I’m a big fan of scoring deals at used clothing stores, especially for my kids. It doesn’t seem smart to spend a lot on things that they won’t wear much, such as heavy jackets and rain boots.
I love to go into the children’s resale shops with a pile of my children’s outgrown clothes and earn credit towards the stack of hoodies I plan to buy. (It turns out we lose one sweatshirt per month during the school year.) But they usually take only a fraction of the items I bring.
I do it enough that I know the drill, but I’ve seen a lot of frustrated customers, so I asked Anne Marie Elliott, owner of Grove Street Kids on Upper Shattuck, just north of the Gourmet Ghetto, to share some tips to help customers have the best experience reselling at a children’s store.
Here’s what she said:
- Plan ahead. Call or check the website, if there is one, before making a visit. Most resale and/or consignment shops have limited buying hours. It’s also good to make sure the buyer is there. We too, get sick, have vacations, or have other reasons not to be in the store even during said buying hours.
- Put your best foot forward. If you want the best price for your items, bring them in freshly cleaned and folded in a box or paper bag. Our purchase price for sellers is based on the condition in which the items are presented. Some shops won’t look at items that are brought in in plastic bags. In addition, it’s better to sell seasonally; as a buyer, I’m going to offer less for a snowsuit in June, if I take it all, than I would in November.
- Edit yourself. It’s better to bring in one or two bags, rather than eight. If you bring in your child’s wardrobe from the last five years it will be volume priced at best. It’s better to bring in a bag or two every so often.
- Understand the business. Don’t take the rejection of items personally. Items purchased for resale are purely business decisions and primarily based on two factors: supply and demand. In addition, what an item sells for is not relative to what it’s original retail purchase price was. 1/3 of it’s retail value is our *guideline* for selling prices… and also not based on what it can be gotten for “on sale.”
Remember that buying decisions are based on multiple factors, not just whether it’s brand name or barely worn. Factors I consider are need, style, condition, my own operating budget, whether someone already brought in 8 bags that day, and so on…
Thanks to Anne Marie for these tips. Where do you buy kids clothes in the East Bay?
5 thoughts on “Tips for reselling children’s clothing”
I was in Grove Street Kids earlier this week to scoop up some children’s pants for school time. Other places I go are boring old chains: Old Navy, Target. I get some stuff online too, but you asked for local places. (Hangs head in shame)
I’ve been selling my kids’ stuff to thredUp, based in SF — you sign up on-line and they send you a huge, polka-dotted plastic bag to send your kids’ clean, in-season clothes back to them in. I had good luck with the first bagful, and chose to get credit for future on-line purchases as payment (you can take cash instead). The second time I sent some stuff out of season (my excuse is it was cold here in Oakland in July…) and didn’t get much credit. I just sent my third bagful, so fingers crossed!
Well, I used to buy A LOT from Anne Maire. Sold a lot ot her as well! Since my younger son is so hard on clothes, most of his come from Target or Old Navy. I’d love to buy him more from Grove Street Kids but he has to have his beloved Shaun White skinny jeans! Older son’s clothes come mostly from Land’s End as his uniforms come from there so I know exactly what size to get him.
Can you post the new address of Grove Street Kids? I love that store but they’ve moved recently.
If you click on my name above it takes you to our website. But I can tell you that our new address is 1385 Shattuck Ave. at the Northeast corner of Rose in North Berkeley (not Shattuck Place).