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

Hi K.! I hear a lot of good intentions in your sharing, wanting to teach your kids about the value of money and how their stuff is a commodity. And of course, as moms we all need to save time! For them to really have a hands-on experience of money- a garage sale is a great idea- even though it might seem overwhelming. You can make it simple and short- 9-12 on a Sat. is plenty of time. You can have them do the selling too. You can also try selling them at your boys school or sport teams/groups&clubs/place of worship. For online options, of course there's eBay, but that usually involves shipping. You can also try Craig's List, which would be local. I've combined CraigsList with a garage sale, listing specific (pricier items) on Craigs & made them only available during my garage sale which eliminates the scheduling with strangers but also brings in more money in general.
There is also great value to teaching your kids concepts about charity and giving, which they can get by donating the items to homeless shelters, childrens hospitals or clinics, or even just a resale shop like Out of the Closet. I love the other response you got about donation coordination for specific shelters and/or families too. Seeing the smile on another kid's face, when you show up with a cool toy is priceless for our kids. You can also list specific items on freecycle.org, which is an email group designed to connect people wanting to give stuff away and people who want it.
I work as a professional organizer in the Los Angeles area, and there are hundreds of us all around. I occasionally work in the South Bay, but I highly recommend you check out Napo.net (National Assoc. of Prof. Organizers) for local referrals. You can check out my website at roomforlifeorganizing.com for other ideas about garage sales, donations and clearing the clutter. Peter Walsh's book "Its All Too Much" is a great read on organizing as well. I encourage you to get your kids in on the clearing and organizing- also good lessons- and if they are invested in the process, it makes daily cleanup easier too!
Best of luck! J. J

1 mom found this helpful

About four time a year, my boys (3 & 5) and I go through their things and select out a few to give away. We all help pack them up and then take them to a charitable organization. We talk a lot about families who are not as fortunate as us. We talk about the mission of places like the Goodwill. Even though we could have a garage sale or sell things online, for our family, it's a concrete way to reinforce helping others. You could probably do this with the good stuff and then sell the great stuff.
Another great learning opportunity would be to have the kids hold their own garage sale. Maybe just a table full of toys. They would be responsible for pricing the items, selling them, making change, etc. With the money they earn, they could donate some to charity and use some to buy themselves a new toy. I would love to be organized enough to help my kids do this!

1 mom found this helpful

Sell the good items to Children's Orchard in Torrance. They are fantastic! EBAY is also a great place to make cash. Good luck!!

Hello Kath
Have you tried Craiglist? If your looking for fun educational toys check out Discovery Toys. I just recently became an Indenpendent Toy Consultant and can help you find some age appropriate toys and even earn them for FREE!
Good Luck
M.
Business Website
http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/mariapacheco

have you tried craig's list? also whatever you are unable to sell can be offered on freecycle. i have had no problems finding takers for those things i no longer have use for.

Torrance Children's Orchard. Call to make an appointment ###-###-#### and go in and browse while they do your "buy". If you've never been to a Children's Orchard you'll be surprised at the nice things they sell at great prices.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/

is a free online ad agency. You can even upload pictures for free. Also my aunt is wnating to buy baby boy stuff for her daughter I will refer her to your request.
Have fun.
Melissa

If you don't want to bother with selling and having strangers come to your house via Craigslist (creepy) then please consider donating them to a local church. Ask the church for a receipt so you can use it as a "write-off". It really helps them out with their nursery and toddler age groups while parents get to go hear a sermon and have an hour of peace and good childcare.

For clutter-busting, try www.flylady.net. It's great!

Hi K.;

I read your email from Mamasource. I have four children and raised them while my husband is the provider. I taught my children to save their clothing and toys while they're growing up. I have my four children in Boy Scout and Girl scout program. I was born and raised in Manila,Philippines and growing up with nothing even toys and clothing. Since I came to america, I learned how to be frugal and save some of the clothing,toys,books from my children and even from friends and neighborhood. I usually collected donated clothing,toys,books and anything that can still used and good reasonable conditions. Here is my proposal to you if you agree. I would like to take a look at your stuff and if I am interested, I would like to buy it from you all of the stuffs that you would like to sell, but since I am buying this stuffs and sending it to the orphange in the Philippines so I am willing to pay for reasonable or garage sale price but I am willing to take it all and ship it all to the Orphanage Center in the Philippines. Please let me know if you're interested with my proposal. Please email me and let me know your address and I will drive there and look at your stuff. This is my mission is to buy some clothing,toys,books and etc., then I have it wrap it with christmas wrapper and then ship it to the Philippines to give to the unfortunate children that are living in Orphanage or poor neighborhood area every Christmas. I know it is sound odd to you but this is what I love to do in life since I know that there is so many children in my country that was unfortunate and poor. Also I would like to show a good role model for my four children how to take care of others and not only themselves. Please keep it touch.

A. W.

Try Craig's list. They are wonderful and the people buying come to you as opposed to you mailing it to them on Ebay.
I have sold on Craig's list and found my current renter
there as well.

Larchmont Charter School is having a huge fundraising Garagarama and we would love your stuff...if you decide you want to donate it. It's on April 26.

Hi K.,

We live in the south bay, Hermosa Beach. I am part of a couple moms groups and tend to take the charity coordinator position often. If you are interested in donating I love to collect things and drop them off at various shelters and churches in the inner cities. We recently did a specific collection for an abandoned 7 mo girl who came to her foster parents with only a diaper and a t-shirt. Being so fortunate in this area we were able to set her up with a crib and all the trimmings, clothes, toys and diapers. All hand-me-down, except the diapers :o)

Also, my 2 yo son loves Thomas and we could possibly purchase those toys from you.

Feel free to email me directly at ____@____.com luck,
S.

Try listing the items on craigslist. The is no hastle of Paypal of auction pricing.

I'll buy the power ranger toys from you. Can you send me a picture of all the power ranger toys so I can get a better gist as to how much there is. You can email me at ____@____.com
Thanks

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

Hi K.,
If you are looking to sell clothes - ebay is a good site like you said, but so it craigs list. You got to check it out.
I am still trying to find what works best for our four boys as far as home organization. I did purge a lot of toys and found at their age (4,3,2 and 1) they really only need legos, books and cars/trucks. I am over the mentality of needing so many toys, but if you find something that works for you - please post an update with your system!!
Thanks,
P.

Hi K.,
here is another suggestion: I am in contact with some charity workers in the South Dakota area. I am currently looking to give some help to the US' forgotten backyard by sending donations in form of gently used baby items (cloth and toys) to poor native American families. You could help us. If you are interested you can write back to me: ____@____.com would be very grateful!
Thanks and regards
S.

I would try Kids Doubletime in Torrance on Torrance Blvd. They take your items and either give you store credit or cash depending on the items. There is no haggling they just tell you what they will give you. I would call first though because sometimes they are overloaded with some items.

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.

If you can't sell your items, you can donate them to Good Shepherd shelter of Los Angeles (located in downtown Los Angeles). They accept gently worn clothes, appliances and furniture.

Hi K. - try's Craig's List. It's free and a great way to sell things! http://losangeles.craigslist.org/

Good luck!

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