selling them on! You might not actually lose much money as everyone is getting into buying second hand.

Buying second hand – offline

UK wide:

  1. One of the mums mentioned the NCT nearly new salesgo here to find the next one in your local area
  2. Charity shops of course!

North East:

  1. Tiny Lives Sales hold regular sales of donated items for babies, children and mamas-to-be to raise money for Tiny Lives, directly supporting the Special Care Baby Unit, RVI Newcastle. This is the kind of sale I am afraid of but I have been assured by my pal, Aggie, that it’s worth the effort and it raises money for charity right on our door step too. The next one is Friday 7th June 2013, 8pm – 9pm at Heaton Community Centre.
  2. Cherished Toys – the website isn’t the most beautiful (due to massive adds where there should be words about the website!) but apparently the shop is! Find it on Park Avenue, Whitley Bay.
  3. Carousel Baby – this is a baby good beautique specialising in preloved goodies and is run by a mam who says she only has in store what she’d be happy to put her little ones in (let’s hope she has more discerning tastes than me!). I love the style of the place. Find it at 34 Astley Road, Seaton Delaval (there’s an amazing chippy nearby incase you need an excuse!)
  4. Piggly Markets – my buddy Gemma got a great bargain at this weekly market in Cramlington…I think we’ll have to go have a look!
  5. Charity markets – this month the Children’s Heart Unit Fund are hosting a nearly new sale at the Linkskill Centre in North Shields on Sunday, 26th May.
  6. Tynemouth Market –  finally something I’ve been to! Inside Tynemouth Metro Station it is full of all sorts of treasures (and tat, of course), not just kid stuff. It’s worth it just for the day out and one weekend a month there is also a farmers market. Mmmmm. Every weekend.
So there you have it! What have I missed? Are you an avid buyer of second hand things? Please leave us your tips for getting in the zone.

*#nemumshour is the brainchild of my PR and social media guru friend, Kari and the idea is that for one hour a week the mam’s of the North East get together to talk about the things that matter to us. However, if you aren’t from the North East please don’t feel excluded as the likelihood is the topics will be broad enough for you to join in too…if you’re free next Tuesday at 8, come and join us to talk about…TBC!!