When it comes to kids and clothes, there are two undeniable facts: kids can be rough on clothes, and even when they’re not, they outgrow them. As a parent, what can you do with all those clothes that you paid so much for only a few months ago?
The good news is, you have many options. Most of these are best when the clothes are in near-new, or “gently used” condition. However, for clothes that have taken a beating, we have ideas for you.
Hand Me Downs
When an older child outgrows his or her clothes, it’s common for the next younger sibling of the same sex to get them. Parents who take good care of their children’s clothing can save a lot of money this way.
What if you don’t have other children of your own to hand them down to? Consider your nieces and nephews or the children of your friends. Ask if they’re interested and then wash, fold and box the clothing. We all know clothing can be expensive, and this is a kind gesture you can do to help your relatives and friends.
Are those old clothes in good condition? Many parents take great care of their kids’ clothing so that, even after their kids have grown out of them, the clothes are still like new. If you’re one of those parents, you should consider selling the items.
Here are some possible sales avenues.
Ebay: The essential online auction house, you can find just about anything on eBay. Whether you’re an occasional seller or you make your living on the site, putting items up for auction or immediate sale on eBay will attract a large audience of potential buyers. If you sell your children’s old clothes on the site often, and give great customer service, you’ll earn a high rating, attracting more buyers.
ThredUp: If you just want an easy process, consider ThredUp. This company buys clothing that is still in excellent condition. They’ll send you a “Clean Out Kit,” which you will fill with your kids’ high quality used clothes and mail in. ThredUp covers the postage. Then, they decide what they’ll take, and pay you for it. You can also opt to sell your items on consignment through them. You can either let them keep those items they don’t pay for, or send them back to you.
Swap: This company works like ThredUp, except that while ThredUp handles all sorts of clothes, Swap specializes in children’s and women’s clothes. Also, rather than buying your old clothing items outright, they sell them on consignment.
Craigslist: If you have so many old children’s clothes you don’t know what to do with them at all, consider selling them as one or several lots on Craigslist.
Yard Sale: If you’d like to spend some time outside getting to know the neighbors while selling the clothes your kids have outgrown, hold a yard sale. We’ve covered how to plan a successful yard sale in another article, and, of course, this way you can easily sell other items, too.
Local Used Children’s Item Stores: Look for local thrift shops that will purchase your children’s gently used clothing and toys, or sell them on consignment. Again, make sure the items are complete and of high quality.
Speaking of thrift stores, there are good reasons to simply donate to them rather than selling them.
It’s less of a hassle. Yes, thrift stores still want good quality items, but their standards for quality aren’t as rigorous as some of the other options on this list.
You’re making it possible for people of lower means to acquire good, often brand-name, clothes at affordable prices.
You can deduct the value of the clothing from your taxes. With the amount you’ll end up saving on your taxes, it may be like getting about as much as you would have selling the clothes.
What about those clothes that aren’t in such great condition? That shirt with the stubborn grape juice stain, or those pants torn in several places?
You have several good options here. Does your town have clothing recycling bins? Many will take tattered clothing and recycle it for various uses.
If you enjoy crafts like scrapbooking, you can use interesting cloth from clothing for projects. Your kids might have fun with this as well.
Finally, some clothing items are absorbent and, when cut into squares or rectangles, make good rags. Use them for cleaning up spills, or for dirtier tasks, like polishing the car, cleaning up paint, and so on.