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How To Buy And Sell Your Kid’s Clothes While Keeping Cash In Your Wallet

flickr / U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud

There are two very important things to remember as a parent: Kids need to be appropriately clothed at all times and they never stop growing. This creates something of a perfect storm in your life. And that storm is basically a tornado that is actively sucking all the money right out of your bank account.

However, if you’re clever and motivated by frugality, you might just be able to make the money suck stop. You can do this by turning over your kid’s wardrobe for free. Yes. Free. It just takes a little time and the following steps.

The Basic Plan

Here’s how you want this to go down: you are going to offset the cost of kid clothes through the selling of the old clothes. It’s a pretty simple idea if you happen to know addition and subtraction. So, looks like you’re already in luck!

The key here is knowing where to buy and where to sell. It’s also important to be totally cool with your kid not wearing this season’s premiere kid’s wear. Which is fine, because who wants their kid to look like Karl Lagerfeld anyway?

Buy Low

To that point, you’ll want to be able to acquire your kids clothes for cheap. Notably, there are varying levels of “cheap” in terms of clothing outlets.

childrens clothing store

Wikimedia Commons

Consignment Stores

There are tons of kid-only consignment shops out there. The collection of clothes in these joints are usually fairly well curated. But because they tend to carry very gently used and current styles, you will expect to pay a higher price. Which actually explains why Stallone can still make a living too.

Online Options

Whether you’re looking at online consignment shops (of which the internet is chock full) or Craigslist, you can find gently used kids clothes pretty much anywhere you choose to point your mouse. More than that, with Facebook’s new marketplace you can find kid’s clothes in the same place you post pictures of your kids. And there’s a kind of poetic consumerism in that.

Garage Sales

These sales take some leg work, and it’s a crapshoot in terms of whether or not you’re actually going to be able to find some good stuff. That said, what you do find will be crazy cheap. Plus, you’ll be able to pick up a stuffed deer head or something as a consolation prize.

Sell High


A note before you do anything here. You should obviously make sure that any items you’re selling have not been recalled. You should make sure that they are not ripped, torn or stained as well.

Yeah, this is a big ask when you’re talking about a kid. But if you’re turning things over quickly, it won’t be that rough. Finally, know that name brands are going to get the best price when you sell. You wouldn’t think it matters for kids clothes, but whatever. Not sure what’s a brand name and what’s not? Ask your partner! She’ll know.

Sell Online

You know those places you bought from before? You can be one of those people who took your hard earned dough and sell your kids crap in the same places! Here are a few tips:

  • Pictures are essential, so make sure the clothes are well documented
  • Be sure to list the brands (again, ask your partner)
  • Be willing to make a deal, so start high and stop at the price you absolutely have to get
  • Make sure clothes are clean and in good repair unless you want to get called out as a fraud

Garage Sell It

If you have other junk you want to sell, besides clothes (which you do because kids are junk factories) go ahead and have a garage sale. Just make sure to follow the basic rules of only selling laundered clothes in good repair. And when you advertise, make sure to note kid’s clothes to bring in all those parents. Then fleece the suckers. Kidding!

The hope here is that you come out of the process with enough cash to reinvest in the next round of clothes. With a little work, it can totally happen. Then perfect storm will be nothing more than a gentle breeze whistling past your back pocket.