Consignment shops for kids

fifis interior.jpg

Consignment for kids, Fifi's and Polkadots

By Dawn Padfield

Parents are always looking for a bargain. Especially on clothes. I mean, no sooner do you get them into a new pair of jeans or shoes then it's time to go shopping again.

Sure it's great to pass clothes and shoes back and forth between family and friends, but that's never enough. So I thought I'd check out a couple of the kids consignment shops in the area.

Umm... and the kids aren't the only ones I found things for.

PolkaDots and Fifi's Frocks and Frills are just about 3 miles apart on Western Ave., so it's easy to hit both of them in an afternoon and still have time for the mall if you wind up empty-handed.

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I checked out PolkaDots first. It's in the Park Place Plaza in Guilderland. Half of the store has a pretty good selection of girls and boys clothes, books, equipment and shoes.

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They also sell some cute and trendy maternity clothes at good prices. No muumuus here. This is nice stuff. Also, brand new Melissa and Doug toys sell for 10% off. The other half of the store sells new, boutique clothing and home good at new, boutique prices.

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The other shop, Fifi's Frocks and Frills merged with Fifi's All-Stars last year. This store offers a small but varied selection of children's clothes, shoes, and dressy stuff.

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But this place isn't just kids stuff.

What I was really impressed with was the women's section. Plenty of eye candy... and shoe candy. Like these Michael Kors Sandals

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and this amazing pair of brand new, gold Gucci pumps.

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Hmm... mama needs a new pair of shoes.

Alas, at $199, they probably cost more than all my shoes put together, but it's more the 50% off retail. I'd probably never wear them. Just put them on my mantel and bask in the warmth of their golden glow.

Both stores avoid discount labels like Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart. They look for brands like Baby Gap, Gymboree, and Hannah Anderson (and several boutique brands I have never heard of).

While some of the prices in both places may be more than I would spend at Target or the Baby Gap sales rack, most of the stuff was pretty reasonably priced. Particularly the shoes.

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I went into these stores looking for crocs for my son. Real 'Crocs' (as opposed to Wal-mart 'krox' ) were selling here for 6 dollars --they're $25 retail. Unfortunately the ones I found were two sizes too small and purple. The brand new wellies for $8, however, were a steal.

Neither of these stores are places you should go with a "must have" list. You are not always guaranteed to find what you are looking for. But if you go in with an open mind you're likely to walk out with a couple of great deals. And maybe enough extra cash for a latte on the way home.

Fifi's Frocks and Frills
1811 Western Ave
Albany, NY 12203-4629
(518) 869-1677‎

PolkaDots
2563 Western Ave
Park Place Plaza
Altamont, NY
518-452-1812

Comments

I shopped in the Western Avenue store frequently when It was Louises' and continued thru the new management - I agree the merchandise is fabulous (and I am a real shoe shopper too!)

and then,,,, i brought in things to consign. I was not pleased. I had to leave the clothes, I wasnt given a receipt and when I went back after the time had expired for leaving them, I found one of my items was labeled with a different consigners number. It was a very unique item and easily recognizable butnot worth an argument - I just never went back.

Related to "never enough" clothing for kids--EBay is another excellent option for baby and toddler clothing. There is a category called "Mixed Items/Lots" that often includes batches of 20+ items. Because there are many sellers the field is quite competitive. Many sellers include a closeup pic of each item. And the bidding is kinda fun. I have made this my exclusive shopping venue for the toddler in my life.

I enjoy shopping at consignment sales and stores - it's one of my favorite pasttimes. But I find it hard to shop at Fifi's due to one particular employee who doesn't take the customer's time into consideration. She has chatted with other customers, friends, and her daughter while I'm next in line on my lunch break...that's three separate visits I'm talking about...I've advised her that I'm limited on time, but something. just. isn't. quite. right. with her. I haven't gone back. I also find the kids' items to be over priced for a consignment store...

Thanks everyone, for the comments. I'm not really a consignment shopper so this was a learning experience for me. Overall, I really wasn't really sold on the experience, I'd be willing to go back once in a while. I've had much better luck on craig's list and the pass it on sale.. and I'll definitiely check out the e-bay suggestion.

I'm sorry to hear the customer service experiences weren't great at Fifi's. When I was there, she was really nice and even gave the kids an ice cream sandwich when the were getting grumpy... I've never consigned there, so I'll keep that in mind if I do.

I love shopping here. I have shoped here for yrs. I miss Louise and I enjoy seeing FIFI> FIFI has been a great support and a great help to me in this sore whether with merchandise or coping with my breast cancer. Sorry that you had issues with customer service. However, somtimes you need to ask for help. I know that FIFI would help anyone out if they asked for it. FIFI is a very loving caring kind thoughtful classy lady. i love shopping here and I love finding unique things. FIFI always helps me out. I love seeing her dog jenny there as well. I think its a great store with a great atmosphere.

I would like to apologize for any poor service that people have received at Fifi's. It is very important to me that my customers are treated with respect and courtesy. In merging my two stores I have had to work through some problems which I hope have been resolved. Please do not leave my store with a problem, please speak up, mistakes do occur and I am happy to assist anyone. My employee has left the store due to needing a full time job. Please do come back and I look forward to greeting you. Fifi

I shop at Polka Dots all of the time - it is a great shop that has incredible sales from time to time. Many, many, many clean items/toys/clothes for sizes NB - Toddler (less once you start getting into the older ages). It is all neat & organized & there are even toys for your little ones to play with while you shop. There is also a shop called Trendy Tots in Niskayuna/Schenectady that I would reccomend to anyone who is looking for children's clothing & enjoys consigning!

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