If you have young humans in your house, you’ve probably noticed not only do they wear a lot of clothing, but also they grow out of it and fast. We live in a small home that is low on storage so I’ve never been big on saving clothing for potential future children. Plus, with the way my children are spaced, often by the time they fit that 2T box, it’ll be the wrong season. So, over the years, I’ve tried quite a few ways of selling and donating children’s clothing. If you’re new on this journey, or simply looking for some fresh ideas. I’m here to share my experiences. Obviously, what works in my area may not be as popular in yours. Also, some will require some minor cost up front (packing materials, etc). But, I hope you find a little inspiration for how to either gift or resell clothing that is just sitting in your house and reduce a little stress.
Just a note, this is for the parent who occasionally wants to resell their child’s clothing, this isn’t to create a business model off of, nor does it discuss the legalities of doing this for profit.
Also, there are some Amazon affiliate links towards the end of this post. If you choose to make a purchase through one of these links, you won’t pay any extra but part of your purchase will help me keep this blog up and running. Thank you as always for your support.
If you’re in a monetary place to do so, gifting is a great option. Not all of us have friends with children the right size to pass down clothing though. So here are some of my favorite ways to gift clothing other than dropping it at GoodWill.
Your Local Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing is an incredible resource in general when it comes to children and baby items. Whether it’s needing a high chair, or passing off a flavor of baby food your child didn’t like, these groups put items directly in the hands of your neighbors who can put these items to use. It feels so good when you’re able to gift something directly to your neighbor, instead of dropping off in a donate line. If you haven’t joined your local group, be sure to click the link. My local group is on Facebook and it’s been so incredible for not only getting some gently used items out of my cupboards, but also I’ve found some goodies and made some friends too!
Community Closets. A quick google search for “Community Closet Near Me” will produce a list of organizations that keep closets for houseless neighbors, returning veterans, low income neighbors, foster youth, and those returning to work. Often they have limited donation hours, but if you have gently used items, this is an incredible option.
Donation Pick Up. In our area, there are quite a few organizations (most are disability centered) that will actually come to your door and pick up your clothing, furniture, and household item donations free of charge. Some of them sell the items to thrift shops for funding of programs. Again, a great option especially if you are looking to not leave your home. Try submitting a google search for “Donation Pickup Near Me” to find local organizations with this service. Of course, be sure to read about the organization and make sure this is a free service before signing up for a pickup.
I was terrified to sell items online until a friend showed me how to do this. I’m going to talk you through some options to sell online from favorite to least favorite. I’ll even tell you what marketplaces I avoid!
The better your photos are, the more likely it will sell no matter what the platform in this section. The example at the beginning of this section was taken in my kitchen with natural lighting. The item is clean, hung neatly, and the photo is clearly labeled so if being seen in an app they can see what the item is before opening my listing. For the listing I’d also do a photo of the back of the garment, a copy of the front without the text covering the garment so they know it’s not hiding anything, a close up of any defects, a close up of the tag, and a close up of any detail a buyer may want to see clearer.
Mercari. This is a newer one on the scene for me since I’ve been selling kids clothes for about 4 years. I truly enjoy selling on Mercari. It’s such a simple app platform, and I love that they handle shipping and everything making it perfect for first time sellers. The items that sell best on Mercari for me are name brand items, in season items, and shoes. Make sure before selling that you have access to a printer to print your shipping labels, and that you have shipping boxes/bags. I’ll give you a rundown of my favorite sales tools at the end of this post.
eBay. Good ole eBay. This is where I first got started selling gently used children’s clothing. Its a pretty simple platform, although it doesn’t hold the massive reach that Mercari does now for children’s clothing. You also need to be cognoscente of how much you are charging for shipping and that you are weighing your items. While this is still a go to for me when it comes to adult brands, baby carriers, and toys, I tend to choose Mercari over eBay when it comes to general baby and children’s clothing.
Facebook Selling Groups. Ooh, these can be fun and also a headache. If you choose to sell on a group, make sure first that it is a closed group and not a local BST. It’s also best to find Facebook groups that specialize in whatever niche you’re trying to resell in. If it’s mostly outdoor gear, you will want to find a group that specializes in those products. If it’s a baby carrier, perhaps find a baby carrier resale group that focuses on those brands. Always read the rules of a group, and use Paypal “Goods and Services” (or another payment app with protection) so you have added protections. Do not send money via Facebook messenger, ever. It’s also good to be in the group for a week or two first and see what kind of items are posted, and what prices are the norm there. It’s pretty much essential that you have a scale to weigh your items for shipping since using flat rate boxes will super-inflate in these groups.
Using Apps to Sell in Person
Oh, OfferUp, the new Craig’s List. This is a great one for furniture, baby gear, and large lots of clothing. However, be aware that there’s usually quite a bit of communication involved, and depending on your community- I’ve been stood up quite a few times which can be annoying. This also usually is a cash deal which means you’ll have to count cash in front of the person buying your things. I also try to have another adult with me whenever I do a meet up, which means it can take some planning. However, for those who hate to ship items, it can be a real winner. Anymore, I prefer the ease of Mercari or a Facebook Selling Group over the hassle of meet ups, dealing with cash, and finding extra people to go with.
Facebook Marketplace. It’s basically the same as OfferUp, just integrated into your Facebook App.
Consigning is a beautiful process. It has the ease in person selling without the hassle of dealing with other humans basically. There’s nothing to ship, and when it sells it’s because someone is shopping in person, so you don’t have to stress about lighting and photo quality.
Local Consignment Shops. This will depend on where you live as to what your local options are. The process here is really simple. You’d check out their Facebook page or webpage to see what they are currently accepting (usually only in season items). You’ll want to come during their window of when they are accepting consignments, again this will be listed on one of their webpages or on their phoneline. As with all of these resell options, only bring your best of the best and do not be offended if they don’t take something. You’ll be offered an amount at the end of the exam process usually a cash price, or a more inflated in store credit. This is a great option for families who choose to frequent only one or two consignment stores so they can put the store credit to good use. It’s also nice because you drop your items off and you’re done! No shipping, no meetups, nothing else. Done. Plus, you’re supporting local (usually) small businesses which is always a beautiful thing.
Just Between Friends. This is my go-to option for consigning items. Our local sale is twice a year (Fall and Spring). When you consign your items, if you volunteer 4 Hours during the sale, your take home is 70% of the sale price. If you volunteer 8+ Hours they wave the $10 fee to consign your items. Plus, they have a ton of perks like shopping before the public and half price nearly everything before the public as well. I usually keep a rubbermaid tote during the off season to collect items I’d like to consign and then spend a week before the sale prepping items, hanging, tagging, and then bringing those items to the sale. If you haven’t been to or sold at a Just Between Friends sale, I highly suggest checking out their website and visiting the next sale that’s local to you.
Rhea Lana, much like Just Between Friends, Rhea Lana runs in the same fashion. It’s a large event that you can consign your items at. I’ve never personally sold at one of their sales even though there is one locally. But, I have friends who swear by this event! It’s worth checking out!
How to Ship
For selling online and shipping, there are a few items I highly suggest getting before listing items for sale.
PolyMailers are what I send about 98% of my items in. Whether it’s cloth diapers, a tee shirt, or a kid’s jacket- PolyMailers are wonderful. I prefer to get a huge pack on Amazon verses purchasing them in an office supply store. This adorable pack is $8.99 for 30 of them. Labels from Mercari, PayPal, and eBay work great on these.
If you happen to own a label printer, you can forgo this. However, these magical little pouches are what I slip my mailing labels in and adhere to my Polymailers or boxes to ship. It saves you precious packing tape (which is far more expensive!) and looks so professional. The standard size is perfect for mailing labels from Mercari, PayPal, or eBay. At $8.99 for 100 of them, it’s well worth the investment if you’re going to sell over 10 items versus using packing tape to make your mailing label waterproof.
Did you know you can have your postman drop off flat rate boxes for free at your door? If you visit USPS here, you can order what sizes you need and they’ll be at your door in just a few days free of charge. I rarely use flat rateboxes unless I’m selling a huge lot of clothing, big bulky jackets, shoes, or other heavy items.
I hope this quick guide helped you find a way that suits your schedule and family to simplify wardrobes and put some extra cash in the budget for the next growth spurt!