Kids can be expensive, and clothes can certainly drive up the cost. When you’re prone to both impulse spending and emotional spending, you have to keep up your guard. (That’s my PSA to me from me.)
Of course, clothing isn’t the number one reason kids are costly. But if we can cut costs, be eco-friendly, and give the post office a little post, what are we waiting for?
If you’re anything like how I used to be, you’re waiting because you’re wondering if buying used clothes for your kid is worth it. Will the condition of the clothes be terrible? Will it be a hassle? Do you even save any money? Whatever reasons you have to feel skeptical, I’ve probably felt them all. Yet, this fall and winter, I’m firmly committed to buying the best secondhand toddler wardrobe I can find. Now that my shopping is basically done, I’m ready to dish on buying toddler clothes from Poshmark.
These tips in particular? They come from a handful of huge wins…and one pretty big flop.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Shipping speed varies by seller.
Long before I started buying on Poshmark, I sold on the app. In fact, I netted over a thousand dollars just cleaning out my closet. That speaks to the ease of using the app and sheer amount of stuff I owned at one point. To this day, I still have a few listings on the platform. And when something sells? I am ON IT.
RELATED POST: $500 in Sales & Five Things I’ve Learned on Poshmark
Other people? Not so much. Couple that with the serious delays that USPS is facing right now, and let’s just say both the hare and the tortoise might outperform your order.
The good news is that if your seller doesn’t ship within seven days, you can cancel your order in a single click. You don’t have to deal with the seller at all. One tap in the app, and you’re set! Money back without a hassle.
2. There is no in-season shopping.
It’s August, and I’m basically done buying everything my toddler needs for fall and winter. If this seems a little over enthusiastic, you need to know two things. There’s no need to shop seasonally on Poshmark. And last Halloween, we changed HP out of his Halloween costume and into snow pants so he could go sledding.
After buying two sets of winter jackets and two pairs of snow pants, I noticed that most of the listings are quite old. Use that to your advantage! I suspect that most parents–myself included!–notice that something doesn’t fit and then list it mid-season. The problem with that is that no one is likely to be shopping for a winter coat in the middle of winter.
However, the sellers with listings from last January seem to be handing out hot bargains in August. I was able to nab two jackets for $12 and two pairs of snow pants for $10!
3. Don’t shop for singles.
Poshmark is not the place that I would buy one of something. In fact, most of my searches use the words “lot” or “bundle”. That way, I get a listing with at least a few items. Why? Unless you’re shopping for something in particular, the single item is likely to cost too much. A shirt that is listed for $5 with a $7 shipping charge is almost certain to cost me more used than it would new.
It’s true that some sellers will bundle multiple single items from their closet. But that’s only helpful if you can find several pieces that you want–and they agree to do a discount. The “lot” search strategy has served me well, and I even elected to buy winter coats and snow pants in multiples. I only had to pay shipping once, and each seller knocked a few dollars off the price.
RELATED POST: Should I Feel Guilty for Accepting Hand-Me-Downs?
4. Ask questions!
Before I make a purchase, I zoom in on all the photos and read the listing carefully. I also check other items in their closet–both items that are available and sold. A lot of times, you can learn a lot by reading other comments.
After I’m done doing some sleuthing on my own, I leave a comment directly on the item that I’m interested in. “Hi! Any holes, stains, or snags? Thanks so much!” It’s short and sweet, and I won’t buy it if I don’t get an answer. Lesson learned!
The nice thing about Poshmark–from my current shopping perspective!–is that they have a reputation for siding with buyers in the event of a dispute. So if an item arrives with stains, holes, or snags and you can show that they clearly stated otherwise, you can refuse the items. Thankfully, I’ve not traveled that road.
5. Remember what you’re buying.
So I promised that these lessons came from a handful of wins and a flop. In one instance, I set my sights too high. I nabbed a bundle of long sleeve shirts that were supposed to cost less than $1 per shirt. The buyer even threw in a few extras. Except I hadn’t yet learned my “ask questions” trick!
The items were listed as being in good condition. When I unboxed them, I noticed a few spots on several shirts. Instantly, I was frustrated because I would have disclosed the stains if it were my listing. I contemplated going through with a dispute, but then I realized I was likely expecting far too much for paying so little. I don’t think a low price justifies dishonestly. But I also wonder interpretation of good condition is universal, and maybe my standards are just a smidgen too high for kiddo clothes. (I’m given to understand that not everyone removes their child’s shirt when he’s eating a messy meal for instance.)
Ultimately, I’m shopping on Poshmark for two reasons: I’m trying to conserve our cash and also be kinder to the planet. None of the shirts I was sold belonged in a landfill. In fact, most of the spots have faded considerably since I worked my spot treating magic. Just because a shirt has a small stain doesn’t mean it’s defective. And maybe now HP can finally finish a meal in peace.
I am absolutely committed to building the rest of his fall and winter wardrobe from Poshmark. In fact, I think I could probably resell his winter coats and snow pants for cost, if not a profit. The quality is THAT good.
I don’t think I will necessarily use Poshmark exclusively for my kid’s clothing needs forever and for always. But now that I’m more familiar with the app, and I’ve curated almost an entire season’s worth of clothing from it, I definitely appreciate the possibilities a lot more. It’s going to continue to be a really helpful tool to make parenting a little less expensive and my shopping habits a little more eco-friendly.
So Tell Me…Do you have any secondhand shopping tips for adult or kid clothes?
If you want to shop with me, you can use my referral code to join. I did the same thing, and I used the sign-up bonus as a buffer in case my first purchase didn’t pan out. (Spoiler: It was a swim set that was basically brand new that I later resold!)