Most of us have gone to a consignment store, a discount shop, or even a donation center to do some fun shopping or thrifting.
But this can be a really sensitive subject for individuals who can only afford to shop there, opposed to chain stores or franchises, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor chodesickles didn’t realize it could be a potential issue when she shopped at a local consignment store for baby clothes she knew her child would quickly outgrow.
But when she was called out for being there, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was taking away someone else’s resources.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for shopping at a consignment shop when I can afford not to?”
The OP liked to visit her local consignment shop from time to time.
“I genuinely want to know if I’m the a**hole so I don’t do it again.”
“In my town, there is a local ‘baby’ consignment shop. They sell all sorts of things from baby clothes to strollers to bottles, etc.”
“Their shelves and racks are always stocked and I like to stop in every once in a while, especially around the holidays, to see if they have any outfits that say something like, ‘My First St. Patrick’s Day!’ or something corny like that, which I did today.”
“I do this so I don’t have to spend $20 on an outfit that he’s going to outgrow in a month and never wear again.”
But another mother didn’t appreciate her most recent visit.
“While I was looking at outfits, another mom came in the room. She had her very young baby with her and was looking at me weird, kind of like a side-eye.”
“She then began picking out outfits and saying things like, ‘Do you think this is cute?’ to her baby.”
“She then says (to the baby), ‘Isn’t it so annoying when people shop here who don’t need to and take things from moms who actually need it?'”
“After hearing this, I was thinking what a weird thing to randomly say. Then it clicked that it wasn’t random at all and was aimed at me.”
“She wanted me to hear it presumably because I had ‘expensive things’ like a Northface J+jacket and a MK (Michael Kors) purse.”
“The shop is always overflowing with things and it’s not like parents have to fight tooth and nail for things, so I’ve never even thought about it like that, and I’ve been feeling guilty about it all day.”
“AITA for shopping there?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the other woman didn’t know the OP’s story well enough to judge.
“NTA. Anyone can shop at these types of stores, including op shops (thrift shops).”
“The other woman is also making a judgment based on OP’s clothes and bag.”
“Maybe they were gifts that OP can’t afford on her own. Maybe she did buy them, but has since been out of work and is struggling. She doesn’t know OP or OP’s story. She needs to keep her opinion to herself.” – Enjay73
“NorthFace and MK aren’t the MOST expensive brands. Plus it could’ve been gifted to OP, or OP could’ve even thrifted it or bought it on sale, etc.”
“There’s nothing wrong with buying stuff secondhand, the real problem lies with people who buy a s**t ton of stuff with the intention to resell it. OP buying five items every once in a while won’t harm anyone.” – Buckypunisher
“NTA. Thrifting is for anyone who wants to. As a matter of fact, I wish people would actively do it more often and get rid of the ‘gross’ stereotype. Maybe then we wouldn’t feel the need to constantly produce more shit all the time.”
“That mom needs to mind her business and leave other parents alone. I think it’s wonderful you’re finding second-hand items for your baby, I hope you continue to encourage them to buy second-hand in the future as well! Happy hunting.” – Minnie783100
“It’s bold to assume that ‘expensive’ brands really mean anything either. I have a lot of Calvin Klein dresses for work. I sure as shit didn’t buy them at the Calvin Klein store, I got them at Ross. Or perhaps some of those items were gifts.”
“Rich or not,OP can definitely shop there, but that person also has no right to judge OP just by how she’s dressed either. Rich and poor alike come well dressed and poorly dressed.” – peninsula713
“NTA. That lady clearly has a chip on her shoulder!”
“Anybody can shop at a consignment store, just like anybody can shop at a department store. The woman was assuming a lot in this situation. Who’s to say you didn’t get your MK purse and North Face jacket at a consignment store?”
“Besides, babies grow fast! I bought a ton of clothes at consignment stores, yard sales, and accepted hand-me-downs for my kids when they were babies. (I even still accept hand me downs, and pass along clothes to friends with growing kids too!)”
“Just because you ‘have money’ doesn’t mean you have to waste it.”
“You do you, boo! Keep shopping wherever you want to shop!” – ShooterWitch
Others said those stores were meant for everyone.
“Also, especially if it’s a local small store, it’s better that more people shop there so they can keep themselves in business and don’t close down thereby preventing people from having access.”
“If it’s something like Goodwill – Goodwill has to throw out so many things because they get so many things, there’s no reason to feel guilty for buying things from them. It’s better you appreciate the clothes than the garbage.” – GayWitchcraft
“Consignment is awesome!. Where I live, it’s always mint condition stuff from popular brands so it sells and they make money. Its like treasure hunting!” – jo_bo
“Imagine how the owners would feel? Like sure no one shop here if ‘you can afford new’ and the shop will go out of business.”
“Not to mention ethical consumerism and climate change awareness. Used is better than new in so many ways.” – CoDe4019
“More customers means more business for the consignment shop. Does this lady not want her beloved consignment shop to succeed?”
“Also, folks who shop at secondhand stores are often the kind of folks who support secondhand stores via consignments/donations when they have spare stuff in good condition.” – SnarkyBeanBroth
“A consignment shop isn’t even marketed strictly toward low income, it’s for anyone.”
“Listen, I knew a girl in high school whose family had money and when it was time for her prom, she went to my city’s event that is quite literally meant for people who can’t afford dresses.”
“Like, the whole point of it was to give girls who were low income the whole prom experience but they didn’t ask for proof and she went to be ‘smart.’ I was livid with her because she took a cheap dress from someone who couldn’t afford the full price. And there WAS a limited amount of dresses.”
“This is not that. Consignment is for everyone.” – GraveDancer40
Some pointed out it just made good sense to buy baby clothes second-hand.
“When it comes to baby stuff, this especially makes sense. The number of people I know who donated clothes their kid never even wore (largely gifts) because they grow so d**n fast is ridiculous.” – claustrof**ked
“Plus everyone should be buying more used clothing! There’s actually WAY MORE than enough to go around.”
“It’s the world’s second-biggest polluter, after oil.” – alabasterasterix
“NTA. – I can afford not to too, but I LOVE shopping at consignment and thrift stores. I have twin granddaughters and supplement their clothes to help out, I do buy new but also used. Especially holiday clothes that get worn twice and then packed away.”
“Kids grow so fast and when they outgrow it either gets donated back or passed on to my DIL’s friends. It’s a great way to contribute to Goodwill and saves resources by reusing what’s already available – saving money and the environment, what’s wrong with that?”
“And how nervy of that woman making that remark! Just smile and ignore her, I’m sure everyone else does.” – Affectionate_Ice_658
“NTA – babies grow very fast and it makes sense to buy clothes second-hand. It’s strange for her to judge you by what you’re wearing. It’s almost like people cant save money for nice things or buy/get given second hand nice things.” – InfamousFail7
“NTA—in fact, I always feel like a complete AH when I buy new things because I know how bad it is for the planet.”
“Honestly, it’s better for everyone’s child (that woman’s included) to buy things used so that you’re not contributing to the excess that will leave our kids a barren wasteland.”
“Also, you can get super fancy amazing stuff through consignment, so how did she even know you could afford new things in the first place?” – Sufficient_Ad3400
While the OP was doubting herself after what the other woman had said, the subReddit reassured her that she had nothing to worry about.
At consignment shops, there’s typically more than enough to go around. Not to mention how quickly a child will outgrow a piece of clothing, or that reusing clothes it actually better for the environment!