I was talking to a friend* last week who said he doesn't give his children anything secondhand. Not their clothes, their strollers, their bouncy seats or shoes. He couldn't exactly articulate why exactly--he's not a germaphobe and he's not materialistic--but he was happy when his second child was a different gender from the first so he'd have a reason to buy him new clothes. Considering the number of swings, ExerSaucers, strollers and other items we received from friends, I couldn't fathom not only the cost**, but having to actually purchase all of the said items without even knowing if my child would be willing to use it more than once. I once saw a $1200 barely-used stroller (with multiple accessories) for sale at a fraction of the cost because the baby it was intended for didn't like it. Yup. That happens.
Secondhand clothes suit me because they are easily available (Munchkin already has a stocked closet with clothes that will fit her for another two years), it's free and saves me the hassle of shopping on-line or otherwise. However, it's nice to think I'm preventing clothes from going into a huge processing center and it's fun to see that even Julia Roberts buys her kids clothes at thrift shops. What's the point of buying new clothes when your kid will stain, rip or outgrow them in a few weeks or sometimes in a few minutes? I don't have high end tastes, especially for kids that can't even talk, but if you do, there are affordable designer baby clothes to be found.
For now, I'll continue to dress my kids in secondhand duds until they start expressing preferences for items that can't be found in that shipped box of clothes. But since the thought of having to shop for not just me, but two more people terrifies me, I just hope that doesn't happen until they are old enough to shop for themselves.
*My friend cheerily consented to being mentioned in GoodMomvsBadMom.com.
** Notice that the study "showed that only 56% of first time parents were happy with second hand items for their first baby, this went up to 77% with parents of one or more kids." That's probably because the thought of spending another $7700 a second or third time freaked out the parents so much that they happily hauled out those used gadgets and toys.