Once Upon a Child is a great place to purchase
items for your children as you can usually find some great deals on many items, however it is NOT
a great place to sell your child or infants gently used clothing and baby gear. Frankly, I am not sure how they maintain their business model with the ambiguous information they give the seller, and the employees who seem to view sellers as a nuisance (which is odd considering that they only exist because of wares brought in by sellers). It seems like a great concept - they purchase items and are not a consignment store - but sellers beware!
I recently made the decision to take several items to Once Upon a Child in the hopes that it would be easier than selling on Craigslist or having a garage sale. In the end, I wish I would have just had a garage sale as not only would it have been easier, but I would have made more money and I would not have had to endure the curt behavior of the employees who weren't exactly rude, but weren't exactly nice. I highly recommend to others not to bother taking in items unless you are desperate for the money and don't mind being taken advantage of.
As their website instructed, I spent a great deal of time washing all of the clothing (even though it was all clean), and disinfecting and cleaning all of the baby gear I planned to bring in. I had items that still had boxes and were in great shape as well as designer infant clothing. Prior to making the trip to the store, I called to find out what they were accepting as I had a lot of stuff to sell. I was told a few things they would not accept and left those items at home. However, when I got to the store it was a completely different story depending on which employee you spoke to. They all said something different about what was accepted.
Several moms also selling baby and big kid items arrived at the store around the same time and as we all stood in line the employees seemed pained to have to help us. I arrived last and standing there with bags in hand I was completely ignored. Never having sold anything at this store I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a very unorganized process and all of us who brought in items were instructed to put them in the same general location making it difficult to tell who's stuff was who's. Masking tape with our last name was placed on the sides of some of our piles, but that was the only distinguishing marker. I was then told that they could not price everything for several hours and someone would call me later that day after they had gone through everything. Frankly, I felt very uncomfortable with the entire process but I decided to move forward since I had already gone through a lot to get everything ready and then haul it all to the store.
No one called later in the day. In fact, I received a call the next day and was told an offer was ready for me and I needed to come to the store to find out what they were purchasing. I had a lot of things that I brought in; several bags of clothing for toddler girls and infant boys and some unique baby gear. They, of course wanted all of the big ticket items but purchased only 6 clothing items from the multiple bags and boxes of clothing I took the time to bring in. The irony of it all is that I should have walked away when they offered me the pittance of an offer because I know that what they bought from me will have at least a 50-60% mark-up if not more.
When I went in for my "offer" I was told that they were not accepting infant clothing or size 3T and under because they had so much of it already and it was hard to sell infant separates (I had many items that were sets, but they took everything apart when they "looked" through it and when I got everything back the sets were no longer together). They also made a big deal of pointing out "stains" on certain baby gear (which honestly I could not find).
I was very confused with a few things.
- How did they come up with the prices for the items they were purchasing?
The day before when I brought in everything the girl that finally helped me was busy going through another sellers items and explained to me that their computer did all of the pricing for their offers. I wanted to know how it worked and she couldn't really explain other than all of the prices were set based on brands.
2. I wanted to see an itemized list of the dollar amount they were giving me for each of the items they were purchasing and was told they only offer a set pricing for the group.
This made no sense to me. Common business sense tells you that they would have to know what they bought the item for in order to know how to price it so they make a profit.
3. Since I did not receive an itemized list of the items they were purchasing, how do I know for sure that they didn't keep a few extras?
4. If they were not accepting infant clothing and toddler girls clothing, then why when I called the day before to inquire about what I should or should not bring in was I not told about the clothing?
The entire process did not make sense. Without a paper trail, how do I know whether or not I got ripped off. I can tell you as I a lugged all of the items they didn't want back to my car, I realized it was not worth the $40 I got for the items they are going to turn around and sell for a lot more. I understand they are in business to make money, and used items are just that, but it baffles me that they can treat people in such a way and stay in business. I didn't realize others had issues with them until just recently when I ran into some other moms who shared their bad experiences with them.
Lesson learned for me, but I hope I can help others before they make the same mistake. If you are going to sell them anything make sure you only take in a few items at a time, know exactly what your items are worth, and don't let them make you feel less than about what you brought in because they will certainly try!