From the time I was pregnant with my first daughter, I have had one overwhelming urge: to dress my children in beautiful, expensive clothing. Of course, the budget didn’t allow for such extravagance. So, I began my search for ways to dress my kids in the clothes I wanted without sacrificing my grocery money for that week. I began like most people do, thrift stores and consignment. I had some success but still was only settling for the slim choices that were available there. Then I discovered the method that would allow me to be as picky as I wanted with what I dressed my little princess in.
Buy, Wear, Sell
I started selling my girls’ clothing on eBay, and I was amazed with what I found: other moms were willing to pay good money for my kids’ used clothing. Since I had shopped frugally to begin with, I was making a great return. I would put outfits together, take a photo and watch as the money rolled in. I could easily make $20-$30 for each brand-name outfit. After I found out how easy it was to resell the outfits, I started buying the clothing with resale value in mind. I would buy complete outfits, matching hats, headbands, and socks, knowing that those little details make the outfits much more appealing in resale.
Brand-name clothing costs more for a reason: it washes better, lasts longer, and is more stain resistant. If you are buying a season ahead, you will pay less money for brand-name than you would at a discount store. No one wants to buy used discount store clothing, so don’t waste money listing them.
Keep Outfits Clean
You can’t resell a stained outfit. I know you’ve stocked up on stain remover; use it! A few extra minutes in the laundry room are going to be worth seeing your little darlings in those cute outfits!
Buy a Season Ahead
You can go crazy at season ending sales, buying all available sizes and multiples of the same outfits. Use your store coupons to make the deals even sweeter. If your kids don’t fit in them next season, you can resell them for top dollar along with what your kids outgrew last season. I will often buy around $200.00 worth of clothing at the Gymboree red balloon sale, paying around $2-$3 for a shirt that I can resell for $15 in season. I can have a complete wardrobe for my child for the following season, as well as other clothing to sell to make my money back, plus some.
Timing is Everything
You won’t make much money selling bathing suits in September. Each season, carefully pack away the outfits that your child has outgrown, along with anything you bought at those end-of-season sales. When the timing is right, unpack and photograph the clothing. Try to get everything listed at the same time, so that if people want to buy multiple outfits from you, you can give them a discount on shipping.
After you sell all the clothes that your child outgrew, you will have a lot of money in your paypal account. Use it wisely! Buy clothing off the clearance racks and use coupons. When you go to resell them, you might even get more than you paid.
Open a Store Credit Card
Warning: this is a dangerous little game! You have to be very disciplined with this method. However, it was a very important part of my overall plan. The stores I like and recommend are Baby Gap and Gymboree. Both of these stores give back a minimum of 10% in store credit but, more importantly, give great store coupons which can usually be used on clearance clothing. These two stores also make clothing that resells very well.
One More Option
I was so impressed with the high prices I was getting paid for used clothing that I wanted to find a way to have even more to sell. I put an add on Craigslist offering to buy the brand-name clothing that other people’s children had outgrown. I would pay a couple hundred dollars and take away huge garbage bags full of clothing that could make me cash. Sometimes an outfit needed a little stain remover and a quick run with the steamer, but overall I made my money back many times over.
This wasn’t a way for me to get rich. However, I do get to dress my kids in the clothing I really want them to wear. Happy shopping!
This has been a guest post by Sandra from Woonsocket, RI
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