Folks don’t lie. Kids really do grow like weeds. Give it a week (or two or three) and any given baby, toddler or small child will need a new wardrobe or a new car seat. Or maybe they outgrew that stroller that cost $500. It’s just how it goes and it’s not too tough to break the bank. The solution? Buy secondhand!

Childrens Trading Post
Children’s Trading Post sells gently used clothing, toys, baby gear and equipment, as well as some carefully curated new items. Photo credit: Kristin Kendle

Your options to acquire secondhand range from sourcing neighborhood groups to Goodwill, but your best bet might just be finding a secondhand store to grow with – one that has what you need now and for years to come.

Enter Children’s Trading Post in Lakewood. Tucked into a cute German-style building on Gravelly Lake Drive, the store has been keeping families outfitted in everything from clothing to car seats since February 2010.

“I started the store because I wanted a really great place that people could go and get quality items at a great price, where the people were friendly, and they could trade in old items to get the new ones they needed when they don’t have a ton of money,” says owner Shyanne Corrente.

Childrens Trading Post
Shyanne Corrente has owned and operated Children’s Trading Post since 2010. Photo credit: Kristin Kendle

Children’s Trading Post is well organized and tidy. Clothing is sorted by size and type and easy to flip through to find what you’re looking for. The store sells a large range of clothing in its 2,500 square feet of space, but wander the racks and you’ll also see plenty of swings, bouncers, shoes, raincoats, strollers and beyond. Head toward the back of the store and you’ll find a room filled with swings, bassinets, cribs, co-sleepers, Jumperoos and the like.

Not sure where to find that pink hoodie for your six-month-old? Ask the staff. They’re friendly and knowledgeable.

While there are other consignment and secondhand kids stores in the area, Children’s Trading Post goes above and beyond selling only secondhand.

Childrens Trading Post
Employee Sabrina poses with some LILLEbaby carriers in the background – just one of the brand new items the store carries. Photo credit: Kristin Kendle

“I think what makes us unique is we have some new items we carry that are harder to get used,” says Shyanne. She carefully selects her stock of new items, making sure they’re high quality as well as something a little special. New items include Lillebaby and Kinderpack carriers (including a custom-designed Kinderpack carrier available only at Children’s Trading Post), WubbaNub pacifiers, hair bows, bath squirters, puzzles, Momma Goose Amber Necklaces, Love and First Bite Chewlery and Cosco convertible car seats.

“Every new item we sell has a reason to be here,” says Shyanne. “No one wants to buy used bath squirters. WubbaNub pacifiers are available at other stores, but not always the full variety of animals. We carry wooden puzzles because it’s harder to get in used puzzles with all the pieces still there.”

But beyond buying what you need to raise stylish and well-outfitted little ones, Children’s Trading Post also takes trades – as you might guess from the name. The store offers in-store credit or cash for trade-in items.

Childrens Trading Post
The store is well organized and easy to navigate. Photo credit: Kristin Kendle

Shyanne says trade-in rates have a few options. Each time you visit the store, you’ll be given a card to fill out with your name and phone number, and there are a few questions to answer on the back. The card is used to calculate your credit, but also helps the staff know if you need a rundown on how exactly the trade-in process works. If you haven’t been in before and want to understand how the value of your trade is calculated, they’re happy to explain. In short, you get 50% of the price they’re going to sell clothing items for in credit that’s good on other used clothes. If you want to buy equipment with your trade (like a toy or a high chair), then they give you 37% of what they’re going to sell it for. If your trade is out of season, then it’s half the usual value. For equipment trades, you’ll get 50% credit or 40% cash of what they sell for. New with tag items get you 40% credit toward anything.

“We check for stains, wear and tear, missing snaps or buttons, broken zippers, items that are outdated,” explains Shyanne. “Things that we can’t take, you can decide if you want to take it back or donate it to the 25-cent sale. Then I sort by season. Everything in the store sells for half of what it sells for new.”

The 25-cent sales happen regularly and are announced on the store’s Facebook page. They are just what they sound like – the ultimate budget sale and a great place to find all kinds of items for 25 cents apiece.

Childrens Trading Post
Looking for a bassinet, jumper, swing or crib for a good price? Look no further! Photo credit: Kristin Kendle

Once you have your credit in place, shopping is simple. Your credit total is kept in the store’s system and credit never expires.

Check the Facebook page for trade in times as sales and other special happenings may shift trade hours. If you can’t stay and wait for your trade total, you can drop your items off and come back later that same day by 4:00 p.m. to see how your trade worked out. Clothes and items need to be clean and ready to be put up for sale.

You’ll also be invited to enter your phone number onto a pad at check out to join the store’s rewards program. While purchases made on credit don’t count for rewards, any cash purchase does and you’ll accrue points toward more store credit. Woohoo!

If you want to explore Children’s Trading Post, it’s located at 11124 Gravelly Lake Drive SW in Lakewood. You can call them at 253-584-0288 if you have questions, or follow Children’s Trading Post on Facebook for updates about sales, what items they’re taking any given week or updates about new stock.

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