Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 2:21PM
Cash on the spot
Local children’s resale shop buying items from residents
By Toriano Porter
Jenni Ahlquist had just visited the store the day before, but returned to drop off some more merchandise.
Ahlquist wanted to take advantage of not only the proximity of Once Upon A Child’s newest location in Lee’s Summit, but also benefit from the resale shop’s policy of buying children’s clothes, toys, equipment and more that her 5-year-old daughter Avery had outgrown.
Unlike consignment stores, Once Upon A Child does not require appointments and pays cash on the spot for items it purchases from consumers.
Customers like Ahlquist love that policy.
“It’s a very easy system as opposed to taking it to a consignment seller where you have to tag everything or having a garage sale,” Ahlquist, of Lee’s Summit, said Oct. 18. “We have a lot of stuff to get rid of. The stuff that we brought back yesterday we probably would have had to get rid of at a garage sale. It’s great. I’ve actually been to several others. We have family in Omaha and they shop there a lot and we go to the one in Kansas, so I’m very excited that there is going to be one close in town.”
The new Once Upon A Child in Lee’s Summit, located at 1131 N.E. Rice Rd., opened to buy merchandise from residents Oct. 11. A national recycling retail chain that specializes in merchandise for infants to pre-teens, Once Upon A Child in Lee’s Summit is owned by the husband and wife team of Jeff and Christie Zoroya, who anticipate a grand opening to sell (and still buy) sometime in December.
For now, the new location is interested in buying gently-used children’s apparel, books, baby equipment, furniture and the like for the next six to nine weeks in order to stock the store.
“We’re basically saying we think this will sell, so we’ll buy it from you and we will pay you cash right away,” Christie Zoroya said of the store’s buying approach. “We don’t have a limit on the number of items that people can bring in. People can bring in one bin or they can bring in 10 bins and we’ll get it all worked out.”
Zoroya said the couple moved to Lee’s Summit from the Boston area about two years ago and wanted to put down roots in the community, before adding Once Upon A Child ensures that all products purchased and sold meet mandatory and voluntary safety standards, staff members stay up-to-date on current recalled or retrofitted items, and she maintains all items purchased are safety-checked to meet current standards.
With a staff of one full-time employee and 10 part-time workers, Zoroya has built a bond with employees that is hard not to notice.
Susan Ehman, a sales associate at the store, spent weeks perusing area garage sales to help stock the business’s shelves. In two short months she has come to appreciate her job.
“I was hired to start garage selling in August,” Ehman said. “So I did that for a few weeks and then I started here (at the store). I love it. I do. I love my boss. I actually look forward to coming here. I was actually thanking God the other day for my job.”