Spring has finally arrived indicating it is time to pack up the winter wear and bring out warm weather clothes. Parents of young children know this is the time of year to clean out kids' closets and prepare to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Most kids grow so fast that last seasons gear is not going to fit the bill for the coming summer. You may be working with a limited budget or find it wasteful to pay top dollar prices for items that will only be worn for a few months. In either case it helps to know you can save a lot of money by purchasing gently used second hand clothes. The following tips will ensure you are getting a good deal.
- Find the right store- Try to find a store that specializes in children's clothes. Many stores will cater to pregnant women and smaller children. The selection is generally much better in these stores versus a thrift store that carries a variety of items.
- Examine items- Each store has their own standards for the type of clothing they will accept to resell. Some thrift stores take clothes that are barely wearable, while others closely inspect all items before putting them out for sale. You can generally tell the difference between the two after examining a few items. Regardless of the quality of clothes the store accepts, always be on the lookout for stains, tears, missing buttons or broken zippers.
- Return policy- Privately owned thrift stores have different return policies. Find out if the store offers a return policy and if so how you receive credit. Will it be a store credit or cash back in your hand? Also confirm if there is a certain time period in which you have to return the items in order to receive a refund. Some stores do not have a return policy-knowing this in advance can help you make smart buying decisions.
- Determine if the size is right- Just because the hanger is marked 4T, that doesn't mean the shirt hanging on it is the same size. Most parents learn early on that shopping for kids clothes is sometimes a guessing game with your eye sometimes being the best judge.
- Pick up a few pieces at a time- Instead of buying enough clothes for the entire summer in one shopping spree, pick up a few items here and there to build your collection. This not only makes it more affordable by spreading the cost, but it also allows time for new inventory to be displayed. Also, some children have a growth spurt mid-season making it necessary to start the entire process over again.
You could easily cut your expenses in half buy shopping at a second hand store. Please remember some items should be purchased new regardless of the savings such as car seats and cribs. Other items like strollers, play pens and toy should be carefully examined to ensure they are in good condition before purchasing at a second hand store.