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6 Ways to Make Reselling a Breeze

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Spring cleaning sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Only here in Boston our spring means lots of grey skies and rain.  I think Bostonians enter into huge Summer cleaning sprees, finally we can crack open the windows, turn up the music and find out what is hidden in the recesses of our closets. Now that you have a pile of clothing, toys and gear that your children have clearly outgrown, what do you do? Well, head into Growing Up of course.  Here are some tips to make sure you get the most from your visit.

1. Sell Monday- Saturday

We buy Monday – Saturday from open to close. You don’t have to call for an appointment, we will always be there to look at what you have.

2. If you aren’t certain, give us a call.

If you have a big item for example, a double stroller, a sandbox or play kitchen, it is going to take a little effort on your part to get it into the car and over to our store. If you want to make double certain we will take it, feel free to give us a call to check before you lug it down. If you love technology, you could even snap a picture with your camera phone and send us an email!

3. In season is best but we take everything.

When reselling any clothing, whether it is for you or the kids, think about what you are currently shopping for. You will get the most from your visit by bringing in seasonally appropriate clothing. We buy for winter all year long but whatever the season, we buy more for the current climates then for stock.

4. Check your clothing before you bring it in.

One of the biggest reasons we turn clothing down is because it has a stain. Let’s face it, kids get stains on their clothes, no matter how much you try to keep them clean. Most of us just keep putting the same clothing on our children until they outgrow it, then we pack it away someplace, right.  6 months later we bring that big box down to Growing Up and don’t even remember what is in it. You probably totally forgot that some of it was stained or got a hole or lost a button.

To make it easier on yourself, double check what you are going to bring in. I generally sit down and make two piles, one to resell and one to donate. I quickly look for things that are stained, missing buttons or have holes and remove those from the resell pile. If something is really great or a brand you know that we love, like Hanna Andersen or Oilily, you can try treating the stain and rewashing it. We definitely don’t mind going through everything, but if you eliminate the items you know we won’t take, your visit will not take as long.

5. Check the dates.

With limited exceptions, we only buy things that were made in 2006 or newer. For things like car seats, cribs, and toys; this rule is for safety. For clothing, while there is no safety concern, the styles have changed.  If you have a 10 year old child and find yourself with a box of clothing in 0-3 months size, we probably aren’t going to take it, but it would make a great donation for charity.

6. Allow Time or Plan to drop off and come back.

It’s difficult to say when we will definitely be busy and when we have loads of free time. Some days you can walk in and get one on one attention immediately, walk in and out with ease. Other days, you may have to  hang around for a bit before we are able to check all of your things. It’s always a good idea to allow yourself and us time to sort through what you have brought in.  If you never have time to hang out in the store, you can always drop your things off with us, leave your name and check back later in the day to pick up the items we didn’t take. Always check store hours and be familiar with when we are not taking things, so you don’t waste a trip.

All in all, we want your reselling experience to be easy and fun. With a few simple steps, listed above, you can take any of the stress out of the day.


It’s Warmer Weather: At Which Playground Will We See You?

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As you can tell from looking out the window — or from all our pleas for consigned summer wear — warmer weather is headed our way. Where do you go with your children locally to enjoy the great outdoors during this time? Growing Up is lucky to be so close to the Beaver Brook Reservation’s sprinkler park — just down Trapelo Road. Another nearby treat is Victory Field in Watertown which has a squishy-surfaced playground for the preschoolers and another one for the big kids.

"two children at playground"

Can you guess this local playground?

Adjacent Arlington has two family favorites: Menotomy Park is a great oasis and known for its letterboxing. Robbins Farm in Arlington Heights is a super place for kite flying.

If you’d like more information on these parks, or if you’re looking for something else, try out the new Website Plaground Hunt, the most comprehensive guide to playgrounds in Massachusetts. Using Google Maps, this interative Website uses location to point you toward playground reviews. Thanks to our Facebook fans for this and all the other great tips about playgrounds in the greater Belmont area! See you at the swingset.

Great Reasons to Visit Cushing Square

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For many in Belmont, Cushing Square used to be a place one would drive by en route from Point A to Point B – say, from town center to Watertown. Now, it’s a place where one stops, shops, meets up with friends, and considers a “destination.” We couldn’t be happier to be part of this neighborhood!

Common Street is a great place for bargain hunters. Of course, we’d be remiss in not tooting our own horn – we offer sweet prices on gently used children’s clothing and gear, as well as maternity clothing. Women who seek clothes beyond nursing tops and stretch-panel jeans go across the street to Revolve. Revolve, another mom-owned business, sells consigned better-brand clothing and accessories (think Diesel jeans and Louis Vuitton bags) at reasonable prices.

For those who need fuel before a shopping jaunt or a refuel after a big splurge, we have a gorgeous Starbucks with a Clover brewing system. Kitchen on Common is a great place to eat – the food there is not only delicious, but most often also locally-sourced and organic.

No trip to Cushing Square is complete without a trip to Ben Franklin, a place full of crafts, toys, housewares – all with an old-fashioned five-and-dime feel.

These are just a few suggestions on what to do in our neighborhood. If you’re a regular to this area, please post your tip for shopping in the Square.

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In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

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It is now officially spring! Bostonians have just begun to get out of their winter caves and think about warmer weather.

The change of seasons always means it’s busy here at Growing Up. Parents begin to clean out their closets of spring and summer clothes that no longer fit their kids. These parents, and tons others, are also seeking good consignment bargains for warm weather clothing and gear — shorts, bathing suits, flip-flops, sundresses, riding toys, and so on. Each day, we accept tons of spring and summer clothes, sort through them, price the keepers, and get them put out for sale. Just as soon as we put them on the racks, we have to hop back to the register to ring in purchases — we simply cannot keep warm weather goods in stock!

We mention this for two reasons. First, please continue to consign your spring and summer goods with us. We’re open seven days a week and no appointment is necessary.

Second, Growing Up is a mom-owned business. We are a staff of two who can’t remember the last day we took a day off. We’re busy, but it’s for a good reason: we’re receiving and giving you the best children consignment goods in the area. Sometimes it might seem to a first-time visitor that our store is “messy” — we’ve seen some reviews to this effect. But once you get to know us, you’ll know that it sometimes can’t be helped — especially now that we’ve expanded to include a children play area.

Even the highly-staffed, overly-sterile GAP can see disorder from time to time. Let this video show you!

Thanks for your understanding and your continued business. Hope to see you soon.

6 Ways to Green Your Shopping at Growing Up

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Were any of your New Year’s resolutions about being greener? Or have you been trying to generally be better to the earth? While we can’t help you churn your compost bin, we can help you with the following tips to make your trip to Growing Up a more earth-friendly event:

  1. Take the MBTA. We are a stone’s throw from Bus #73. If you live close enough, walk, stroll, or bike on over.
  2. If the above modes of transport aren’t an option, ride with a friend who wants to shop or consign at the store.
  3. Bring your own shopping bag. We like the inexpensive UnWrapped bags made in Lowell and sold in some Whole Foods. Or don’t use any bag — carry your goods in/out in your hands or the storage part of a stroller.
  4. Print out coupons or directions using Print Friendly.
  5. Keep a list of things you want to buy on the back of an old envelope — or online using a site like Evernote (which has mobile capabilities).
  6. Reduce “stuff” in your house by participating in our child and travel gear rental program.

Are there other ways you shop green at Growing Up? Anything else we should add to this list?

Bigger Is Better

bassinetYes — we have now spread out in our expanded space.  It’s great to have room to show off some of the incredible items people consign with us.  Take this bassinet for example. Now we have the space for you to examine it from all angles, take a step back to envision it in a nursery, and so on. While you’re doing all that, your children can stretch and watch TV in our new playtime nook.

Have you ever moved to a bigger space? Did you ever wonder how to fill up all the extra room? Ever yearn for your old, smaller space?

Cost Cutting Tips For This Season And Beyond

Now that the holiday shopping season is upon us, we are all frantically searching for good deals on gifts for our friends and loved ones. (That’s why many of you shop at our store.) Here are some of our tips for saving on purchases for the holiday and all year round.

1. Woot. Such a fun site. We go on each day to see its daily deal. And it’s just one deal that lasts 24 hours — or sooner if the stock runs out.  (There’s also a site for kids gear.)

2. Retail Me Not. The stop for tons of online promo codes and printable coupons. It’s easy to save hundreds of dollars a year thanks to this site.

3. This site regularly rotates its list of printable coupons for food, cleaning products, toiletries, and more.

4. Invisible Hand. Working with over 100 major shopping Websites, this Firefox add-on pops up if it finds another site that offers the product you’re looking at for a lower price.

What Websites or programs do you use to save your hard-earned money?  Leave a comment with your tip so that we all can learn and save!