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High prices push KC-area shoppers to choose consignment this holiday season

Consignment clothing pic.jpg
Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 07:15:10-05

LENEXA, Kan. — KSHB 41 is keeping a close eye on how inflation is affecting choices this holiday season.

As an option to save money, some people are turning to consignment clothing.

Thrifts store veteran Cindy Blake is an adamant proponent of shopping for less.

“After I'm here and I go to another store, I'm like this stuff is way too expensive,” Blake said.

She’s been shopping at Hillcrest Thrift Store in Lenexa for years. Lately, she’s shopping alongside newcomers nearly every time she visits.

"There is not a day that goes by, and this has been going on for months now, there is not a day where I'm not on the register, where somebody doesn't tell me that this is their first time here," Hillcrest manager Joy May said. "I think there's a stigma around thrift shoppers that's beginning to change."

Gaining traction in Kansas City, the trend inspired two local women late last year to change their careers.

"I think we thought it would be kind of a side thing, a little thing on the side of our lives, but it's been a very large part of our lives. It's full-time," Kristen Sayers said.

Sayers and Kristen Moon are moms, best friends, next-door neighbors and former nurses turned consignment clothing sellers.

"I've always kind of had this idea about trying to find a way to make consignments easier, and there's so much waste that goes into kids' clothing,” Sayers said. “And when they wear them one time, there's just an opportunity to re-use and pass down — for people to save money and for people to make money — and it was a great opportunity."

The pair were going to only operate their website, Sharing Sunshine, but now they also do business via Instagram through stories and live stream sales.

In the past, they've hosted in-person sales in one of their backyards.

“I think the fact that we've gone from four consigners since March to almost 170 tells us that people are looking for an avenue to make that money,” Sayers said. “So whatever that drive is, that's a significant increase."

For now, the pair is only dealing in children's clothing, specifically higher-end items. Still, they say readjusting expectations due to inflation is getting harder.

"When we're out doing our pricing, we've been shocked at retail prices this holiday season," Sayers said. "Odds are other shoppers have noticed that as well. So whether it's high-end clothes for kids, or that rare find in a local thrift store, if you're looking at gently used items for the first time this year, you're not alone.”

All of Hillcrest's items are donated, and the sales support assistance for the homeless community of Kansas City.

As for Sharing Sunshine, customers can shop on their website or on their social media pages.

For those interested in selling clothes through the site, Sayers says they will come to you and sort through what you have. They're also partnering with agencies to donate items that don't sell.