09 July 2012

The Hand-Me-Down Conundrum

What do you do with your kid's clothes when they don't fit anymore? You pass them on as hand-me-downs, to cousins and neighbors. If they're from Hanna Andersson and still in great shape, maybe you put them on eBay. My sister takes stuff to a consignment store, but they tend to pay you in store credit AFTER your stuff sells - that's not instant-gratification enough for me.

I first heard about thredUP a couple of years ago, and while I appreciated the idea behind it - swapping kid's clothes - it seemed cumbersome and unpredictable. However, they've recently revamped their whole model, and it seems pretty cool. In essence, it's an online consignment shop. You can buy stuff, and you can sell stuff.

The buying part is easy - you browse through a really stripped down grid of clothes that you can narrow down by size and/or gender. Sure, you're not seeing multiple pictures of that sweater, and you don't know exactly what it's made of - but a Carter's onesie is a Carter's onesie, and the prices are really reasonable.

The selling part is easy too - you order a "bag", you fill it up, you send it back by prepaid UPS or USPS. They inventory your stuff, and pay you - either by PayPal, or with a store credit - and there's no waiting for your stuff to sell. You'll probably get less cash than if you sold on eBay, but there's also no taking pictures, no writing copy, no keeping track of packages to ship - that is, no hassle.

I really like the idea of it, and I suspect that if you're in an area that is devoid of consignment shops, thredUP would be a great resource.

If you want to try it out, click here and use coupon code TU10 to get 10% off your first purchase. The code is good through Sept 1, and your kids probably need new clothes for back to school, right?



Disclaimer: thredUP offered me a store credit to try out the site. They didn't pay me to write about it, and there was no expectation that I would write anything. My opinions - as ever - are very much my own.

9 comments:

freshhell said...

Interesting. I'll have to look at that. Usually, our clothes get worn by two kids and THEN it's given to either friends (the good stuff) or Goodwill (the less good stuff). Occasionally, though, there are things neither ever wears. Sounds like this would be a good place to sell it.

Pinky said...

Maybe it's because I live right near the outlet mall, but the prices on that site seem ridiculously high for second-hand clothes. I can buy the same stuff, brand-new, for less than they are charging.

Awesome Mom said...

Interesting idea. Right now I am passing my stuff to another mother at my church who is in turn passing it on to another mother. I am a thrift store addict so 90% of my clothing comes from there. It is great to see it getting a lot of use.

Awesome Mom said...

Coming back after having browsed I have to agree with Pinky, the prices are pretty high for used clothing. You can find great quality stuff at thrift stores for less than that and you don't have to worry about shipping ect. I might do it for something that I was specifically looking for or was soo cute I could not pass it up but I personally would rather take my chances with a thrift store.

De said...

Might be an interesting venue to let my daughter do her own online shopping.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Do you know what to do with children's clothes that are too worn to resell or donate? I have a pile of pants with holes in the knees and do not know what to do with them. What can I make from old, small jeans or cords?

Kyla said...

Interesting concept! But I agree that the prices are a bit high, higher than the local thrifts stores anyway, which is where I get a lot of the kids' clothes (especially BubTar's, because for some reason the boys' clothes seem to be in better shape and have better selection). I bought Josh a pair of like new Banana Republic jeans there a couple of weeks ago for $6...$90 jeans! So when it is time to get rid of old things, we donate the best of it to friends' with kids who can use it and the rest goes back to the thrift store pool.

Mary Gilmour said...

Thanks for the tip...Grandkid is growing out of everything at a very fast pace.

Big City Mom said...

i tried them, and sent a giant bag of mostly unworn name brand stuff... and got $30. definitely just donating next time!

that said, i thought their prices were good and i would buy from them i think, but not cosign again.