Designer Kids Clothes and More on the Cheap

Dollars & Sense on 03.28.11
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One of the most fun parts of having children is dressing them in all those ridiculously adorable clothes available at baby and children's boutiques. One of the least fun parts of it is paying for it. Even in my past life as a buyer for a high end children's boutique, I had a hard time justifying a splurge on said adorable clothing unless it was on sale, which wasn't very often. But now you can get designer kids clothes at a fraction of the price!

Where Do I Go?

Many of us have seen "private" shopping web sites with huge deals for women, men, and home, but have you noticed that they have a lot of kids' brands too? To shop these sites, you have to apply or sign up to be a member, but have no fear as everyone is approved for membership. The ones that I've found to be best are Zulily (the widest selectiodedicated solely to children and moms), Haute Look, Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, and Beyond the Rack. How it works is that each site puts up a sale on a selection of items for a limited time period-- typically a few days-and members can shop these items until they run out or the sale expires.

I've seen many brands that I regularly stocked in the boutique I bought for as well as many others that are considered the best of the best in the children's wear market. Popular brands such as Tea Collection, Angel Dear, See Kai Run, Marie Chantel, Olive Juice, Pink Chicken and Appaman I've seen multiple times over offered at discounts that range from about 30 to 70-percent. That will keep some cash in your pocket!

And there is much more than clothing discounted on these "private" shopping sites. You'll also find designer diaper bags, baby gear, furniture and toys from brands like Melissa & Doug, Plan Toys and Hape. Today I came across a Phil & Ted's stroller on Gilt Groupe for $230 less than its list price. Why pay full price when you can get great quality products at a fraction of the cost?

The Drawbacks

Well, there are a few downsides to shopping these sites. If you are looking for something in particular, you'd be pretty lucky to find it right off the bat as each site only offers a handful of lines each day. These items also tend to sell fast, and certainly all sizes aren't always available. So if you see it and want it, it's best to buy it before it's gone which can be a matter of a few minutes. Anyone who is looking for instant gratification needs to pay close attention to the listed delivery dates on each site they are purchasing from. Each site has their own shipping policy and will give you an estimated arrival date, but sometimes it is two or more weeks away and rush shipping is not normally available. Items are often final sale as well so it's best to know what size your child wears in a certain brand or go bigger so they can grow into it rather than have something that is too small and can't be returned.

I've found the best way to use "private" shopping sites, at least for me, is to receive their daily e-mails listing the brands that are sale that day, and if I see a name that interests me I click through and check it out to see if there's anything that my children "must" have. Otherwise it could take quite a bit of time to sort through them each day.

With the rate that children grow, it's hard for most families to spend a lot when buying clothing, knowing that it'll only be a few months before they have outgrown it, but that doesn't mean we have to give up having the designer kids clothes we want for our children. And if we can save enough money on their clothing, we might be able to pick up a little something for ourselves too, on sale of course.

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