Buying clothing for my kids is easily one of the most challenging parts of being a mom. With how fast they grow and how strain and rip-prone their lifestyle is, paying full price for a quality brand seems like a major waste of money. Most moms I know hunt for sales, coupons, or secondhand deals to find cheap, brand name clothes for kids. Be warned, not all discounted clothing options are equal. Here is an overview of savvy shopping tricks that will save you time, effort, and money when it comes to shopping for kids’ clothing.
Brand Name Outlet Stores
Many moms think that brand name outlet stores, like Gap, Children’s Place, and Gymboree, are the best way to buy quality kids’ clothing at a discount. However,almost all of these popular brands produce a different line of clothing, or “factory goods,” for their outlet stores. Factory goods do not meet the same quality standards that the regular brand is known for. From inferior fabrics, low-quality stitching, to non-functional pockets or drawstring - the reality is that you end up paying too much for low-quality items at these brand name outlet stores. Leather factory goods, such as shoes, are often produced using low-quality leather. There are many tips for how to spot the real brand clothes from the outlet versions, don’t be fooled!
Secondhand Clothing Shops
While there are many great “finds” to be hand, you’re ultimately at the mercy of the shop owner to source (or admit) quality items. Depending on your area, stock can be highly varied month-to-month, and inconsistent in quality. Unless you already have a secondhand kids’ clothing store you know and trust, there’s a high probability that you’ll make the trip to the store, and there will not be anything suitable in stock. The pro of shopping for cheap name brand clothes for kids at consignment shops is that you can inspect the quality firsthand, and only purchase what passed your assessment. The major downside to local brick-and-mortar consignment or thrift stores is that there is no guarantee of high-quality brand name or designer kids clothes being included in their inventory.
If you want to go this route, the most efficient use of your time and effort is to opt for a popular, nationwide chain, like Savers and Goodwill. You can also search for chains that specialize in used kids clothes for sale, such as Once Upon A Child, Kid to Kid, and Children’s Orchard. Nationwide chains are more likely to have larger inventory and clothing of a more consistent value as their clothing acceptance policies are more defined. The best time to shop is during a sale. Sign up for the chain’s newsletter and Like the store on Facebook to stay up-to-date about their sales.
You can also leverage the seasonal pop-up consignment sale events. Two of the top businesses in the category, JustBetween Friends, and RheaLana combined host over 400 such pop-up sales a year in North America. The quality typically better than a local consignment shop because the special event attracts lots of people from different areas with great inventory to sell.
Peer Marketplace Apps
These days, there is also a new option for sourcing high-quality, discounted children's clothing- peer to peer selling. Thanks to apps and online marketplaces, it’s easier than ever before to find parents in your area with used children's clothing that fits your needs. The new up-and-comer options include Poshmark, and Kidizen.
Within these marketplaces, there is also no guarantee of name brand clothing. The prices may be higher because sellers need to pay a high fee to sell on these apps. Also, be aware that all sales are final sales, so ask questions before you buy.
Moms can also look for Facebook BTS (Buy Sell Trade) groups to buy gently used kids clothes. You'll need a PayPal account to buy in these groups. While this option may have lower price points (you’re removing the “retail” markup), it’s riskier than the other options. The individual could decline to give you a refund if the goods are not as they originally described. Use, but be particularly wary. I would recommend reading the group rules once you join the group.
Online Consignment Stores
Online consignment or thrift stores have the advantage of requiring less time and effort to shop (you can quickly browse what’s available a few times a week) but also pose a risk for “buyer beware”- you can’t inspect the clothes until they arrive in the mail. Thanks to online reviews, moms can ensure they focus their time and money on the top-rated sites with good reputations.
Savvy moms should note that some of the bigger brands, like Swap, Schoola and Thredup, do not emphasize name brand clothes for kids, so the quality of inventory of gently used kids clothes for sale can include factory brands, Kmart, Walmart, Target or basic kids clothing.
Smaller sites, like Sweet Pea & Teddy, our store Berri Kids Boutique, and Dessie Kids place more emphasis on premium, high-quality inventory. It’s more likely that you’ll find cheap name brand clothes for kids amongst their curated inventory. Here at Berri Kids Boutique, we try to make the shopping experience as easy as possible with smart suggested related products, clothing tailored to different holidays (no black sequin dress suggestions for Easter), and have accessories to go with your kids’ outfits,
With easy to browse functionality, good reputations, and high-quality brands, online consignment is probably the most efficient and effect way to buy cheap brand name clothes for kids.