Have you noticed how fast babies outgrow clothes? On average, your baby will grow 0.5–1 inch and gain 5–7 ounces per month in the first year (1). All that rapid growth means your little bundle will outgrow his or her clothes from one wear to the next.
As a new mom, you’ll likely be gifted with a ton of gorgeous little baby outfits, and friends and family may hand down bags of clothes. Or you may have bought too many adorable outfits when you were pregnant, like I did. Your little one’s closet will be stuffed to the brim with items that will get worn only once or twice before they no longer fit.
What will you do with all those barely worn clothes? Well, selling them is always a good option! You can clean out the overflowing closet and make a little cash in the process.
Getting Ready to Sell
First things first, you’re going to have to clean out that baby closet and gather all the items that no longer fit. Depending on how old your child is, it could take a few minutes, or many hours. It’s probably a good idea to wait until nap time or when someone else can keep an eye on the baby.
Once you’ve gathered all the items you no longer need, you’re ready for the sorting!
1. Sell vs Donate
By now, you probably have a bunch of tiny clothing items strewn about your living room. So, it’s time to grab your bins — you’ll probably need several, especially if you have a lot of clothing. (If you don’t have any empty containers around, you can find plenty of options on Amazon!)
The first bit of sorting will be a little time-consuming because you’re going to have to inspect the items for stains, holes, and style. Not every piece of clothing will be fit for sale. Take a careful look at each individual piece, using a critical eye.
Yay! These are the clothes that are fit for sale. Each piece should be completely free of stains, and it shouldn’t have any holes or tears.
It must also be an item that is relatively current, purchased in the last 3–5 years. More expensive brands, like Gymboree, Gap Baby, and Oshkosh usually sell really well.
Any piece that fits into this excellent category should be set aside for further sorting.
These are the items that look pretty good, but they aren’t perfect. They might have a few small stains or tiny tears around snaps or buttons. All in all, they look good, but they don’t hold up to tough scrutiny.
These clothing items make good hand-me-downs. Do you know someone that recently had a baby? Perhaps they could use some free, good-quality baby attire.
Another option is to donate these items to a local thrift shop or shelter, which is tax deductible (2)!
Not every item of clothing is going to escape babyhood in pristine condition. Diaper blowouts and spit-ups happen, and they can leave some pretty tough stains. White onesies are often the hardest hit.
These items are definitely not going to sell, but they probably aren’t even in good enough condition to give to your friends and family either. Plus, you don’t really want to drop off a bunch of stained clothes at the thrift store.
So, what do you do with them? One option is to turn them into cleaning rags or recycle them for craft projects. You could also check with a local daycare or church nursery, they may have a stack of clothes to use in case of an emergency.
2. Further Sorting
The decent clothes have been boxed up to give away. The clothes in poor condition have found their new home. Now, it’s time to move on to the sellable items!
You’ll need to sort the clothes from the excellent pile a little bit further before you’re ready to start making some cash. The large stack will need to be broken down by:
- Size: All of the items need to be sorted into groups by their size. It can be easier to sell your items in sized lots, especially if you’re selling at yard sales.
- Season: Once you have them separated by size, break the sizes down by season. Sorting by season will be especially important if you’re selling at consignment stores.
Now you see the need for all the bins, right?
3. Clean and Wrinkle-Free
The most important thing you’ll need to do if you want a consignment shop to purchase clothes is to make sure they’re clean and wrinkle-free. Since you gathered them from the closet, they’re probably already clean. However, they may not be “clean” enough.
A consignment shop may turn down items if they smell musty — like they’ve been shoved in the back of a closet for six months (which they may have!).
They might also turn down clothes that smell too heavily perfumed or fragranced. Clothes that are very wrinkled can be turned down, too.
To improve your chances of selling items, they should be freshly laundered, with a fragrance-free laundry detergent. I’m sure you don’t have time to iron all of those tiny little outfits. So, remove items from the dryer right away to avoid excess wrinkling.
Once your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free, you can box them up according to size and season. Now, you’re ready to start selling!
Places to Sell
When it comes to selling baby clothes, you have a lot of options to choose from. Even if you live in a very small town, you should still be able to use most of these selling suggestions.
1. Consignment Shops
Consignment basically means letting someone else sell something for a cut of the profit. The consignment shop does all the marketing, storing, and selling of the items. You simply provide the goods.
There are a ton of different consignment shops, some national and some locally owned. You probably have a few of the bigger chains either in your town or in one nearby.
Here are some examples:
There are two ways these types of store work: upfront payments and profit sharing.
One thing to keep in mind with any of these consignment selling options is that most places will offer more money when you get store credit instead of cash.
If you intend to use the money to buy more baby clothes (or to treat yourself!), it can be worth it to get the credit.
If a store pays upfront, you walk in with unwanted clothes and walk out with cash.
Basically, a store employee will assess the items that you have to sell and offer a price. If it’s a chain store, there will probably be set prices that are offered by item type. On the other hand, if you go to a privately owned store, there may be room for negotiation.
Chances are, these places won’t accept everything that you have brought with you. Plus, they’ll usually only accept certain seasonal clothing at certain times per year. Usually, the stores purchase a season ahead.
If a store pays via profit sharing, you won’t see any money until your item sells. The store will create an account for you, and all of your clothing items will be tagged with your number. As items sell, your portion of the profit will be added to your account.
Generally, the store sets the prices. Read the fine print on the contract, because the store may also discount items after a period of time. Sometimes, your items will only be displayed for a certain number of days, and then you’ll be required to retrieve them.
The same seasonal rules may apply at a profit-sharing store, and they may not display all of your items either. Off-season stuff can be brought at the appropriate time but declined items probably won’t be picked up next year. You should consider donating those.
2. Online Consignment
The internet has made it easier than ever to sell your unwanted baby clothes!
Of course, there are selling sites such as eBay, but you really have to know what you’re doing before you start.
Then there are a ton of online consignment shops where you can easily sell just about any item you have. They all have their own rules for buying and selling.
We’ve found a few online shops that may be just what you are looking for.
You can start selling quickly and easily on Poshmark, by downloading the app on your smartphone. You create an account or a “closet” as they call it, and then you start creating your own listings.
The app walks you through the steps of creating a listing, which includes photos, descriptions of the items, and setting the price.
Poshmark does take a cut from every item you sell. On the other hand, you can list all of your clothes, even stuff that the brick and mortar stores may have turned down.
- Easy-to-use app.
- Sell anything you have.
- Buyer pays to ship.
- Not dedicated to just babies or kids.
- Poshmark’s cut is a little high.
- You have to store the items until they sell.
My Kid’s Threads
If you have designer clothing items to sell, then you may want to take a look at My Kid’s Threads. They feature high-end name brand clothing like Burberry or Baby Dior. They are rather strict about the items that they accept, so be very discerning when putting things in the excellent condition pile.
The process is a bit different than Poshmark. For this shop, you request a “mailer bag” which you fill with the items you think will sell. The site will then list the items they think will sell, and you get paid when they do.
- Dedicated to children’s clothing.
- You don’t have to store items.
- The process is simple and straightforward.
- They only accept designer clothing.
- They are VERY picky about the item’s condition.
- You only receive 50 percent payout.
ThredUP is one of the largest of the consignment online sites, and it carries clothing and accessories for every member of the family. The options range from basic to designer, and the selling process is similar to My Kid’s Threads.
ThredUp will send you the “Clean Out Bag,” which you fill up and send back to them for evaluation. The site will process your items and pay upfront for the ones they want to consign.
- Payment up front.
- The process is easy and straightforward.
- You don’t have to store clothing.
- They aren’t dedicated to children and babies.
- They don’t pay out as much as some other sites.
- There may be a charge for processing.
Another option is holding your own yard sale or finding a community yard sale to join.
Often times, local churches and community centers will have huge children’s consignment sales. They work almost like a flea market and are usually held inside the meeting hall of the church.
If you have enough stuff all on your own to hold a yard sale, this might be the perfect option. It saves you the trouble of having to lug your baby clothes anywhere, and you can toss in other unneeded household items as well.
The downside to having your own sale is that most avid yard sale shoppers are looking for a bargain. You may be able to sell your items for more money at a different venue.
Yard Sale Do’s
- Have a system! Know what items you have and in what sizes. It’ll make it easier for you to answer the questions of potential customers.
- Style the clothes a little. Snap the snaps and tie the bows. It makes everything look so much cuter, and therefore more buyable.
- Price according to the brand. Name brand stuff would cost more in the store, so it should also cost more in your yard sale.
- Get fancy! Consider purchasing a pricing gun, especially if you think having yard sales will become a regular thing for you.
Yard Sale Don’ts
- Attempt to sell things that are faulty or broken (that’s just bad karma!).
- Sell anything that has been recalled.
- Put duct or masking tape on the clothing. It may make it easy for pricing purposes, but it might leave sticky residue all over the clothes.
- Overprice your items. Remember that these clothes are used, even if they’re really, really cute.
Social media may be one of the easiest ways to sell your items. There are plenty of buy-and-sell Facebook groups where local people can join. Plus, Facebook also has the Facebook Marketplace where you can list items for sale.
When selling on social media, it can also be easier to find a buyer if you sell clothes in a sized bundle. A sample listing might be for “5 Summer Outfits for 6 – 8 Months.”
There are no rules when it comes to social media though! You can get creative and create Instagram stories and Facebook live streams about all of your baby items for sale.
Use your entire social network to unload your unwanted baby clothes: Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat!
After All Is Said and Done
In your mad dash to clean out the baby’s closet, don’t forget to snag one or two items to keep. You likely have a few outfits or even a pair of shoes that you absolutely adore.
Once your little one is out of the baby years and driving you crazy as a middle schooler, you’ll appreciate those few special items.
Another thing to keep in mind… the next baby! If you’re planning on having another kid, or two or three, all of those clothes might come in handy.
So it’s best to hang onto the gender neutral items (like white onesies!) which can be used when the next baby makes an appearance.
At the end of the day, selling your baby’s clothes is only worth it if it’s not going to cause you too much stress. You also have to weigh up your time as a factor.
Yes, you can make a good amount of cash or credit selling those clothes, but it isn’t worth losing your sanity over.
If you decide that selling is for you, good luck and happy selling! Feel free to tell us which method worked best for you in the comments below.
Also, if you know a few other moms that would be interested in selling some baby clothes, share this article and pass on the tips!