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Name brands, low cost

Spring will soon be here, which means shorts, T-shirts and bathing suits for the kids. Parents spend about $1,700 a year to clothe a child, according to the USDA, making consignment a popular option in tight economic times.

What is consigning?

Consigning is when consumers resell name-brand and/or high-quality clothing. It's a great way to get good deals.

To consign items

Scrutinize the item. Is it a name brand? Is it a trendy piece that others might be interested in?

Is it gently used or new? Consignment shops can be picky about what they agree to sell. Items should either be brand-new or so gently used that they show very little wear.

Be reasonable. The never-worn outfit from Children's Place may have cost $40, but a consignment shop may suggest a selling price of $10.

Be sure to go to the right kind of consignment shop. National chain Plato's Closet is ideal for your tween's gently used jeans, while Once Upon a Child shops are a perfect place to sell your Graco stroller.

Ask questions. Some consignment stores will pay you upfront, while others will send you a check when the item sells.

To buy items

• Check the item carefully. Will you need to make any alterations?

• Will the purchase fit your child when the season comes?

• Is it something you need rather than want?

Name brands, low cost 02/25/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 25, 2012 3:30am]

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