More often than not, the clothes we buy for our kids are secondhand clothes. As long as they are in good condition, they fit well, and we think they are cute, we have no problem with used clothes. You can call them “pre-owned” or “pre-worn” if it makes you feel better. Here are six of the reason why we buy kids clothes secondhand.
1. It’s waaaay cheaper.
Between thrift stores, garage sales, consignment sales and swaps (just to mention a few), there are plenty of ways to get kids clothes cheap or even free . For the price of a new pair of jeans, you could get three or four (or many more!) used ones. Saving money is the number one reason for buying used clothes.
2. There is plenty of variety.
You don’t have to worry about having the same shirt for picture day as three other girls in class. Choose classic patterns and styles that are always in fashion. The inventory at thrift stores is always changing. Sure, there will be plenty of things you’ll turn down, but you’ll also find lots of gems.
3. If your kids stain or ruin something the first time they wear it, you’re not out much.
Whether it’s markers at school, spaghetti at dinner or grass stains on the playground, it seems like kids clothes are a magnet for disaster. I would be pretty sad if I spent a mint on a brand new outfit only to have it be ruined the first time my kid wears it. Buying used clothes won’t make your kids less messy, but it will save some frustration on your part.
4. You can actually make money!
That Gymboree dress you got at a yard sale for a dollar will sell on ebay for $20, if it manages to survive #3 above! When you find excellent kids clothes at a great price, go ahead and grab them, even if they won’t fit your kids. You can sell them on ebay or turn them in for credit at your local consignment store. You can also sell used kids clothes online at ThredUp.
5. It’s green!
Buying used is a way to recycle. It keeps good items out of landfills and decreases the demand for new manufacturing. By making “buying used” your standard, you are being more environmentally friendly.
6. Kids grow fast and unpredictably.
Buying used kids clothes also allows you to buy a season and size ahead without over-spending. Even when seasons and sizes don’t match up, it’s nice that you didn’t pay full price for those items they’ll never wear. Replacing an entire wardrobe of outgrown clothes by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales won’t ruin your budget like running out to the mall. You can pass on the clothes that don’t fit to another family to help them save money on clothes!
How about you…
- Do you regularly buy secondhand children’s clothes?
- What are the biggest reason you do or don’t buy used kids clothes?
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Nice. Thank you so much for sharing!
Great article, so great I will be sharing this on my social networks…If I may I’d also like to add it to my website http://www.perfectlypreloved.com.au (of course giving you credit) I run my own second hand clothing store online (newly launched) and we not only sell preloved we consign and buy preloved off our customers too! A win-win. Why buy new when used will do, that’s our motto.
You are welcome to share a link to my article or share a quote and then link back to my site (of course you can’t share the entire content/text, but you wouldn’t want to because Google hates duplicate content).
Your site looks great! Best of luck with your new business!
These are great reasons, but I actually don’t buy my daughter’s clothes second hand. Our thrift stores around here are not so cheap. They actually coast as much as items would when they go on clearance if not more. So I’d rather buy new items for the same price. I shop at Target and Kohl’s instead and wait for their season to go out and the big drop in clearance to happen, maybe even use a coupon. Then I stock up on the next size. I’ve gotten items as low as $1 for new items at Kohl’s and as low as $2.50 at Target.
I almost always buy all our kids (and most of mine and my husbands) clothes at garage sales, thrift shops, etc… The only exception is shoes/boots. We have a hard time finding them used and still in good shape. Luckily none of us feel like we need to wear the newest styles 🙂 Bonus, after my daughter has outgrown her clothes, we give them to one of my friends who then always gives us canned jams, honey, etc…
OMG!. your almost there!, $92,900. im so happy for you!.
Grace Houle says
I am all about second hand clothes for my kids or me. We love them! It’s amazing what they get for some of these clothes new. i think it is good to have a game plan on what you would like to pay before you go into a store whether consignment, store or yardsale. Sometimes you can score really great clothes new, but most yard sales, you can’t beat the prices.
I totally agree! Having a target price really helps you to know when you’ve got a good deal or you should pass. When you’re used to paying so little , it’s really hard to ever pay full price!
Poor Student says
Great advice. A lot of kids wont even notice (especially the younger ones) and I remember as a kid that I liked second hand clothing just as much as new!
I did too! I remember it was so fun to go through all the new-to-me clothes and pick out my favorites.
Liz S says
LOVED this article! We are so blessed to have a wonderful consignment store in our town. I have made probably over a thousand dollars in cash over the last few years, but at least half the time I get store credit instead. For both of my kids, once they were born, I started buying ahead up to size 5T. My daughter who is 4 years old, is just fitting into the 5T clothes, and it’s wonderful to already have a huge tub FILLED with almost everything she might need, just as I had tubs already filled with all the other sizes for when she needed them. I do have larger clothes for her now (I like to grab Gymboree long-sleeved shirts when I can get them off-season for 2 or 3 dollars each and I also love the length of the Gymboree cotton dresses for church) but I’m not stocking up quite as much since it’s getting harder to know what will fit her at some point and what may never fit her (like fleece pants that are NOT adjustable waist that might ALWAYS fall off of her–there is an example). It is so fun though when you find a gem at the Consignment store, but don’t have to pay “gem” price. 😛 And the best part is that we have become such tight friends with the store manager that she is now like a grandmother to my children and she’s been a very dear friend! It’s fun to just go and hang out with her at the store. :p
Buying ahead is so great. It’s so much better than waiting until your child doesn’t have anything that fits anymore and you have to try to something. It’s frustrating and you end up spending more.
How fun that you have a wonderful consignment shop and that you made friends with the lady there! And that is a LOT of money you’ve made there too! Way to go Liz!
Kim M says
For the first year after my first son was born, he wore mostly new clothes.. and only once or twice, since he had so many. I’m still finding some newborn/infant clothes from him with tags on them still! My sister had her son 6 months before I did, so while the seasons don’t match up often (nephew is winter, son is summer), they can still be layered with stuff we find elsewhere. There’s a few semi-annual consignment sales I’ve been taking part in the past 4 years. I sell what I can of both my kids outgrown items (this year made over $200) and purchase the next 2 season’s worth. There have been times the clothes don’t fit, but like you said.. it doesnt hurt as much as if they were brand new. I also work at some of the sales, and they’ll let you in before the consignors and public, so we get first dibs on the really good stuff! One of the sales even gives you $10 for every 3 hours you volunteer at, so last year I had $40 “free” money to buy clothes with too.
I’ve also been blessed with my brothers 3 boys handing down some of their clothes. My sister-in-law gave me a HUGE bag of brand name clothes that my son is now in the 2nd year of wearing, and is only JUST beginning to outgrow.
My husband works at Kohls, so on special associate shop days he gets 35% of everything, even clearance, and can use that with any other coupons we have- usually 15-20% off!
That’s awesome that you have done so well at consignment sales! I’ve never heard of one where you get a monetary credit for volunteering (just an extra 10% on your sales). That’s pretty cool!
We’ve gotten great hand-me-downs from nieces and nephews too. It’s wonderful!
Way to stack the deals at Kohl’s!!
Kid’s clothes are insanely priced for things that are just going to no longer fit anyway sooner rather than later. I definitely think used and hand-me-down clothes are a good way to go.
It’s so easy to get sucked into the trap of buying them new when it’s your first, but as soon as you get over it, you can save so much money!
Ryan @ Impersonal Finance says
Yes! Goodwill has so many kids clothes that have literally been worn ONCE! My wife and I don’t have any little hipsters yet, but when we do, that will be one of the main places we buy their clothes. I just can’t imagine paying full retail for something that will be good for a couple of weeks before they outgrow it. Plus, like you said, it’s green!
You’re right! Baby clothes usually don’t get worn that much (or at all) because so many of them are gifts and babies grow so fast.
These reasons are exactly why my kids hardly ever get new clothes. Luckily, my kids don’t mind used clothes either even though they are older.
That is great Stephanie! I’m hoping my kids won’t mind used clothes when they’re older either!