Keeping your kids in pants that don’t look like they’re preparing for a flood, or shirts that are aren’t unintentional belly shirts is tough – they outgrow their clothes quickly, long before they wear them out. This spring, it’s time to take advantage of your spring cleaning fever to turn your children’s outgrown clothes and unwanted toys into cash. You could hold a garage sale of course, but children’s clothing and equipment often doesn’t sell well at this type of sale. You’ll get just small change for those fantastic Gap jeans in perfect condition, or your baby swing might not sell because garage sale shoppers are only offering you $5.
A better option is to take your children’s outgrown items to a used goods store.
There are two types of stores that specialize in selling gently used children’s clothing and equipment. The first is a resale shop, which buys items from you for cash on the spot. If you need cash fast, this is your best bet. Call the store you’re considering visiting to ensure they take the type of items you have to sell, and ask how their process works. Do you wait while they look through your items, or do they hold them for a few days and call you with your offer? Choose one that’s most convenient to your lifestyle.
The second type of store is a consignment shop. They’ll display your items for a certain amount of time, giving you a percentage of the selling price. If you are willing to wait for your cash, you’ll usually make more with a consignment store. That’s because resale stores take on more risk, so their offer is generally much lower than you can earn through consignment. Choose a consignment store that pays cash as your items sell, not one that restricts you to cashing out after a set amount of days or one that only pays in store credit.
To guarantee a better offer for your items, or a higher selling price, educate yourself about what the store is looking for. Do they take summer clothing in December? Do you have to bring your items in on certain days? All stores will require your items be presented as nicely as possible; that means washing them, packing them neatly in boxes or hanging them on hangars, scrubbing any toys and replacing batteries, and weeding out any items with missing buttons, stains, etc. Some stores will only take brand names; others require clothing to be less than four or two years old.
Whether you choose to sell or consign, emptying your closets is a great way to fill up your wallet!
Sarah Deveau is a mom of three, and the author of Money Smart Mom: Financially Fit Parenting. Visit her website at www.moneysmartmom.ca or pick up her book from Chapters Indigo.