4 Ways I Make Money From My Children'S Hand Me Downs
Every year I catch the spring cleaning bug. I want to open up my windows and let the fresh air flow through the house while I purge every closet and toy hideaway in sight. Something about the sunshine forces me to send clutter on its way. It's a good thing to be surrounded by less, not only for my soul but for my wallet, too!
You could say I'm fairly strategic when getting rid of the items we no longer need. If you're anything like me, you see lots of dollars signs when you add up the pile of clothes that no longer fit and the toys that don't get played with. Why not try to recoup a bit of your initial investment? You can always put your earnings towards new sizes for the coming season... or save them to fund something even more exciting -- like a mom's night out! -- when your giant purge is complete! Once you relive the memories tied to the t-shirt your daughter wore to Disneyland and your son's Christmas morning pajamas, you'll deserve a margarita or two to quell the wave of emotions! Kids grow up so stinkin' fast!
Below are four ways I make money from my children's used clothes and toys. It takes a little time and organization, but I promise, when you're a few hundred dollars richer, you'll be happy you committed to funding next season's outfits with a pile of hand me downs.
The first step is: sort. Dig through your kids drawers and closets, and pull out everything that won't be staying. This includes clothes, accessories, shoes, sports clothing and equipment, toys, games, electronics, books, and baby supplies. I usually do this over the course of a few days, one category and one child at a time. I gather everything in a big tote in the hallway, and then one evening I do my second sort once the kids are in bed.
The second sort consists of checking for stains and wear as well as determining which pieces will sell best through which avenue. Obviously, current trends and higher end brands will bring the best return, so I prioritize my big ticket and more well-known items and work from there. Here are the four venues I choose among when deciding where to sell all our stuff:
Social media sale. My first pick when reselling things is to market them through social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, because there's no middle man; if you sell something for $20, you get to keep $20. For both of these options you need a good photo of your item. Take these in the daylight against a plain background.
On Facebook you can either post the item directly to your page or join a Buy/Sell/Trade group (usually local ones and brand specific ones). Be sure to follow the guidelines posted in each group. On Instagram, you can create a separate account just for selling, or simply post it to your regular feed. The key thing on Instagram is to hashtag your photos like crazy so they're seen by a larger audience. Always note if you're willing to ship (and if that cost is included in your price), and be sure to account for PayPal fees if you opt for that route of payment when deciding on your prices.
Ebay. I'll selectively sell on Ebay to reach a much larger audience. Especially with name brand items that won't cost an arm and a leg to ship. For example, my kids' too small Hanna Andersson pajamas sell great on Ebay because those are things people frequently search for. The baby swing though? Definitely not an Ebay-worthy item.
Local consignment sales. If I have any leftovers after selling through social media and Ebay, I'll register as a seller with a local consignment sale. Just Between Friends is one of the more nationally known franchises, but many cities have local versions of a similar set-up. For consignment sales you'll sacrifice a percentage of your tagged price, usually 30 to 40 percent, but you'll definitely earn more than you would at a traditional garage sale because the consignment sale team rocks at marketing and drawing in crowds of people looking for items like yours. Consignment sales tend to run twice a year, and last spring season I made $582. So, yes, it's definitely worth it to price, tag, and hang your items for these sales.
thredUP. This online kids consignment site is so easy to use. You order a closet cleanout bag, and postage is covered for clothes you mail back. They sort them, making you an offer on what they can sell and donating what they can't on your behalf. You'll receive payment for your items or a credit to shop their site. They accept women's and maternity clothes, too!
Have you had a good experience reselling your child's hand me downs? I'd love to hear your success stories!