Resale Tips and Tricks

I am not a fan of paying full-price for clothes. I don’t pay full-price for my own clothes, and especially not for clothes for my kids. In the kids’ case, it’s because on more than one occasion, I’ve bought clothes that have literally only been worn once before they were deemed too scratchy, uncool, the wrong color, too stretchy, or whatever… you know the drill. Or in my boys’ case, they will last approximately 5.4 minutes before being stained or torn.  I have found some amazing clothing pieces at great prices at resale shops and sales. And the competitive side of me loves the feeling — it’s like I just won a treasure hunt! We asked our readers for some of their best resale tips and gathered them here for you. Study them and then go win your own treasure hunt at one of the upcoming fall events!
resale tips

Resale Shopping Tips


  1. Arrive early for large-scale events, like any of the twin club sales. Plan on arriving an hour before the doors open, as many of them have long lines and hand out tickets.
  2. Leave the children at home. It will be crowded, and there will be lots of racks, bins, and boxes to go through and many open toys that will only serve as shopping distractions.
  3. If you must bring children, be sure you check the rules before you venture out. Most sales do not permit strollers or carts, so you will either need to wear them, carry them, or hold on tight and make them walk.
  4. Bring CASH. Sometimes the school run sales accept checks, but only on rare occasions do they take credit. Cash will keep you on budget and move you through the lines faster.

Save Big Money

  1. The last day, half-day or last hour of the sales are usually 1/2 off all labeled prices. If you are not picky or looking for something very specific, this is a great time to grab a large amount of stuff for very little money.
  2. Determine target prices so you can quickly move through racks without stopping to think. This is especially important if you are shopping for baby gear. I highly suggest you check out Amazon and other online retailers for the item you are looking for before you go so you have an idea of prices.
  3. Bring a market tote, laundry basket, or large bag to carry things you want to purchase so you can keep shopping. Again, check the rules before going. Most sales will allow you to carry a laundry basket but some don’t allow you to bring anything in.
  4. Only buy what you need. It seems like common sense, but great deals and the energy of a crowded event can make you grab things simply because they are cute, but not necessarily practical.


Determining What you Need
Personally, I am not a “buy-ahead shopper,” partially because my two older children are the same genders as my two younger ones, so we have a great deal of hand me downs. If you purchase clothing and gear for the future, we gathered these tip from Kristine Rickert, who formerly ran a seasonal resale event:

Shopping Tip: How to Predict Growth
There is certainly no “exact science” to children’s growth, but these “general” trends should help you find a better ballpark for growth if you plan to buy a season or two in advance.

Birth to 12 months – Add 10-inches in length and triple the child’s birth weight (in one year)
12 to 24 months – Add 5 inches and 6 pounds each year
2 to 10 years – Add 2 1/2 inches and 6 pounds each year.
Puberty – Girls: 9 inches and gain 15 to 55 pounds;
Puberty – Boys: 11 inches and gain up to 65 pounds.

Other tips

  1. Go with a list. Inventory what you have and make a list of what you want, organized by size and gender. This will help keep you on task. The rack of fancy dresses are pretty, but if you don’t need them, they’re just a distraction.
  2. Trace your kids’ feet and carry paper with you to hold up to shoes since sizes vary.
  3. Double check size tags. I have, on more than one occasion, bought something because it was in the correct size section or the hanging tag said one size and the interior tag said a different one.


The Benefit of Selling

If you have kids, participating in resale events is a no-brainer — my husband refers to it as “recycling clothes.” You sell or trade the items you don’t need for the ones that you do! Another benefit is that sellers usually get early access to the sale.

Don’t have anything to sell? Most of the pop-up sales need volunteers in order to run. Volunteer to work a shift or two in exchange for discounts or early access to sales.


What are your best tips for making the most out of a resale event? Share them in the comments!
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.