Business

Buy, sell, repeat

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

It’s a mantra often applied to old juice containers or cardboard, and one that Cathy and Duncan Mussbacher hope will be applied to your children as well.

Their new store, Once Upon a Child, embodies the essence of recycling through buying and selling gently used children’s clothing, toys and items.

“We have a three-year-old and a five-year-old ourselves and thought, ‘what are we going to do with all of this stuff?’” Duncan Mussbacher explained.

“Like everyone else we have put things up on Craigslist or considered consignment, but the majority of stuff just gets stored or given as handy downs to other family members.”

That’s when they discovered Once Upon a Child, a chain that allows customers to earn a little extra cash by selling their kid’s outgrown items.

With no locations in the Lower Mainland or even in B.C., the Mussbachers decided to open their own store in Langley.

“We really fell in love with the whole concept and idea of buying from the community and selling to the community,” Mussbacher said.

Carrying a variety of used clothing, toys and hardline items such as strollers and bouncers, Once Upon a Child has kids covered from infancy to age 12.

Before any second-hand item purchased, it goes through rigorous checks for quality, cleanliness and safety.

All clothes must be freshly laundered and all toys, strollers and similar items must meet Health Canada safety standards. Any item that has been recalled, is missing any parts or is not in great condition will not be accepted.

“Our customer base is made up of customers who buy from us and sell to us,” Mussbacher said.

“With that, it’s really important that we have a high level of customer satisfaction and ensure that we offer quality.”

Once an item is accepted, the store will pay cash upfront or offer an in-store credit. There are no appointments necessary and they will buy all seasons of clothing at any time of the year.

“We’re very committed to the sentimental value of the items people bring to us,” Mussbacher said.

“It’s not just a tangible item that they are selling to us, it has sentimental value as well — ‘my son or my daughter grew up with that. Last year the wore that little Christmas outfit.’ Especially if we are not able to accept it, it’s important that we communicate with our customer so that they fully understand why.”

The items in their retail store are also much cheaper than buying new. A two-year-old stroller that originally sells for $600, will only cost $150. It is even possible to buy an entire outfit for your child for only $10, Mussbacher said.

“We are a solution to a very high demand,” he said.

“There’s a lot of venues that are great, but they have little glitches in them. With Craigslist, you have someone coming to your personal home. At swap meets sometimes health and safety standards are not met. Our pricing is consistent because you know exactly what we can offer you and what we can sell it for. And then there’s just the idea of recycling a lot of the items that we provide.”

The store is located at 20121 Willowbrook Dr.

For more information, click here.

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