Author Topic: buying used kids clothes in advance  (Read 1801 times)

c-kat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
buying used kids clothes in advance
« on: April 19, 2018, 08:41:49 AM »
When our daughter was first born it was easy to find used clothes at thrift stores and garage sales in newborn, 3 month and six month sizes. She is now 15 months, and I'm finding it harder to find what I'm looking for in her current size, but see lots of things she could wear in a year or two.

There are a lot of church sales coming up and I'm thinking about going and buying clothes in advance for the next year or two.  But I'm not sure how to do this size wise, as kids can take smaller or larger than their age size wise. She's on the smaller size so right now wearing 12-18 months.  But we also have four seasons so I have to take that into account... yes she'll grow into something if its too big but if it's winter clothing she won't be able to wear it in the summer. She will be 2 in January so I could buy winter clothes for that size... how have others handled it? And how far in advance did you buy?

Also at her current age, clothing sizes come in six month increments, is that still the case after they turn 2 or does it work differently?

The clothes are really reasonable so if a few things don't work out I could just donate them back.

Curious how others have handled this.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 08:58:53 AM »
I would caution against buying too many clothes far in advance.  It was hard for me to predict whether my kid would be a certain size by a certain season a year in advance.  The only thing I would buy in advance were shoes, as finding quality used shoes that were not too worn was difficult. 

For example, for the longest time my son's pants were always too loose in the waist.  This year, he grew like a weed and 1/2 through the school year, none of his pants fit anymore!  They were too tight in the waist (too tight to button!) and too short.  This is the first time this has ever happened.

About toddler clothes, yes, they stop coming in 6 month increments.  Different brands will be differently sized, of course, and there are clothes with a "T" designation that seem somewhat smaller than the regular size.  (Ie. 3T will be smaller than straight 3.)   

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6546
  • Location: United States
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 09:38:25 AM »
My daughter is about the same age as your kid. I accept hand me downs ahead of time- I have bins up to about 4T.  I don't buy things ahead of time because I don't know what season she will be that size in.

BAM

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
  • Location: New Mexico
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 11:53:06 AM »
I did buy clothes in advance for mine. Once they hit size 2/2T, the sizes only go up by year (approx) - 2, then 3, then 4, etc. I found that my kids stayed in a size for a year although they might not hit the size at that exact age (most of mine were really big and wore a size older than their age). So they might hit a size 2T in the summer but they would stay a 2T until about a year later. Because of that one year, it didn't matter what season I bought since they would hit that size in that season at some point.
Hope that makes sense.

Personally, buying ahead saved us tons of money.

reeshau

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 11:57:29 AM »
We have definitely bought 95% of our 3-year-old's clothes through Mom-2-Mom and other used sales, and seasonality is an issue.  (we are on the other end of the scale--is is above the 99th percentile in height, but super skinny!)  If you think you will be borderline, buy some things on either side of the border.  at $1 apiece, you can afford to be 2,000% wrong vs. buying new things because you didn't want to take the chance.  And, if you are so inclined, you can always cycle the clothes back into the system anyway, essentially making them free or very low rent, if you account for some losses due to wear or staining.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 12:00:20 PM »
We have definitely bought 95% of our 3-year-old's clothes through Mom-2-Mom and other used sales, and seasonality is an issue.  (we are on the other end of the scale--is is above the 99th percentile in height, but super skinny!)  If you think you will be borderline, buy some things on either side of the border.  at $1 apiece, you can afford to be 2,000% wrong vs. buying new things because you didn't want to take the chance.  And, if you are so inclined, you can always cycle the clothes back into the system anyway, essentially making them free or very low rent, if you account for some losses due to wear or staining.

If the question is buy used in advance now or buy new later, sure, roll the dice and buy used now.  But I have never come across an instance where I cannot find used clothing at the same or near-same price.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 12:10:32 PM »
I think the supply is often best for opposite season clothes - in spring, people clean out winter stuff, and in fall they get rid of summer stuff.

So I always bought ahead, especially for stuff that gets hard to find like nice pants.

Winter coats can be a little big, and will last longer that way.

Carrie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 12:26:59 PM »
I accepted some hand me downs to store, but never bought early. I like to check Gymboree sales (online) 1-2x per year to buy 2-3 nicer outfits, then fill the wardrobe gaps with inexpensive basics from places like Wal-mart. Catching sales as the clothes are needed has worked for me. I don't pay more than $3-$5 per shirt, $7-$10/ pants, and I sew all the skirts & dresses. I doubt I could find prices much better on used clothing for kids.

vivian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 12:36:29 PM »
My kids have had different growth spurts. My 2.5 year old has only been wearing size 3T since November, but is already growing out of it. If I had bought her 3T summer clothes last summer, or even fall, they would not fit. On the other hand, my 6 year old is still in size 5.

One thing that happens as they get older is that both weight and height matter for clothes. My 6 year old has always been skinny, but diapers kept his pants on. Since potty training, he can only wear pants with adjustable waists (or sized as slim, which seemed to start with size 5).

I only buy clothes that fit now, unless they are special clothes like snowsuit or something particularly hard to get.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 05:39:00 PM »
The other issue is storage.  How much room do you have to store this stuff?

I bought a lot in advance but both my kids are boys so chances are if one didn't wear it, the other one would.  Once you get over size 2/3 ish kids can wear the same size for about a year until they hit puberty.

Also, how do you get rid of clothes?  I sold my smaller sizes.  I always overbought used clothes knowing that if I didn't use them I'd be selling them for basically the same price. 

MrsWhipple

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 05:44:25 PM »
We're nearing the 2 year old mark, and so far the only thing we've had to buy are hats and a rash guard. If you're not out in the boonies, consider posting on a local facebook group asking if anyone has hand me downs to offer. I've had good luck with: Buy Nothing facebook group, mom's groups, Next Door (just gave someone an infant bathtub and she was swamped with offers of stuff), etc. We also have two close families with daughters a little older than ours, so we just get buckets and buckets of clothes and shoes and everything.

I wouldn't buy ahead just because of possible growth spurts making everything useless, but I suppose if I saw a really cute thing at 50 cents or whatever, I might spring for it. Storage is a huge deal; I hate hate hate having tupperware tubs of clothes just waiting around to be used.

kanga1622

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 06:02:19 PM »
So much depends on how your kid grows. Both my kids stayed in a size right around a year once we hit 2T so I just bought all season clothes in each size.

We have a formula for amount of clothes in our house for kids:
10 pair of pants
8 pair of shorts
15 short sleeve shirts
8 long sleeve shirts
5-8 pj sets
1-2 dressier outfits

I kept a list on my phone and basically put a hashmark next to each item when we purchased so I didn’t get too much of anything. We stick with black, navy, or khaki bottoms so they will match pretty much any top.

We do a load of clothes every 3-4 days but like to have extras for the daycare bag, messy eating, and outside play.

Also, keep an eye on clearance items at the store. I’d rather pay $3 for a brand new Children’s Place shirt than $2 for a used T-shirt. We’ve had great luck with TCP clothes holding up through a year or more for each kid. $3 for a shirt that is worn weekly for 2.5-3 years is a good deal.

We have no friends with kids for hand me downs and have a high portion of low income residents so I donate what survived our two kids to a church “baby closet” that helps out in times of crisis or low income where purchasing a new wardrobe just isn’t in the budget. Many a family has bebfitted after a house burned down and they needed clothes immediately.

kanga1622

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 06:10:01 PM »
I should add that our “ahead” stash takes up one 18 gallon Rubbermaid type bin per size. I label them with masking tape and we usually have about 4 in rotation (our boys are 3 years apart). We learned once our oldest hit size 5 that buying used was SUPER hard as most things were pretty worn out and little boys tend to ruin knees on pants. Now we buy about 6 months ahead for the oldest and just pack up the size he has outgrown to save for the little one. Once my oldest hit school age he had a lot of opinions on his clothes (he doesn’t like writing on shirts and hates jeans).

c-kat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 07:09:34 AM »
Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions.  I think I'll focus on this year only and will buy size 2 for both summer and winter.  The items only cost 1 dollar, so I'm not worried if they don't work out. I really only need sleepers and basic pants/tops because my mother always buys her a few dressy outfits for each season.

I will also try the facebook groups.

malacca

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
  • Location: Malaysia!!!
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2018, 06:05:47 AM »
We always buy ahead. Have a suitcase full of "future" clothes and shoes - even toys!

90% from garage sales or hand me downs from friends.


Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8031
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NorCal
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2018, 07:35:47 AM »
This topic was covered at length in The Tightwad Gazette. Even though it's dated as heck in some sections, every mustachian should own a copy.  Buy this version, as it's all inclusive. You can also download a free copy, but I like flipping the pages to random topics.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250

CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2018, 03:31:51 PM »
This topic was covered at length in The Tightwad Gazette. Even though it's dated as heck in some sections, every mustachian should own a copy.  Buy this version, as it's all inclusive. You can also download a free copy, but I like flipping the pages to random topics.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250

Amy Dacyczyn (sp?) - the editor, also had a great system of marking kids clothes for easy identification in the laundry.  Basically, the oldest kid's clothes were marked with an X on the tag or collar, then when kid 2 got it, another X was added and so on.

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2018, 06:36:52 PM »
I always have a tape measure in my purse and when I bought kids clothes, especially a year or 2 ahead of their current age, I used it. I rarely trusted the ages marked on the label. I kind of guessed how big the kids would be, wrote it down, and kept that with my tape measure. I can sew so was able to alter tings, it was pretty easy to make something smaller, so I usually bought a little bigger.
I found when the kids started going to school. the used clothing supply dried up, because the kids just wear them out.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8031
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NorCal
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2018, 12:51:12 AM »
This topic was covered at length in The Tightwad Gazette. Even though it's dated as heck in some sections, every mustachian should own a copy.  Buy this version, as it's all inclusive. You can also download a free copy, but I like flipping the pages to random topics.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250

Amy Dacyczyn (sp?) - the editor, also had a great system of marking kids clothes for easy identification in the laundry.  Basically, the oldest kid's clothes were marked with an X on the tag or collar, then when kid 2 got it, another X was added and so on.
You nailed the spelling, Cindy BS. Are you also a Non-Consumer Advocate fan?

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3593
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2018, 05:46:17 AM »
I have found that the older they get,the harder it is to match the used clothes I bought ahead of time with their current needs. Some things are fine (t shirts mostly). Other stuff, they grow suddenly and skip sizes, or their taste changes (went from a preschooler who wore dresses daily, to a kindergartener who would only wear shirts and pants).

My kids routinely skip a short size so unless someone gives me a free hand me down, I won't pay money for shoes ahead of time.

Pants have been hopeless to buy ahead because of fit. My kids run skinny and even some slim pants won't adjust enough. Ugh! So annoying. Shorts are on though.

Long story short, it depends on the kid and the used market where you live. I always take free hand me downs,but I won't pay unless we need it right now. Worst case scenario I can go get shorts and t shirts for 5$ each at Target if summer comes and we don't have enough shorts. Shoes I just buy new, but now that they are almost in adult sizes I think I'll be able to find used again (I hope so because otherwise I'll be paying twice as much for a men's 7 instead of a youth 6!).

CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2018, 07:26:55 PM »
This topic was covered at length in The Tightwad Gazette. Even though it's dated as heck in some sections, every mustachian should own a copy.  Buy this version, as it's all inclusive. You can also download a free copy, but I like flipping the pages to random topics.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Tightwad-Gazette-Promoting-Alternative/dp/0375752250

Amy Dacyczyn (sp?) - the editor, also had a great system of marking kids clothes for easy identification in the laundry.  Basically, the oldest kid's clothes were marked with an X on the tag or collar, then when kid 2 got it, another X was added and so on.
You nailed the spelling, Cindy BS. Are you also a Non-Consumer Advocate fan?

I am going to say no because I don't know what that is.  But sounds like something I should check out.  I read Tightwad Gazette - the big book of all of the issues - when my kids were 3 and 1.  I agree that it is worth it for everyone to read even though it is out of date. 

kimmarg

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Location: Northern New England
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2018, 11:59:36 AM »
I take free or bulk hand me downs but don't buy until I'm near the size point. My 2.5 year old is in 3T and has been for a few months. I'm thinking we'll be in 4T before winter so the 3T snowsuit will be useless. We'll see.

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
  • Location: Texas
Re: buying used kids clothes in advance
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 12:46:08 PM »
Once you get over size 2/3 ish kids can wear the same size for about a year until they hit puberty.

This completely depends on the kid.  My oldest went through a size every 4-6 months. By 4th grade, she and I were sharing clothes and shoes.  By 5th grade, she was bigger than I am.