Four Ways to Save (and Make) Money with your Kids’ Stuff – Part Two

Part Two:  Resale Shopping

Mark your calendars! Fall means the return of resale season!  And, I love resale season. It is almost like the start of football season for me. I’ve had the date September 22nd marked on my calendar for three months as a few of my “resale buddies” and I have some serious shopping planned. 

What is a resale you might ask? Oh, you are in for a treat. Resales are like giant indoor yard sales with children’s clothes, toys, books, equipment, bedding, and the list goes on from there. You can save BIG money if you are willing to purchase “gently loved” items. Most resales are put on by church groups or local mom’s clubs, and they do have standards as to what is allowed; no stains, rips, missing buttons, etc. Still, do look at your selections closely before purchasing as there is typically a no return policy. (But, when you can find a great winter coat for $2.00, I’ll take that responsibility!) 

Want to see how great a resale can be? Here is my loot from one sale: 

And this…

And this fellow…

And this…

Plus, TWO power wheel cars!
This happens to be a resale that I also sell with, so that makes this loot even more of a steal. I spent about $80 and made just under $40. That’s great, but not as good as the time I actually broke even and came away with pile(s) of clothes and toys essentially for free. 
Still not convinced?  Here is one final resale success story. We purchased our boys’ bouncers, which looked brand new and in great condition, for $15 each (sold new in stores for $70+ each).

We played in them…

we slept in them…
we played outside in them…
and then we sold them the next year for $12 each (still in great condition as these Bright Start Bouncers really are a great product).  For the amount of use they received, they were well worth the $3 rental fee. 

Yes, a great find at a resale is an awesome feeling, and I really think it is worth the effort to find and join a resale group. (Note:  Resales are open to the public, but typically in order to sell,  you must be a member.)  Check out your community mom’s clubs, your area churches (you may or may not need to be a member), or your children’s schools.  Also, Consignment Mommies is a great site where you can search for local sales.  If your area is at all like mine, you will not be able to go far in the spring or fall without running into one.
A few quick tips for resale shopping:
1.  Make a list. Some resales are HUGE.  If you show up with no idea what you are looking for, you may find yourself overwhelmed.  Make a quick list of sizes and a few specific items to help keep yourself on track.
2.  Take a laundry basket.  Always read the rules for each sale, but usually you can take some kind of shopping bag or basket with you.  I typically take a laundry basket.  I’ve even seen some shoppers pulling their full (and heavy) baskets around with a bungee cord…which, I thought was brilliant. 
3.  Don’t take your kids.  Again, check with the policy for the sale as you may or may not be able to bring your children with you.  Depending on their age, and the size of the sale (and aisles), it may be pretty difficult to push them around in a stroller or to keep them from asking you for every toy they see.  
4.  Think ahead.  Resales can be a great opportunity to snag some early birthday or Christmas presents.  This can work especially well for younger kids not yet making specific “wish lists.”  Also, take a moment to scan the clothes racks for great deals on items for future sizes and seasons.  
5.  Don’t forget the 1/2 price sale!  Most sales run for one or two days.  At the end of the final day, there is likely to be a 1/2 price sale.  This means that most everything remaining (which was already at a great price) will be reduced even more.  If possible, come back for those items you weren’t sure about for $1.00, but cannot pass up for only $0.50!

Follow along via GCF, FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest for the upcoming posts on this series:

Part 1:  Garage Sales



  1. Love your resale advice! I’m excited to be joining the resale world with baby on the way. I will add just one more tip – if you have a large item on your list (bouncy seat, high chair, etc.), those in good condition tend to go fast, so show up at the start of the sale. :) Can’t wait to hear your other bargain tips!

    • Yes! I have seen people politely “race” to an item once the doors open. It is serious business. Thanks, Nicole. Can’t wait to do some shopping soon!

  2. I love resales!! I was just thinking today that I needed to find some more in my area. Found your blog through the Monday Mom Musings on Jelli Bean Journals!

  3. Stopping by from Mom Musings on Jelli Bean Journals. I just pinned this tip I haven’t been to a Resale yet but have noticed they are popping up all over my town. Thanks for the tips I’m sure I would have looked like a rookie otherwise. Now following on GFC and Pinterest! Love all your toddler tips and can’t wait to pin some more for my future fun with my 5month old.

  4. This sounds like something I would love. If only it existed here. Thanks so much for sharing these tips with me this week. I’d love to be able to make $ on my kids stuff.

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