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Selling Tips - Tykemart

Selling Tips - Tykemart (1)

Learn how to set up a closet and turn outgrown clothes into cash.  Get tips on creating appealing listings,  taking good photos to showcase your products, and how to market your products to reach a wider market.

I'm certain that most if not all parents have bags and bags of their children's outgrown clothes.  I'm also sure that some of those clothes have been worn only once or may still be brand new still bearing original tags.

Families with multiple kids can solve this problem by handing down the clothes, assuming that the younger children are all of the same gender.  Others  hand down outgrown clothes to friends and family with younger children.  Still others donate the items to charity.  Many of us do all of the above but are still stuck not knowing what to do with items that are just too "good" or too "expensive" to give away. 

Good quality children's clothing can be very expensive.  The reality is most of us spend a small fortune only to have these items outgrown in a few short months.  Most of these items are still in excellent condition, specially infant and toddler sizes, and there are many people out there who would buy good quality gently worn kid's clothes.  In short you could be sitting on a gold mine!  With a little effort, common sense, and a bit of business savvy you can turn that gold mine into cold hard cash.

 How to convert outgrown treasures to cash

  • Clean out your kids' closet and drawers - take out everything that they have outgrown and everything they refuse to wear.  Be brutally honest - will Tommy really wear that pink and purple sweater Great Aunt Ethel gave him for his birthday? Will his younger brother ever wear it?  Will Susie ever wear that flower girl dress again? I'm sure there will be items that have sentimental value, but do you really have to keep every single one of them? My rule of thumb, if you have a picture of the child wearing that super cute outfit you don't need the actual outfit to reminisce. Unless of course it's that heirloom lace christening gown handed down to each new generation, you should probably keep that one!
  • Sort out - make piles
  • Trash pile/rag bin - stained, torn, ripped, "holey", and faded items.  Used underwear and mismatched socks.  Yes Tommy's much loved faded and torn super hero shirt and Susie's princess outfit she used to wear daily all belong in this stack!
  • Give Away/donate - Mid-priced brands that show a bit of wear but will still be all right for another child to wear.  This is where common sense comes into play.  That pair of Carter's pajamas are a bit faded but have no holes or tears or those Osh Kosh shorts are faded but are otherwise in good shape.  Those items belong in this pile.  Good enough to hand down but not good enough to sell.


  • Sell pile - this is your "inventory". Items that have been only worn once or still have tags on them no matter what the brand.  High end designer brands that cost an arm and a leg.  To help decide what should be in this pile ask your self and $1 to the second you might want to put that item in the give away/donate pile. 


Get rid of the first 2 piles before you change your mind!


  • Wash/Iron/Dry Clean - follow instructions on the tags and wash accordingly. Don't do this to new items with tags. 
  • Stage & Photograph
  • Arrange the item you want to sell nicely on a clean surface. Try not to lay it out on the floor.  If the item is composed of several matching pieces, shorts sets, dress & hat, etc.  arrange them all together.  If you have a mannequin it would be great! I greatly discourage using your child as the model, it may be really cute, but there are too many crazy predators out there. 
  • Set the "stage" - add some interest by staging your item.  This can also put some size perspective on the item.  For example if you are selling a brand new infant swimsuit you could arrange it next to a small plastic bucket and shovel. It adds interest as well as gives a size comparison. 
  • Photograph - make sure the items are well lit.  Take good clear photos from different angles. If there are multiple pieces you might want to take separate photos of each piece as well as a photo of the set. 
  • Edit - crop out any unwanted items caught in the shot, zoom items in to show better detail. If you decide to use your child as the model be sure to:

  • Crop out or obscure the child's face


    • Disable the location GPS on your device

    • Crop out or obscure addresses, street names, and any other items that will identify the location of where this photo of your child was taken


    • Post/List your items


    • Decide which site you want to use

    • Post the edited photos

    • Describe your item - be honest in your description, include size, color, style, condition.  You might want to say the dress was worn once to a wedding or that the jeans may show some fraying at the hem.

    • Price your item well - price should be determined by the item's condition and the price originally paid for it. A pair of Burberry jeans may be slightly faded but you paid $150 for it so you don't want to sell it for $5. Ask yourself how much you would pay for it.  Decide on the lowest price you would take for the item and add a few dollars to give yourself some bargaining room.


    • Selling

    • Depending on which site you decide to use be prepared to promptly and courteously reply to emails, messages, or whatever form of contact that site uses.  Remember these are all potential buyers so try to accommodate their requests as long as they are within reason.  Some may ask for measurements or more detailed pictures of the item. If you can not give an immediate answer at least acknowledge their request and let them know when you can give them an answer, "when I get home", "in a hour", etc.
    • Be prepared to negotiate. Have a definite idea of what the lowest price you will
    • Try not to get insulted when someone makes a ridiculously low offer.
    • Remember some folks just love bargains and will always try to low ball sellers, sometimes I'm sure they get lucky. 

    • If you are using a site that charges a commission for allowing you to post on their site be wary of people who ask you to take the transaction off site to save you the commission. These folks may want to go thru PayPal where the transaction can be free, they may suggest that you give them a better discount since you won't have to pay commission, this may be tempting and appear to be a win-win scenario, but is it really? Check the refund policies of both the site you are using and PayPal. What may seem to be a good deal for everyone may end up getting you scammed. Anyone who asks you to take a transaction off site is asking you to cheat the website, you already know they are less than honest.  What's to stop them from cheating you by using PayPal's liberal refund policies?  All they have to do is tell PayPal that the item they received is significantly not as described and the payment is debited from your account until the dispute is settled.  (Check out my blog about PayPal and Google "PayPal refund policy" for more details)


    • Shipping

    • Once  an item sells package it up nicely.  Wrapping it in tissue is a nice touch. Always include a short thank you note.  You never know, a happy buyer may return to buy more things from you.

    • Ship promptly. The sooner the buyer receives her purchase the sooner you get your money.

    • Track your shipment to know when it gets delivered.


    • Patience and Perseverance

    • Be patient.  Sales may start out slow.  Don't expect to sell an item as soon as you post it.  Sometimes you have to wait for the right buyer to come along.

    • Promote your item at every opportunity. If the site you're using has "events" participate.

    • Be an active member of the online community. Engage anyone who comments or likes your item in conversation.

    • Post more items. The more you post the more choices buyers have, this increases your chances of selling something.

    • Spread the word about the site you're using. More users = more potential buyers.

    The first sale may take a while but when it does it will sure feel good.  The only way to make it happen is to take that first step, clean out those closets!

    Happy selling!

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