While the huge consignment sales are great, they're not ongoing--so when we want to scope out some good deals in between sale dates, we head to Baby Bear Boutique.
What it is: Baby Bear Boutique is a consignment store in the middle of Durham with children's and and equipment. It's not large, but it's always a relaxed atmosphere (unlike the crazy-huge sales) with some good prices. Although it's a true consignment store in that you can tell some of the merchandise has been there a while, there are always some treasures to be found without too much digging. I'm pretty picky and cheap and I never leave empty-handed--in fact, some of my kids' favorite toys come from BBB. Just know in advance that the store has character, and it's not Target.
What we like: There are some toys out for the kids to play with while parents shop, which really helps since the store itself isn't all that big. Also, the owner, who is quite friendly to chat with, runs occasional "sales" on off-season clothing, or on specific products like shoes or outerwear, so you can get some really great deals if you watch what's on sale. It seems that she gets new merchandise in all the time, so there's alway something different to look through. I keep coming back because it's a relatively convenient place to pick up kids' items for a little less money, without spending Saturdays at garage sales, driving long distances or waiting in lines at the big sales.
What we'd change: The store is smallish, which can be challenging with a stroller--don't even attempt a double-stroller. Also, while there are plenty of bargains, there are some items that seem to be a bit overpriced as well. The store's organization is a bit eclectic since it's actually a converted house, so it can be a bit tricky to find the sizes you need.
Address: 3409 University Drive, Durham, NC 27707-2647
Phone Number: (919) 493-0854
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.