Quick Tips to Make Fast Money at Kids Resale Shops

We moms know how quickly our kids grow and therefore also grow out of clothes. Same thing with toys. That “I HAVE TO HAVE IT!” toy eventually becomes “too babyish.” Unless you are saving them for hand-me-downs or keepsake memories, at some point you will find yourself trying to make some of your money back at a kids resale store. I’ve been there. I have spent hours going through everything, washing (sometimes), and packing it all up into my car…only to realize at the secondhand store that my stuff really didn’t have much resale value. I’ve left shocked that my items, that I spent way too much money, didn’t have consignment store appeal.
So what is the trick? How can we help ourselves get a better return on investment? Priscilla Carlisle, owner of Sweet Repeats Kids Resale in Live Oak, says there are a few things you can do to help improve your bottom line and save everyone time in the process.

Don’t Bother Bringing In These Types of Items

For starters, there are several types of items that most resale shops DO NOT want or WILL NOT take. Avoid bringing in the following:

  • Unwashed clothes or items with obvious staining. Resale shops do not launder clothes, so it is up to you, the seller, to make sure your items come in clean.
  • Remove items with holes and/or missing buttons or snaps. Same thing as above. Resale stores do not repair clothes; they sell them as is. Throw away items missing basics.
  • Items with dryer pills or fading. A tip from Carlisle is to make sure to use medium heat on your dryer to avoid pilling on fabric.
  • Muddy or dirty shoes with scuffed toes.
  • Toys that are mildewed, torn, or broken. Resale shops cannot accept these due to safety.
  • Recalled items. Resale stores are very knowledgeable about product recalls and will pass on anything that has been recalled.

Tips for Maximum Payout

To earn the max cash back for your items, refer to the following tips:

  • Make sure all clothing is freshly laundered.
  • Lay all clothing flat in a basket or box to avoid excessive wrinkling.
  • Match all outfits together with the appropriate pieces. An item with two or more pieces can easily be overlooked as a set if pieces are not together, which will result in less money.
  • Make sure clothes are fully dry before you pack them. You’d be surprised how quickly mildew or souring can set in if they are packed wet or damp.
  • A nice presentation helps when it comes to shoes. Wash or spot-clean all shoes before bringing them in, pair them together, and tie the laces.
  • Grab some batteries from the Dollar Store to ensure that all toys work properly.
  • Remember that items do go out of fashion. Clothing that is more than four years old is not likely to be accepted, so don’t hold onto things too long or you will miss your resale window.
  • Before you go to a resale store, call the store and ask for updates on their policies. Every resale store is different and has their own set of rules. Some mandate that you bring clothes in boxes while others prefer bags. Some will review your items on the spot, and others require appointments or ask you to come back. Store staff can advise you on items not currently desired due to their having too many in stock and/or items highly desired at the moment due to low stock.

As many of us begin the year by cleaning out closets and reorganizing clutter, I hope these tips will help you make back some of your money in resale shops. Which is your favorite local resale shop? Let us know in the comments!

Before she had kids, Stacey would have described herself as an alternative rock lover, bibliophile, foodie and adventure seeker. She started her career working as a DJ at radio stations, then as a news reporter and somehow ended up in advertising and marketing. But now, she identifies as all of those things but in addition, she is a mom. Stacey has two boys (4 and 7) and her eldest is high-functioning Autistic. She is sensitive and aware of the challenges and opportunities moms with special needs kids have. Plus, she has two nieces (when she needs girl time) and a big old Golden Retriever named Bolt. Stacey's currently working part-time at an ad agency.