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BARGAINS / GERI COOK

Pint-Size Prices for Half Pints : When a pair of jeans your child will outgrow in a month costs $35 new, it's worth looking into resale for a better deal.

July 30, 1993|GERI COOK

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs parents $11,910 to clothe a child from birth to age 18. Saralisa Lauren, owner of Glad Rags For Kids, says parents can shave as much as $5,000 off that bill by regularly shopping at quality resale stores.

I checked out Glad Rags For Kids in Sherman Oaks on the recommendation of Janet Snyder, owner of Jean's Star Apparel, one of the best women's resale stores in the San Fernando Valley. Snyder spoke highly of the children's resale shop, where she had found "some good stuff at good prices."

More parents seem to be taking advantage of resale these days. Children grow so quickly, especially infants and toddlers; often, they wear their clothes only once or twice before outgrowing them. However, at resale stores, parents bring in all those almost-new items that their offspring have outgrown for consignment sale.

"This is a concept where everyone wins," says Lauren, who opened her store in October. "My consignors are happy to get some of the money back they spent on their kids' clothes, my customers are happy to get bargains on designer clothing, and everyone's happy because they feel good about their recycling efforts."

Glad Rags has a large selection of items, from clothing (sizes 0 to 14), shoes and accessories to furniture, cribs, strollers, car seats, high chairs, toys, books and various nursery items--all heavily discounted from the original hang tag.

The inventory, of course, changes almost daily since consignors are constantly bringing in "new" merchandise. I found a quilted Baby Dior sleep sack from Saks Fifth Avenue that seemed never worn. It was so lovely and so totally impractical that it might have been a gift from a wealthy maiden aunt. Instead of the original $80, the Glad Rags price was $25. At that price, you can afford to be impractical.

Some big names are on the racks in this organized store, and they sell quickly. And why not? What parent wants to spend $35 on a pair of Guess jeans for a 5-year-old? How about $15 for the same label? A handsome Sonia Rykiel dress that originally sold for at least $200 was $60.

There are plenty of items for boys, like a once-worn Size 12 navy blue Ralph Lauren blazer and matching pants for $100 (retail and new $300).

The prices on lesser-known labels are considerably lower. For smaller boys, a Sahara Club short-sleeve polo shirt (good for play time) was only $4.

Resale is always a good source for deals on strollers and car seats.

A mint-condition Perego stroller for twins was $150 (new, it's around $300). My particular favorite for a newborn was a wicker bassinet for $45, including linens, which probably would have come to $125 or so new.

The consignment deal is a 50-50 split, and everything must be in excellent condition and clean when it's brought in.

There's also a small and cheerful play area to entertain the small fry while parents shop.

WHERE TO SHOP

What: Glad Rags For Kids, 13757 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. To place items on consignment, make an appointment.

Cards: MasterCard and Visa.

Call: (818) 789-3403.

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