So today I'm going to blog about a question that I've actually been asked a few times now---how do I score so many good deals on used kids clothes for the girls?
Now many people don't like buying used clothes, and personally for myself I don't buy used. However for my clothes I buy cheap, basic items and I wear the crap outta them haha. So buying used basics just doesn't make much sense.
However for the girls (in case you haven't discovered this) I am a little obsessed with their clothes ;-) Thankfully Lee has a nice job that allows me to stay home with the girls, but we don't have piles of extra money laying around haha....so in order for me to dress them in such an obscene amount of clothing I have to get creative---welcome used clothing!
Here is my big DON'T of buying used.
1) I don't do garage sales. Now my parents find some great items from time to time and I love them---but in general at garage sales you find brands like Carters, Target, Walmart, etc....which don't typically hold up to wear all that well, so they usually have lots of fade/wash wear/etc. And people who take awesome care of their kids clothes don't usually garage sale it---they sell online or consign. So overall garage sales just aren't going to score you that many awesome deals.
2) Don't buy used if you are extremely picky ;-) I'd say 90% of my purchases have been just as described, but every once in awhile I buy something that was described as excellent condition and then it comes with a stain. This is really annoying, but I almost always can get the stain out myself, and everything I buy is really cheap anyways for the most part. If you feel something was grossly misrepresented though every selling forum has people you can report too and they are good about clearing out the bad eggs.
Here are my DO'S of buying used.
1) Look for local consignment stores or "just between friends" sales. People (like me) who have nice clothing to sell are going to take their clothes here, if they don't ebay it. Some consignment stores are yucky (in my experience) but some are amazing. You have to shop around. My favorite local shop only takes name brand items and they are super picky and don't accept anything with a mark or stain. After one month the items are marked down 25%, then 50% after two months, and 75% after three months, and $1 after 4 months. I always shop the sales, never full price. You would be shocked how many brand new with tag Gymboree items I've gotten for $1!
Just between friend sales are sales that run for a weekend or whatever. People tag and price their own items and then a big sale is held. I've never attended a sale like this but they are quite popular and if you volunteer to work the sale one night then you get to shop early and have first pick of the items.
2) Shop ebay. Now ebay annoys me much of the time because I hate getting outbid at the last minute, etc. The way *I* shop is ebay is I periodical search for a particular brand and narrow the search to include only "buy it now" listings...and I search so the newest listings show up first. This way if someone lists something awesome at an abnormally low price you can quick buy it right away! The two Matilda Jane items we have were won that way. I got them for waaaay less than what they normally go for, so when we are done I will actually be able to sell them and probably make a profit.
The other way I shop ebay is to periodically search for the listings ending soonest to see if there is anything good that people just haven't bid on....one time I found a new with tags Naartjie outfit that was about to end with no bids, and I got it at a great price.
3) Shop online Buy/sell/trade groups. Did you know there are all kinds of selling groups on Facebook for example? Search for various resale groups and you'll find a ton. People can post pics of what they have and then if you want to buy you just pay with paypal. I have *never* been scammed with an online sale, but if for some reason you are then you have PayPal protections. This is also a really easy way to sell your items when you are done with them! And on these Facebook groups I'd say about 50% or more of the items are NWT, so even if you are really picky and don't like "used" items, there is still a lot of great deals to be had.
There are also various online boards/forums you can join where you can chat about cloths/sales/etc....and most of these have a section for buying and selling too. These are really fun and I have gotten great deals through them as well.
4) Sell your stuff to buy next season! Honestly, I consider a lot of our clothes to be "borrowed" haha. A "normal" person might go spend $50 on 3-4 Target outfits and consider themselves very thrifty, but then the resale on those items is very small---just garage sale prices maybe---so you essentially spending the entire $50 on a clothing budget.
I, on the other hand, might spend $30 on an outfit from NEXT, but then sell it for $20 when I'm done. So my actual cost was only $10 for the outfit. I can buy *five* outfits from NEXT and if I resell them still only spend as much as the person at Target did buying 3-4 outfits. Now granted, I spend my time reselling them, but it's a hobby of mine so I actually find it fun haha. Sometimes I even make a profit and pick up something at the consignment store for $1 and then resell it for $10...that's always super exciting :-)
So there you go---those are my tips and tricks! And yes, I'm a dork about their clothing haha. But they are only going to let me dress them for such a short time, I'm going to enjoy it while I can!!!
And just so we aren't picture-less today, here are a couple outfits that I've gotten used!
|This little set was from the local consignment store|
|This dress was consignment store too---think I only paid $2!|
|This outfit Brielle is wearing someone gave me for FREE when I bought something else from them on a forum...they said it was really faded and play condition. Looks cute to me for free! ;-)|
|This Matilda Jane dress was from ebay|
|Brielle's Naartjie outfit was from an online forum|
|Brielle Gap outfit is ebay for the shirt and online forum for the jeans|
(That's another great thing about buying used...find one piece someplace and then have fun trying to track down a matching item someplace else! :-)
|Brielle's dress was NWT bought on a forum, and Raya's Hanna outfit was bought used on a forum too|
Going through pics I'm realizing that about 75% of our clothes are bought used/online haha.