31 answers

Seeking Help Selling Outgrown Toys and Clothes and Clutter-busting

HELP! I'm overwhelmed with little boy clutter! I hope someone can guide me to a way to sell my sons outgrown clothes and toys. The Salvation Army and Goodwill won't take donated toys anymore. I really can't stand doing garage sales, I want to teach my kids the value of money, and can REALLY use some extra cash since I am a stay-at-home mom. Some of items are in pristine condition, others are gently used. My kids were into Thomas, the Wiggles, Hot Wheels, and Power Rangers. We have tons of toddler books. Is e-BAY useful or is there another reputable way to selling this kind of stuff online? I don't have time to haggle with consignment shops and just need to start purging the old and bring in the new... little by little. My boys want Lego's, Pokemon or video games now and it would be nice for them to learn with me how to sell their old stuff to earn new stuff! We also need help clutter-busting... any referrals for home organization (books or affordable services) would be greatly appreciated!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi K.- There are several consignment stores for new or gently used children's items. Inch By Inch is in Cerritos ###-###-####, Ca and Allie Oop is in Long Beach###-###-####. You need to call them for their drop off policies. It is a great way to get a little money back on nearly new items without having to host a tiresome garage sale!

Best wishes!
T.

1 mom found this helpful

I just found out about Craigslist.com I know some people that have bought some stuff off there and they said it was easy. I looked at selling some stuff and that also looks easy. Good luck.

Have you tried selling things on Craigslist online? Sometimes it a pain in the rear, but it does bring in some money.

More Answers

Hi K. - well, here is my 2cents for what it's worth :)

I think if you want to teach your boys the value of money (which is great!), then something like a garage sale might be the best because they will see the immediate gain from "selling" as people give them money and they can see the money add up, they can help decide whether to take a little less if someone offers, etc. I think that's a GREAT way to involve them, help set up/clean up, work the sale, make cookies to sell, let them count the money, and deposit the money, or whatever.

eBay, on the other hand, is a terrific way to sell stuff. I've had great experiences selling. But you need to spend the time to create each auction, answer any questions from potential buyers, wait for the auction to end, make sure people pay, take the trouble to ship/insure packages, etc. It doesn't have the immediate gratification that a grarage sale does, but you could certainly earn more money!

There is always other options, which are also (IMHO) worthy i.e. donating and FreeCycle, and other trade-type sites... it's nice to talk to our kids about giving and getting nothing simply to help someone else or to give to a child who doesn't have as much. What about choosing and giving specific toys to friends that might really like to have a special toy, Children's Hospitals, preschools, your local church nursery, etc.

of course, the money is always nice to have, too ;)

Good luck,
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K., I used to take my kids stuff to a used kids resale store, named Ally Opps located in long beach off of Los Coyetes & Palo Verde, the number is ###-###-#### owners name is Janet, she is picky with the clothes must be clean and stain free, the toys must be clean, all parts together and have the orignal box with it. She offers a good price for the items, you won't get back near paid price for them, you drop off the items to her she will get back to you in a week, depending on how busy she is, you can trust her, make sure you write a list of what you bring to her and call first she will make an appt with you . Also you can sell them on craigs list for your area the ad is free to place, people request to buy through email,

Good Luck
T. Miles

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.! Good luck with this... I had the same dilemma with 4 daughters. I hope you get lots of responses but I wanted to give you my three that I found gave the best returns in every way.
1) We cut back. We had so much stuff (every Barbie ever made) that I began to get frustrated and stressed just over keeping track of it. I finally began asking the grandparents and various relatives for consumable presents. My girls' favorites have been trips ranging from an overnight at a hotel to Disneyland to the circus. One of my girls has her hair straightened around her birthday so all birthday money goes for that. My younger one likes to see her money grow in her jar then go buy something that I don't want her to have (cammie pants and backpack - ugly!) but are not necessarily bad.
2) Salvation Army and Goodwill may not accept toys but a lot of time the smaller charities do. We donate to the local womens shelter and we make sure everything is clean and repaired before we box it. For the clothes, we looked for someone with similar-aged children and passed them down. We received a lot of clothes that way also.
3) I love organizer books. My favorites are Sidetracked Home Executives and Change Your Life Challenge. I read S. H. E. as a newlywed 22 years ago and I still use tips that became habit.
Have Fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.- There are several consignment stores for new or gently used children's items. Inch By Inch is in Cerritos ###-###-####, Ca and Allie Oop is in Long Beach###-###-####. You need to call them for their drop off policies. It is a great way to get a little money back on nearly new items without having to host a tiresome garage sale!

Best wishes!
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.
Ebay is really the most fool proof way to sell items, without too much hassle. For the larger items you could even offer local pick up after the "auction" has ended. You just need to research what you'd sell the item for, you do not want to sell an item for 10 dollars when someone else is offering it for 3.99, so do your research.
Make sure you describe your item plenty (used, scratched, working great, like new etc), also describe the way you plan to ship the item - or you might get someone that expects you to put the item in the mail the hour after the auction has ended. This happened to me and even though I mailed it the very next day, the buyer was so mad that she forced me into a position where I had to return her money to her.
But, if you guard yourself and if you are specific about when or how you ship, you should be fine.
I have sold many odd items on Ebay quickly and made some extra money. Their "bank" Paypal is really easy to deal with and you get paid almost instantly.
I have also used Craigslist a few times for larger items - however there are a lot of people that missuse Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) You'll get some real odd people that'll call you, talk to you about the item, even make an appointment to pick up the item - and then never show.
ALWAYS get the persons phone number so that YOU can call them back. With kids in the house, I always safeguard myself and ONLY make appointments with people to pick up when my husband is home - and never after dark. That said-no weird people have ever showed up at my house, but it is still a precaution that I take.
Other than that- Children's Orchard is good-you just might have to wait a while to make an appointment to show your items and that can be a hassle if you are ready to clean house TODAY (that's usually how I feel!)
In regards to your Thomas items - just make sure they are not part of the recall (you could potentially get your "money" back)
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

E-bay is easy to do, however it does take a bit of time. I know there is a place near us that helps you sell things on ebay. I believe they take a commission, but handle all the listing, shipping, etc.

Additionally, there are the Children's Orchard Stores. There's one in Torrance. They're a consignment shop. I know I'm going to check them out.

If you're not concerned about selling, you could always consider donation. A friend was just talking to me about a shelter for abused women, many of which have children. She said they always need clothes and toys. Another choice might be an orphanage.

Good luck with your clutter-busting. I'm getting ready to do it myself.

1 mom found this helpful

Although Goodwill and Salvation Army may no longer take toys, there are many other charities that will. You may also consider asking preschools if they are interested in the books or any other developmental toys. However, it sounds like you may want to earn money for your things rather than tax write-offs. I've had some success with ebay and I find that name brands sell easier and for more money than generic things. You probably will have an easy time selling Thomas stuff, but the books will be more difficult. If I remember correctly, I was told that if you make less than $5 for an item on ebay, it's not worth the time and effort to do it. Don't take this as gospel as I don't remember the exact amount, but I keep this advice in mind when considering what I want to sell. I don't sell clothes anymore unless it's pristine, name-brand stuff (Gap and Gymboree sell really well). I stay away from selling toys that will be bulky and difficult to ship. There's a company called "I sold it on Ebay" that will actually take your items and sell them for you and take a small comission which has been beneficial for my mom. Personally, I've been successful with selling my stuff to a second-hand store and prefer to do that. My husband has had success selling stuff on Craig's List, but I've never tried to sell toys on it. And, many Craig's List "customers" tend to be flaky. There's also several websites/groups that you can post stuff you're willing to give away free. Yahoo has several..."Just Free Stuff" is the one I'm most familiar with. Regarding clutter-busting, I too struggle with this. Paper stuff is my biggest challenge! There are numerous books that help. Right now I'm reading "The Messie Motivator" which is helping to motivate me to just get in and eliminate clutter. But, it doesn't sound like you need motivating! Good luck! I hope some of this info helps!

1 mom found this helpful

K.,

I just moved to the LA area from Park Slope Brooklyn, where no one has room to store anything. So we had a website called Park Slope Parents that had a great classifieds board which helped to get toys and all baby goods to new homes. Recycling things is so good for our wallets and our environment, especially in our consumer-based society! Here, I found Peachhead, which does much the same thing. It connects parents and you can ask for or sell/give away children's things. Try it out: http://peachheadfamilies.com/

Good luck,
T.

1 mom found this helpful

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