• Not long after having children do you come to the realization that the only thing kids do with extreme speed and dependability is outgrow their clothing. As babies the clothing is often barely worn when you take it off of the shelves to put larger sizes out. When it is your first child and the clothing is unisex-ish you can put the clothing aside for the next baby. So baby #2 will wear mostly hand-me-downs in great condition. Which begs the question – why buy new for child #1? There are so many great places to get second hand items online, at resale stores and, the best deal of all, from friends and family.

    If you take advantage of all the less expensive options you can save a fortune on children’s clothing! The options are limitless – play clothes abound, and you can find boutique and name brand clothing at a fraction of the cost of new. If you’re looking for special occasion outfits remember they have probably only been worn once or twice by the original owners – most toddlers and young children who I know don’t have social calendars filled with formal events. Seasonal items like ski-wear and rain-gear have also likely been worn for, at most, one season. And all other shirts, pants, shorts can be judged on the condition they are in. There is really almost nothing you cannot find used!

    The main things to look for when buying used are:

      1. Condition of the item being sold (photos of any flaws- if they are disclosed).
      2. Reputation of the seller (look at the seller’s feedback to be sure past buyers are happy).
      3. Smoke exposure – if the description does not say that it is from a smoke-free home be sure to ask them. Smoke is one of the few smells that often does not come out with a good washing in your home.
      4. Pet exposure – some people are very sensitive to pet smells. Pet smells usually do not permeate clothing like smoke will, and also usually come out with good detergent and hot water.

    Buying new is sometimes easier, may fill a need of your own to impress/keep up with the Joneses, and sometimes is perfect for when you are looking for a specific item or outfit. But if you are willing to spend a little bit of time and energy looking, buy used and put the money you have saved toward a family vacation, or into an emergency fund. The Joneses won’t know, and we won’t tell!