Every gift-giving occasion, as parents, we've all remarked on it: the kids enjoy playing with the box more than the gift! But yet, we all want the world for our children, especially around the holidays. How do we do that while still maintaining the family budget?
As our country's economy continues it's malaise and with the increasing emphasis on protecting our environment through the motto "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", shopping second-hand has lost its negative stigma.
Just how cool it is to get great deals is evidenced by the success of "Plato's Closet." Ranked 102 by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2010 on their 500 Fastest Growing Franchise list, Plato's Closet caters to teens and 20-somethings with the latest, though gently-used trends in fashion. If teens will buy second-hand, it must be cool! (BTW, a Plato's Closet is now in Frederick!)
Other great places to shop include thrift shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army or consignment and resale shops that specialize in bringing you the best nearly-new stuff around. Look in the phone book or the internet under the headings "thrift", "consignment" or "resale" to see everything that's available locally. Shop Enkore Kids!
So if many folks buy used for themselves and their children at other times of the year, what's the big deal for the holidays?
With the kids, generally more is better. Toddlers will never know the difference between new and used. So what's the point in spending $50 on one toy when you can get five for the same price? School age kids will be more aware, but you can start showing them the value of the dollar by comparing how many more chores they'd have to do to earn some of the new things they want versus second-hand.
When shopping for other folks' kids, most people welcome the thoughtfulness of a truly unique gift. Anyone can buy the latest fad toy at Walmart. The time is spent in line, not in the search. But finding an original Star Wars Millennium Falcon or a vintage Fisher Price Castle – that's a gift they'll remember!
Approach the people who usually buy gifts for your family and let them know you want to help them stretch their budget and would appreciate unique and thoughtful second-hand gifts.
Not only will the kids have fun with the greater abundance of gifts to open, but you'll enjoy the search and you won't fear the credit card bill that follows.