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Saving Big on Baby Clothes

Who are you really buying baby clothes for? That may seem like a simple question, but the answer may surprise you. The funny thing is, your baby doesn’t actually care what she looks like – she wants comfort above all else. So is that one hundred dollar romper really necessary?

Of course, I’m not suggesting dressing your baby in sack cloth. Your notions of style and cuteness should still hold sway in your clothing decisions. But functionality and comfort should be a more important guideline now than at any other time in a person’s life. If you use that to drive the clothing decisions you make for your baby, you should be able to strike a balance between cost, comfort and style.

A good place to begin is by calling around among your friends and relatives and claiming some of those old baby clothes that they might have lying around. These outgrown clothes will still have a lot of life left in them and you’ll probably get them as a gift – a price you definitely can’t beat.

The next best thing is to try is the thrift stores – not just one, but several. Also, go to thrift stores in different parts of town. They’ll have a different selection and may give you a wider choice of clothing. Especially seek out the ones associated with larger, more established churches or places of worship, as well as those in the more affluent neighborhoods. You’ll be surprised at the deals you can get on really high quality baby clothes. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a $50 romper from last year on sale for about a tenth of that price in these stores.

Also, find out if the larger churches in your area hold consignment sales. Many do, and this is a great way to save money and have it go toward a good cause.

In addition, in most regions of the country, you can find outlet malls. They have overstocked and discontinued lines from the major manufacturers and this often includes baby clothes. Brand new, name brand clothes are on sale here for a fraction of the retail cost. It’s a good idea to seek out such places – even if it is a bit of a drive, the savings will be worth it.

If driving long distances to spend a day comparing bargains isn’t your thing, there’s also the option of Internet auction sites. The range of items that are offered there is truly staggering. And as for baby clothes, there are as many options as there are bidders. Just be well acquainted with the rules of the site and know that you’re buying the clothes “as is.” The major sites allow buyers to rate the sellers, so sticking with a highly rated seller should offer you some protection against a bad deal. In addition, most sellers are happy to display photographs and let you know if there are any flaws in used items. You may even be able to buy new items at these auction sites as well.

The great thing about the auction sites is that they allow you set a price and not spend a penny more. The danger, though, is that you can succumb to the excitement of an auction and spend more than you intended – or more than that seriously cute top is really worth. A bit of judgment and restraint will go a long way, as will taking careful notice of the buyer’s shipping costs before you bid.

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