How to Make Money Selling Kids Clothes Online

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As a Mom of two teenage girls, I can tell you that I am almost constantly having to buy clothes. If they’re not outgrowing them, they’re deciding that the styles aren’t something they enjoy anymore. Needless to say, I often have several totes full of clothes that need to be sold or given away once you include my own and Steve’s. I’ve lost over 50 lbs recently so that means buying new clothes and getting rid of the larger ones I once fit into. Even when I was a single Mom and it was just myself and Emma, I still almost always had clothes I needed to get rid of. That’s why I took it upon myself to learn how to make money selling kids clothes online years ago.

How to Make Money Selling Kids Clothes - If you have a closet full of kids clothes to sell, you're not alone. I did too! Then I started using these 5 SIMPLE steps and learned how to make money selling kids clothes online. It's easier than you think to make a profit!

Over the years, learning how to make money selling kids clothes was at time frustrating; at times downright maddening and yes, tedious at times too. Clothes are one of those items that is either hit or miss for most folks that sell online and unfortunately, it’s usually miss. Since I first began learning how to make money selling kids clothes, I’ve had good years and bad years although since I figured things out, it’s been mostly good. What I ended up figuring out was that there was a process that needed to be followed in order to be truly successful at selling kids clothes online.

How to Make Money Selling Kids Clothes Online

What I mean by process is that there are certain steps you should take before you sell and a certain way you’ll want to list your items. The truth is that some items will sell on certain sites much faster or for a higher dollar amount than they will on other sites. It is best to figure out which works best for you personally and yes, that will take you some time. I have friends who can sell incredibly well on one site but for me, those sites are a flop so it really is something that is personal to each seller.

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To start learning how to make money selling kids clothes online, you’ll need “inventory.” If you have kids, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue because my guess is that you have box upon box of clothes they no longer wear stashed in the closet of no return, the basement abyss or the attic of the forgotten. It’s okay. We’ve all done it. If you’re planning on having more children, I would recommend that you don’t sell everything. Having more kids means a higher cost and since one of the only 10 things you really need for baby is clothing, I would personally keep some of those clothes put back if they will be close in age with your other kids. If there will be a huge age gap between kids, its pretty safe to go ahead and get rid of them all. Go through the kids clothes that you have stashed and pull out 5 or so of your favorite pieces or outfits. Set those aside as keepers so you can prepare the rest to be sold online.

If you don’t have inventory, hitting up yard sales or thrift stores can be a quick way to build it for cheap. You can also sign up for a ThredUp account HERE and sign up for a Schoola account HERE to score $10.00 in free clothing from both. It won’t get you much but anything free is better than nothing.

After you’ve built your inventory, go ahead and wash it all. The last thing you want when you’re learning how to make money selling kids clothes  is a bad reputation because your items smell like last nights dinner or the family pet. Take extra care to make sure your items are clean so you only receive good reviews.  Because I never know who will receive my clothes when I sell them online, I take the extra step of washing them in a homemade Castile soap laundry detergent with homemade reusable fabric softener sheets. It might seem a silly step, but it negates any possibility that the person receiving them will be allergic to whatever detergent I’ve used. Both homemade products are gentle enough and made without potential allergens to be used by even the smallest ones.  As I mentioned above, make certain that when you’re selling kids clothes online that you don’t do so with dirty clothes. They need to be cleaned, dried and folded before you ever attempt to send them into the online consignment store or auction sites you’re using. Once your clothing is clean and dry, go over it with a fine tooth comb. Shoppers won’t buy if it’s ripped, torn, missing a button or otherwise damaged. If it’s a simple repair that you can perform yourself, go for it. Otherwise, place those items in a donate pile.

Once you’re ready to sell kids clothes online, it’s time to choose the online consignment sites you’ll use. For me, I opt for ThredUp and Swap.com. Both work pretty much the same way with a couple of minor differences. Both work by having you send in your clothing. They then go over them and accept what they want then reject anything they don’t want. They will then photograph, store, list and ship your items when they sell. That is the beauty of both sites. Once you send in your inventory, you’re pretty much hands off.

Side Note: Clothing does not typically do well at yard sales, but if you’re having a yard sale soon? Be sure to check out THESE garage sale success tips so you make as much money as possible!

Like I said, there are a couple of differences between the two sites that you’ll need to know when you’re learning how to make money selling kids clothes. When you send clothing to ThredUp, you don’t have to wait for it to sell in order to receive your money. They give you what they’re going to give you and that is that. You cash your money out and are done. ThredUp accepts girls, boys, infant and women’s clothing. They also accept designer purses, shoes and other accessories. When you send clothing to Swap, however, you set the prices and must wait for your items to sell in order to be paid. The upside to Swap though is that they accept not only women’s, kids and men’s clothing, but also books, dvd’s, toys and a few other types of items. This gives you a much wider variety of what you can sell on Swap.com

For ThredUp, you simply sign up for a ThredUp account and request a clean out kit. You can either request the bag and label from them or print your shipping label at home. I usually opt for the bag instead of printing the label myself to save money on printer ink since I send in bags every few months. With Swap, you’ll need to sign up for a Swap.com account, and request a label as well. With Swap, you do have to pay for shipping, but those costs can be deducted from the sale prices of your items.

Both sites will reject some of your items. It is just a fact of life that they will catch something you miss. It doesn’t mean the items are bad, just that they aren’t acceptable for that particular site. Both sites will send your items back for a pretty reasonable shipping fee. It is your choice to have them sent back or to donate the items. I wait until I have enough to justify the shipping costs for Swap and have them sent back. With ThredUp, I usually donate the item instead since I never send enough in at one time to justify the shipping costs. If you’re sending boxes to ThredUp at one time, I would recommend having them sent back.

Once I get everything back in my hands, I separate the items and make as many 2-3 piece outfits as possible. Each outfit is then photographed and bagged. I use plastic self sealing poly bags to keep the outfits together, but separated from the pile as a whole while protecting them from spills and dirt until they sell. At this point, I list the outfits and any individual pieces in multiple places at once. Just be sure to keep track of where you’re listing them so you can remove all ads once they have sold.

Each piece or outfit gets listed in my Shopify store first. If you’re not familiar with Shopify, it is an easy way to open your own online store without needing much technical knowledge to do so. Having my own store allows me to have a link – one that isn’t this blog – to use when I promote my items elsewhere. It also allows me to integrate my sale items into my social media accounts without a ton of extra work and only costs me a few dollars a month to have the store. You can check out Shopify HERE if you’re interested.

The final step to learning how to make money selling kids clothes online is to  list them both outfits and individual pieces on OfferUp, LetGo, local Facebook groups and finally, Ebay. Outfits do best in these places, but I have sold individual pieces as well. If you’ve gotten this far, your items should sell, but if they should linger, don’t hold onto them. Once a month, gather any inventory you have left that is unsold and group them together by size groupings. List each size on Ebay as a lot listing. They may take a week or two to move on Ebay, but they will eventually sell.

 

Side Note: If you don’t have your own inventory, be sure to checkout THESE 39 places to earn free gift cards. You can use the free gift cards you earn to buy inventory rather than using cash.

 

When you’re learning how to make money selling kids clothes online, you may be tempted to run out and build an inventory of all sizes. Try to keep yourself from doing this. The truth is that you may be able to sell baby clothing like they’re going to stop making them, but you may do better selling plus-sized clothing. Try to do some experimenting when you first begin. Eventually you’ll find something that you can sell really well and what stagnates for you.

I understand that this particular process for learning how to make money selling kids clothes online might look like it is tedious and not worth it. It is very true that it will take work on your part, but the truth is that is will be well worth it once you get things figured out. You can easily add a few hundred extra each month to your household budget selling clothes online. You just have to give it time and take the time to learn.

 

Stacy Ott
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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

I earned over $100,000 blogging last year! Click here to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging!
Stacy Ott
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Comments

  1. I have never heard of swap.com–I’ll have to try it out next time. So would you mind sharing sometime in a future post or now–how much you actually ended up making by the end of it? I’m curious to know if it would be worth all the trouble. There are some local consignment shops who pay decent around here, but not great–curious how going through your steps would compare to that.

    Thanks for a helpful post!

    • Ally, it really depends on how many items are accepted from each box on Swap. Generally though after I go through the steps I listed in the post, I’ve sold most everything and typically don’t make less than $100 per box…usually more though.

  2. How do you decide on prices for your clothing?

    • Barbara,

      Swap will recommend a price to you for a lot of it. The rest is determined by brand, condition, etc.

  3. Courtney says:

    Hi Stacy,

    This sounds like a great method! Do you box up EVERYTHING and send it to Swap– even if it’s out of season? Also, how do you send them more than one box? I’ve looked on their website and can’t really find an answer.

    Thanks!

    • Courtney, yes, you can send it even if it’s out of season but keep in mind that they may not accept it if it’s oos. I tend to stick those items in a tote and wait a few months. As for sending multiple boxes, just print multiple shipping labels. I’ve printed up to 5 at one time. You just have to print them (or order them) one at a time. Keep in mind too that your labels will come out of your proceeds from the sales. They’re not too bad. The last time I sent a box it was huge and cost me $8.90 to ship.

  4. Stacy, great info! Thanks. Does it cost to have your items shipped back to you? Do you think this method of selling is much more lucrative than selling to local second hand stores? That’s what I’ve been doing, but it doesn’t seem like a money maker. Because I thrift and yard sale for name-brand apparel, I feel like I’m at least recycling:) I’d like to stay home next year and am thinking I’d like to earn a part time income…maybe this is it?!
    Thanks again….Kristin

    • Hey Kristin,

      It does cost to have the items send back to you if they don’t sell, but you have several months before they start to charge you for storage. Return shipping is a flat rate $4.99. As far as more lucrative, yes, it can be. Swap has a minimum price of $3.00 so you know you’re at least going to earn $1.40 on a $3.00 item versus just a few cents at some consignment stores.

  5. Natalie says:

    Hello,
    Thank you for posting this and sharing! I plan to do this with 2 years worth of my boys clothes. I have a question though. On the website it says it can take up to 60 days to inventory everything. Is this your experience and should I just send in items for fall and save the winter and summer items for a future shipment?

    Thank you for your time!

    • Stacy Barr says:

      It really depends on how busy they are. It can take that (or even up to 90) but it can also take a week. They will usually let you know how long it will take when you send your things in.

  6. While most of your tips were helpful, I couldn’t help but wonder why you donate “ripped or stained” clothing. Unless you’re giving it to someplace that is wanting cleaning rags, they don’t want that trash either.

    • Stacy Barr says:

      Actually that is exactly why we donate them. Goodwill takes the clothing they can’t sell and turns them into rags. The rags are then sent overseas from what I understand. Stained and ripped have their uses even though they’re stained and ripped.

  7. I am so glad I stumbled upon this. I’ve been so torn on the best way to sell my kids clothes and not have to waste too much time and money. I am wondering though what method of shipping do you use? Do you go through the USPS and add insurance? I have so much to sell I’m going to try to ship several boxes out ASAP. Thanks again!

    • Stacy Barr says:

      It really depends on where I’m selling. Swap has their own providers, ThredUp sends a label, etc. For Ebay or other places where I’m responsible for it, I typically use USPS without insurance and with delivery confirmation.

  8. Jillian Heisman says:

    Thanks for sharing these helpful guidelines. Im looking forward to getting started but have a couple questions:
    1. Why do you start with Swap and then move on to ThredU and finally Ebay, in that order? Does Swap pay better or do they have a higher volume?
    2. I have mostly “designer” clothing such as ralph lauren, gap, crew cuts, burberry. Does one of these sites do better with “designer” versus lower end labels such as Target, Old Navy, etc.?
    3. I also have some quality toys. Wooden and cloth toys books, puzzles, small trains, some vintag or more traditional toys such as lincon logs and wooden building blocks. Nothing plastic, battery operated or with characters or super hero’s, etc. Can you suggest the best online site to sell these?

    Thank you! Im looking forward to getting started!

    • Stacy Barr says:

      Jillian, I like Swap best b/c it isn’t consignment and they handle everything. TU is consignment so I can’t set the prices on them. With Swap I can. ThredUp is better for designer items though. Toys and that type, use Swap.

  9. Wow I have never heard of Swap.

    How do they pay you? I can’t find that on their site.

  10. Thank you.

    I just signed up for Swap.

    I hope I have success like you did.

  11. Stacy, Im a huge fan of Swap. What are your thoughts on the recent change over to them pricing instead of letting us price? I was going to send in another box but I am hesitant because of that change.

    • Stacy Ott-Barr says:

      Hi Libby, to me, the changes make it no different than any other online consignment shop. I haven’t sent a box in recently so I can’t comment as to how well they are pricing things. Its one of those wait and see things for me, I suppose.

  12. Hi Stacy,
    You said that “you know that you get at least 1.40 on a $3 item.” Does that mean swap keeps 60%? If so, does it costs 60% plus shipping and returns shipping? I have a ton of Gymboree. Where would be the best place to sell it? Thanks so much for your help. 🙂

    • Stacy Ott-Barr says:

      The percentage that Swap keeps is based on the final sale price. In your case, I would try to sell or consign it locally first since Gymboree is a pretty popular brand and tends to move very quickly.

  13. Karen Carter says:

    Thanks. This is just what I’ve been searching for. You made me smile

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