Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why I quit resale shops

Going Green Mama is on the hunt for non-skimpy girls' clothes...

The used kid shop is one of my daughter's favorite places to go. There's toys to fiddle with, clothes to flip through. But I wonder if she's noticed that we're just not hitting it the way we used to.

A change in ownership led me to reconsider shopping at one of my more convenient sources for children's clothes. Suddenly the quality changed, as did the staff. My items, carefully washed, folded and weeded out, were left for weeks, meaning multiple trips to check in on the status of my sale (calls weren't being returned.)

Yes, customer service killed the customer. And then I did some thinking.

I realized I was spending a lot of money driving back and forth to manage a sale that may or may not be taking place. And my two goals - getting rid of clothes and finding ones that fit my kids - weren't being met. And one day, I hit on a solution.

Instead of trekking to sell my kids' clothes, I had other options. Like donating to an organization that gets clothes to those most in need. Even then, my work schedule and drop-off times don't always mesh well.

More recently, I've also taken up the box-and-go method. As an experiment, I boxed up about 30 items of my son's size, set a going rate of $20, and posted it in my work's employeee classifieds. Here's a few highlights of what's in there, what size, no rips/stains, non-smoking home. Within a few days I had a potential buyer. There was no haggling. For $20 in the store, you can get two pair of PJs. The box of clothes was gone, I had some cash for the trouble, and mom was happy. It's funny to hear from your colleagues, "We just went through your clothes, and they're adorable!"

What solutions do you have for managing your outgrown clothing? Do you resale, donate, share with others?


reprince said...

Since almost all of my kids clothes are hand me downs from friends and neighbors, I just pass them on down the line....I wouldn't feel right trying to sell them.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

By the time our clothes have gone through all three boys, there's not much left that's in good enough condition to pass on, but what is left, we give to Goodwill. My kids think it's funny to see their old clothes in the store. I've also started making their holey pants into shorts so we get some extra use out of them.

Rosa said...

I'm doing the holey pants thing this year! I have two pair set aside for craft night next week.

I just donate stuff we don't need. If my budget were tighter it might be worth it to resell, but wear stuff out pretty thoroughly and most of it was used to start with, so the return on effort isn't great.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

When our children were younger we would donate them to our local thrift store that helped people in the community. We also found many good deals there ourselves because they used the money from the sales there to help with peoples electric and water bills.

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

Although I resell PLENTY on Craig's List, I've never done it with clothes. Seems too big a hassle. I've gotten the majority of my clothes as hand-me-downs as gifts, picked up a few things thrifting, and a very few new on sale. I've never tried a consignment store - I don't think I own anything nice enough to sell there. I almost exclusively use Craig's List to resell stuff -- it's served me well.

I'll pass along to a friend or donate my kids' clothes when we're done with them.

Anonymous said...

If the buyers liked your clothes maybe you can set up an ongoing deal with them. Your kids will always be the same ages apart, and if you're lucky the same size difference.

Jen said...

I have no clue what I am going to do with B's clothes. I have them all washed, folded and packed up. My options are a consignment shop (seems like a hassle), online, donate or my works classified site. I may try my work first and see what happens.


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