Buy (Gently) Used
It’s simple, yes, but it’s amazing how inexpensive perfectly good secondhand clothing can be. Many parents have large quantities of clothes to unload. Since kids grow so quickly, used kids’ clothes are likelier to be better quality and less worn than adults’—and new sites catering to
- Thredup (www.thredup.com): This site is an online swap for outgrown clothing in good condition. Send in a box of gently-used clothes your child can no longer wear (the company will supply you with complimentary boxes), and get either cash back, or a credit toward a new box of used duds in her size. If you sort and box everything yourself, you can receive up to $10 per box. If you use Thredup’s “concierge service” to have them sort through your items, you can earn up to $5 per bundle they sell. Meanwhile, buying a box of clothes costs $9 and contains, on average, 15 pieces of clothing. Better yet, you can browse by age, gender, brand, or season.
- Ebay (www.ebay.com): You can often score brand-new clothing here, and some items even have tags. Loads of sellers troll outlets and resell on the site at very reasonable prices—and those selling used pieces often take very good care of them. To be a savvy bidder, look for items that say NWT, which means ‘new with tags’ and NWOT, or ‘new without tags,” and watch out for items in “play condition,” which means the clothing has marks and/or shows signs of wear.
- Local parents listserve: Most major cities offer an online parents group that serves young families looking for advice, social outings, local tips, or to exchange outgrown clothing and toys. Just Google “[your city], online parents group” and see what comes up. Parents often offer to sell individual pieces or bags/boxes of clothing by size and season (for example, you might find “a box of winter clothes for boys’ size medium”). You could be lucky enough to scoop up an entire seasonal wardrobe for anywhere from $20 to $40…total.