PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Times are tight, especially when it comes to raising children. Kaitlin Comptom, a new mother, learned quickly that kids are costly.
"The dollar doesn't go as far as it used to," she said. "We just had a baby about 10 months ago, and we are pregnant again."
She's in search of new avenues or aisles, so to speak, to save.
"It's just like gas," Comptom said. "Gas is extremely expensive right now, and it's important to my husband and I to save money. Retirement we are planning for. Day care is expensive. All of these add up. And so if you can just minimize the cost in certain areas, it helps."
Kid to Kid, a used clothing store for children, recently opened up in Palm Beach Gardens. The owners, David and Francesca Brown, have four kids themselves. Knowing the issue first-hand drove them to open up a second-hand store.
"We have customers coming in that are shopping resale just to save on their own family budget, and then we have a lot of people coming in to try us out because they need cash for other things," Francesca Brown said.
The store serves two purposes. Parents can sell gently used kids clothing, toys or equipment for cash or for store credit, about 20% more than the cash value. Secondly, parents can shop for gently used kids' clothing that the owners said goes for about 70% less on average than a retail store.
"I do have a lot of friends that turn their clothes in and either use in the store to buy new merchandise or they get money back," Comptom said.
Carl Gould, who advises retailers of all sizes, said thrifting is becoming more popular in today's economy.
"I think the stigma has gone away," he said. "We filled our closet once before when times were good. Now we're realizing rather than giving them away or throwing them out, we can resell them and the infrastructure is there. … There are just about 18 consignment, thrifting and boutique second-hand stores in the greater West Palm Beach area. It's gotten very, very popular."
It's a community effort to keep the cycle going.
"I've been getting a lot of draw coming up from Broward (and) Miami-Dade County,” David Brown said.
"All of this inventory has come in from local families that live here in South Florida," Francesca Brown added.
So what's old is new again, all as a way to tackle a more difficult today.