Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Once Upon a Child - a review

Once Upon a Child - Anchorage location
  1. As I mentioned yesterday, my biggest issue with Once Upon a Child is their prices.  Some things are just ridiculously priced.  Gymboree outfits can run anywhere from $8.99 to $19.99.  While I know that this is still a good value considering the original price, it is just too much for me to pay for a onesie and a pair of pants, regardless of how cute it is.  Especially when over at Kid to Kid, you can get the same type of outfit from Gyboree for a lot less.  There are still good deals to be found here however, and there is plenty of stock to search through in order to find that good deal.  There are sales here (seasonably, I believe) and they make it especially worthwhile to stop by.  
  2. This store is a smart place to go if you are looking for something specific to complete an outfit - as they have so many items you're almost sure to find that one obscure item you are looking for used, such as a knit vest for a boy or a cardigan for a girl in a certain size.  They also don't seem to price anything over $20 (although a lot comes pretty close) and $20 is still a good price (in my opinion) to pay for things like barely worn REI or Patagonia snowsuits and the like.  One of my best finds at Once Upon a Child was two sets of Patagonia long underwear in different infant sizes for only $15 (included the thermal top and bottom).  These same items cost $50 a set across the street at REI.   
    Here's a picture of one of the sets, you can see they are in brand new condition.
  3. Finally, in regards to trade in, they are very conservative in how much cash value they will give you for used items.  Clothing is probably never credited for more than a $1 per item, ever.  Big items are also pretty stingy, especially if they have a lot in stock at the time.  I saw a mom bringing in two swings, a bouncer, a bathtub and a bag full of clothes and she was offered $23 cash.  Toys are given pretty OK credit for, especially if it is a barely used item that is in high demand.  I assume the only things you can get a fair amount in cash or credit for are items very high in demand.  Because of this, I don't bother taking time to bring things by, especially clothing.  Another reason I don't like to sell items to Once Upon a Child is because of the attitude of the people looking through it and the organization (or really lack of it) at the counter.  I can't tell you the amount of times I've hear people complain about the customer service at Once Upon a Child.  I have friends who have brought nearly brand new outgrown items there to sell, and rather than tell the truth (we have too many clothes in that size and can't take yours sorry) they say things like, "The clothes were too out of date" or "Many of the items were stained".  Not only can this be embarrassing for some, it's very frustrating since you know the items are perfectly good and you or somebody else probably paid good money for them.  As you'll read tomorrow, I prefer to sell things only to Kid to Kid.    

Once again, I still enjoy shopping there enough to return, and think they do a pretty good job keeping up their stock levels in all infant sizes.  I don't know as much about older children (over 4T), but it seems like all of the shelves are always full.  Bottom Line:  Definitely stop in now and again, and especially during sales, but only bring things by to sell if you are ready to be disappointed with how much they will give you for them.  

1 comment:

  1. I cannot STAND it when people are rude about used items like that. I do remember the horrible organization at the front desk, the piles and piles of things not gone through yet.