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Monday, January 30, 2006 

Reselling Baby Items - my successful experience

Since we found out we were having a baby boy, I have started to clear out the bins of Sophies' clothes and girly newborn items. I decided to resell them at the Children's Orchard in Shaker. I have sold to them before, and the experience left me with mixed feelings. (I did a drop off and I am pretty sure they lost my things, which included a highchair. I waited for months and never heard a thing from them but when I eventually pressed the issue they "found" the items and credited my account. In fact, I think they credited my account more than a fair amount. So, I was happy. ) This time, I decided to make an appointment. I had all of Sophies' clothes from newborn to 18 months in 5 bins. I came in and they sorted through the bins and picked out about 2 bins worth of stuff. They were very picky, only sweaters without pilling, nothing with discoloration or stains (even minor) and no tie dyes. So, everything they picked out looked brand new. I had a choice of $81 cash or $110 in store credit. I took the credit since they have items for kids up to size 7 and it is always nice to be able to round out the kids wardrobes with low priced items from thier store.

After taking the credit, I was encouraged to leave the remaining bins at the store for donation to a charity. I didn't think that was a great idea, I can pick out my own charity and besides - what's to stop them from taking out a few extra items for the store (although I doubt these people would do that). So, I lugged my remaining bins home.

I thought about putting some items on ebay, but I really wasn't looking forward to it. The effort it takes to list, sell, package and send is just too much. Plus - I am just not sure of the price I would get. Some listings get very high amounts while other listings for the exact same thing might not get a bid. If I wasn't going to get a fair amount, I'd prefer to just give the items away - maybe I'd Freecycle them.

But - later that evening, I decided to put a listing on Craigslist. It seemed like Children's Orchard was paying me between $1-$3 per outfit and then marking them up to $3.99 - $5.99. I decided to sell all the remaining clothing for $2 an outfit. I wasn't sure if I'd get any response, but - Craigslist is so little effort - I might as well try.

I had tremendous response, 3 emails within the first few hours. I had a lot of Gymboree and other "brand names" that seems to help attract people. I sold 2 more bins worth of clothing for $145! Wow - that is enough to purchase the new "fancy" baby swing I wanted for my baby boy. I was very excited. On top of it, I sorted out a nice big gift bag of some of my favorites for a friend who I just found out was having a girl in a few weeks.

Now, I have about 1+ bins of clothing left (plus some other things). I think I'll freecycle or find a good charity. I'd like to find a charity where the clothes stay local and help local families. Any ideas?

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Cindy, Have you contacted any of the homeless shelters? They might be able to use the clothing. That's pretty wild re: using Craigslist. Man, I have so many bags full of clothing in my attic. What I usually do is sort into three piles: for my sisters-in-law, for donation and for no one (because they are just too stained or whatever). I used to take stuff to Once Upon A Child, but like you found out, they are so picky and don't pay so much. Plus, when you get to the point I'm at (With three kids and so many bags), you just want to be rid of the stuff, so I'm thrilled to give to my nieces and nephews and let them get the deduction, because I get extra space!

But Craigslist...I'll have to think about that!

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