So, your babies are growing up (whether you like it or not), and you’ve decided that your brood is the perfect size. But your closets and garage are packed full of outgrown baby clothes, furniture and plastic toys. It’s time to purge.
While it’s always a great option to donate unwanted baby items to those in need, if you can use a few extra dollars to reinvest in your family, here’s a few things to consider before you put your gear on the market.
Sites like Craigslist and Facebook, or apps like letgo and VarageSale, are a great way to sell big items like cribs, highchairs and play pens. These mediums allow you to include a longer description for the item you’re selling, a link to the original retail price, and even a backstory if necessary. As a bonus, the buyer will most likely be picking up the item instead of you having to move it somewhere else.
Clothing, in my experience, is not a hot ticket item online. There is a TON out there, and it’s also hard to capture the true cuteness of item from a photo you took of it lying on your living room floor. So unless it’s a really big brand, new with tags or a must-buy item, it may not render a big return for the amount of time it takes to post.
Tip: Be as descriptive as possible in your posts and pick up instructions to avoid answering multiple questions from potential buyers.
Always call ahead. I recently took a few clothing items to Once Upon A Child, a family-owned business that buys and sells used children’s clothing and items. I had to drive quite a distance, but took a chance because they seemed like a popular store.
I gave the staff a bag of the best of my daughter’s old clothing (some items were never worn) and walked out with $5 and almost the entire bag of items I brought.
What I learned:
- It’s important to call ahead to see which items they are accepting at the time. Despite Once Upon A Child advertising of “we buy all seasons, all the time,” when I reached the counter, they flat out told me they were not accepting any winter clothing.
- Staff comb over the items with great care (not such a bad thing if you’re buying), but expect a wait on your return (maybe even a day or so), which is not so great if you’re travelling long distance.
- They likely won’t take all of your items, especially if it’s not the items they want, so you may be leaving with quite a bit of your stuff. Not so great if you’re really trying to free up some closet space.
- It’s one of the best ways to sell the bulk of your clothing items, but again, only if it’s the best of the best.
While big items and toys sell quickly at garage sales, you most likely will have to come down on your original selling price – WAY down. For example, at our yard sale, a woman asked me the price of a brand new pair of $60 shoes my daughter never wore. When I told her the price was $2, she scoffed at me and put them back on the table.
People who shop at garage sales are looking for a deal. I found a lot of people came first thing in the morning and were looking for new items that they could flip at the local swap meet. They certainly did not want to pay asking price. But I did find that these items moved fast, which isn’t something to complain about.
Baby clothes didn’t really sell at my garage sale, even the cute clothes with tags that I eventually reduced to a $1 were passed up. I spent A LOT of time going through boxes and boxes of clothes and organizing them by size. I learned the hard way that it wasn’t worth my time.
Tip: When you start to go through your old clothes and find yourself using a few onesies to dry your tears, you may not be ready to let go of your baby gear quite yet.
Swap meets & markets
After much research on this avenue of selling baby items, I decided to pass on it for a few reasons. While it’s similar to a yard sale, there are a few things I found out that steered me away:
- At most swap meets, you need to pay for a spot to sell your items ($20 was the average cost I found).
- It’s important to read the rules of selling. For example, a few places require the seller to be there the entire day (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
- You are given limited space to sell, which is usually just a table, and that may not be enough room to display all of your items.
- There may be multiple people selling baby items to compete with.
At the end of it all, you may have a few items leftover to generously donate to those in need, and there are a lot of reputable places to donate to.
Tip: Call ahead or check the website to see what items are accepted. Some places will not take bedding, certain types of cribs, mattresses or bumper pads.
- For the biggest profit return, I found it’s best to use multiple methods to sell your items. Big items sell faster online or using apps or at swap meets and yard sales, while items like nursery accessories, shoes, smaller toys (as long as they are in good condition), are great to take to the consignment store.
- New clothing is best sold online or in the consignment stores. Unfortunately, you’ll probably be left with a big pile to donate.
- Yard sales can sometimes leave you heartbroken. There’s a lot of memories out there on the table that people want for next to nothing. Make sure you’re ready to let go.
If you have any tips or ideas on selling baby gear, please post in the comments, I’d love to hear them!
Photo credit: Neil Barnwell