I have a TON of old kids clothes. Packed away in boxes, crammed into closet corners, hiding in my trunk waiting to be dropped off at Goodwill. Coming out of my ears, it seems. But I guess that’s what happens when you have two growing kids that need a new wardrobe twice a year. So, what do you do with all of those useless clothes after your kids have outgrown them, and assuming that you’re done having babies and don’t want to save them for hand-me-downs? I’ve got lots of great options that you probably haven’t even considered!
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Sell Old Kids Clothes
This is one of the easiest options, and it puts money back in your pocket. Lots of Moms out there buy clothes second-hand, myself included, and there is a HUGE market for gently-used kids’ clothing. But where do you sell your old kids clothes? Here are my personal recommendations. I have sold kids’ clothes using each of these methods so I can personally attest to the ease and effectiveness of each one.
Cash on the Spot Stores –
Consignment stores are by far the easiest way to sell your old kids clothes, especially if you sell to one that pays you cash on the spot like Once Upon A Child, a personal favorite. To sell your clothes to these types of consignment stores, simply bag up your clean and folded clothes and take them in. A store associate will go through your clothes and make you a cash offer for the items that they accept. Couldn’t be easier! Often times, I use the cash as credit for the store to get my girls new clothes without spending a dime.
True Consignment Stores –
For true consignment stores, collect your clean, gently-used clothes and take them in. An associate will look through the clothes and let you know what items they will put on their sales floor. Then, once your item sells you will be paid a set percentage of the sale. Be sure to call the stores first for their specific consignment policies, as some only accept certain items throughout the year and others require that your clothes be brought in on hangers.
Seasonal Consignment Sales
If you’ve never been to a big seasonal consignment sale, you’re missing out! Some of the popular sales in my area attract thousands of shoppers over a four day period. That’s thousands of people that could potentially buy your old kids clothes! However, if you choose to sell your clothes at these sales, be warned – prepping your items for sale can take many hours. I’ve spent 15 hours just hanging, pinning, and labeling clothes for one sale. With that in mind, be sure to not over price your items. You should price your items at 60-80% below retail price. Trust me, you don’t want to spend 15 hours prepping your clothes to sell, only to have to pick them up after the sale is over because you priced yourself out of the market. Click here for a list of consignment sales that take place near you.
Online Consignment Sites
Selling your stuff through online consignment sites is another super easy way to get rid of your old kids clothes. For the sites that I have used, you simply have to create an account, request a mailing bag, fill it up, and mail it back. I typically make around $50 per bag that I send in, but your total could vary depending on the brands of clothes that you have to sell. I have been successful at selling clothes through these two sites:
Thred Up – This is my preferred site, because you have the opportunity to get cash for your items immediately, before they sell on the site. Here’s a bit of info taken from their FAQ: “Items listed on thredUP that are on-trend, in-season, and in great condition are generally paid out upfront (i.e. you get paid before the item sells). Items that are not in-season, but are still in great condition, and may take a bit longer to sell, are generally paid on consignment (i.e. you get paid after the item sells). The amount you’re paid depends on the original price, brand, and category of each item. You can use our Payout Estimator to find out what others have earned for similar items.”
Swap.com – This is another great site that I use. I actually have items listed for sale on Swap.com right now. The only reason why I ranked them as #2 is because you will not be paid for your items until they sell (“true” consignment). Be careful that you only send them good quality clothes that fit their acceptance criteria. If more than 40% of your box is rejected, then you could be charged a fee of $5-$10. Learn more about their consigning policies here.
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I love a good garage sale! Especially ones that have lots of cheap kids clothes! If you’re willing to open your home – er, garage – to some deal-hunters then there is definitely money to be made. If you choose to go this route, try to lay neatly folded clothes out by size on long tables. Shoppers are much more likely to spend the time going through your items if they are neatly organized and within reach, rather than if they are just dumped in piles on the driveway. And be sure to price your items right! I’ve purchased nice, name brand kids clothes at garage sales for about $0.50-$1.00 for shirts and $1.00-$2.00 for pants. It may not seem like a lot per item, but if you have a bunch to sell, the profit can really add up. And the point is to get rid of your old kids’ clothes, right?!
I’ve sold many items, including kids’ clothes, on each of these sites. With Facebook and Craigslist, your buyers are typically local so I recommend combining like sizes into “lots” and selling many pieces together. You don’t want to be running all over town meeting buyers for one or two shirts at a time. In the past, I have sold a trash bag full of mixed season clothes for about $50. If you choose to use Facebook, you can list on Facebook Marketplace and any local buy/sell/trade groups that you belong to. Another benefit of using Facebook over Craigslist as a selling platform is that with Facebook you can actually see who your buyer is by looking at their profile.
For Ebay, you need to do a bit more legwork upfront. Creating an ebay listing takes a bit more time, and you will need to account for shipping costs. This could mean taking your items (already boxed up) to the post office to get shipping quotes so that you know what to set your shipping prices at. Or you could choose to offer free shipping; however, if you do this be sure to set your selling price high enough to account for your extra cost. You definitely don’t want to have a loss when selling your old kids clothes!
If you don’t want to take the time to prep your clothes to sell, then you may choose to donate them. A lot of great organizations will take your secondhand kids’ clothes and pass them on to kids and families that may be struggling. Here are just a few ideas of places to donate your items:
Churches – Many churches accept donations to pass along to members of their congregation or community that are in need.
Schools – Check with your the PTA or front office of your child’s school to see if they distribute secondhand clothes to needy students.
Goodwill/Thrift Stores – Super convenient. Many even have a drive-thru lane for donations so you don’t even have to get out of your car!
So many crafts out there call for some type of fabric as one of the needed supplies… So why not recycle your old kids clothes into a beautiful new craft?! Here are some of the best t-shirt and fabric crafts from around the net:
Yes, I’m listing my own genius use of old clothes first. I had seen these beautiful and trendy tassels all over the place and thought “Why not repurpose some of my girls’ old outgrown clothes into a beautiful keepsake decor piece?” So this is what I came up with. Click on the link above for the full tutorial on how to create this little masterpiece yourself.
I couldn’t ever get my girls to wear jeans when they were younger. Leggings e’ry day! But if your little ones aren’t scared off by the thought of a zipper and a stiff pair of pants, and you have some old jeans laying around, this bracelet is super cute!
T-Shirt Quilt (found on Etsy)
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, gather up some of your kids’ old t-shirts from memorable events and fashion them into a cozy t-shirt quilt. I haven’t touched a sewing machine since home-ec class in high school, so this would be way out of my wheelhouse. If you’re like me, you can order your own customized quilt like the one above from Etsy! Hello, cute and snuggly keepsake!
Clean with them
Why spend your hard earned money on buying scraps of fabric (aka cleaning and dusting rags) from the store when you can quickly cut your own?
Use clothing items that already have stains or holes as cleaning rags, since you won’t be able to sell them.
Have a move coming up? Old kids’ clothes make great packing material for fragile items. Wrap Grandma’s china in an old pair of sweatpants, and save money on packing peanuts and bubble wrap!
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So there you have it! My big list of tried and true ways to sell, recycle and generally rid your house of all of those old kids clothes! I’d love to hear how you keep from being buried alive with your mounds of outgrown clothes. Leave a comment below and let’s compare notes!