I was recently watching a video in which a Mom-Vlogger was talking about people shaming her for buying the majority of her kids’ clothes second hand. They were saying things such as, “If you can’t afford new clothes for your kids, you shouldn’t have had them in the first place.” Completely bypassing the other 325+ reasons that that’s an asinine thing to say, it inspired me to share with you all the beauty that is (or, can be) second hand clothing.
Like many other Moms (and Dads), I have a serious weakness for adorable kids clothes. I also have a somewhat high standard for my kid being dressed well (and comfortably). I’m also incredibly cheap.
Yes, those three things don’t generally go together. But with a little bit of ingenuity, anyone can make it work.
I’m going to start this with my main arguments for buying second hand:
- I simply can’t rationalize spending hundreds of dollars on clothes my kid will grow out of quickly, if it’s not necessary.
- I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes my kid will grow out of quickly.
- Bonus! It’s eco-friendly.
Now my rules for making second hand clothes worth your while:
- Be Stingy.
Just because you’re paying only four dollars for a shirt does not mean you should settle for poor quality. I promise, you can find very cute, good quality clothes in good condition for a cheap price. Don’t be afraid to be picky and bypass clothes that are stained, pilling, faded, etc.
2. Take Your Time
Realize that second hand shopping can sometimes be time consuming. Especially when your shopping at a consignment store. It involves a lot of taking a chance, and coming to terms that you may walk out of that store with absolutely nothing. That’s ok. On another day, you may walk out with some great finds! (Don’t have time or patience? Read how to bypass this process Here!)
3. Plan and Prepare
Especially important for large consignment sales, set aside the sum of money you plan to spend, and go in with a (flexible) plan. For example, I need sizes 3 months – 6 months, in cool weather clothing. Going in with a goal in mind will make everything a lot less frustrating.
Finally, my Favorite Ways to Shop:
- Consignment Sales
You’d think being a person who doesn’t like crowded places, has no patience with people, and suffers from sensory processing issues would HATE this method. But I have to say, I LOVE consignment sales. This is how I got started buying most of my son’s clothing second hand. For several years now, I’ve bought (almost) entire wardrobes at consignment sales for under 100 and in a matter of an hour and a half (the time may vary if you’re more of a leisurely browser… I am not.) You can also buy toys, baby gear, decor, bedding, etc. at these sales. Sometimes you’ll even find people selling brand new name brand toys at whole sale prices (I once bought my son a brand new Melissa & Doug, wooden Alphabet Block Truck for nine dollars. It’s still one of his favorite toys, and I can guarantee it will be used by all of our future kiddos.)
2. Consignment Websites
This is my other preferred method. It’s quick, it’s simple, and you don’t have to go out in public. Second hand clothes for a good price shipped right to your front door for a small shipping and handling fee. The two I use are Swap.com and ThredUp (Swap.com being my favorite). I’ve been using these sites for close to two years now, and they have definitely been worth it. Using websites like these is a great way to bypass the time consuming process of sifting through thousands of clothes at Goodwill just to possibly come out empty handed.
For a more detailed review of Swap.com, and to see examples of the great clothes I’ve purchased for cheap, click here!
So folks, before you turn up your nose or guilt yourself into thinking that your kids deserve to wear only the best clothes, give second hand a try! I promise, your kids can be just as happy, comfortable, and adorable as they would be if you bought everything brand new.
Share with me below your best successes, worst failures, and favorite tips and trick for second hand shopping!