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Selling children's clothing produces cash from your closets

Long after kindergarten graduation and high school commencement, our children's clothes often remain fixed in time. Aside from worn-out knees and occasional rips, kids rarely wear out their clothes. Fortunately, castoff garments can mean cash for parents, especially forgotten items — stuffed and hidden in closets — with original tags. • Clothes can find a second or third life on eBay, at garage sales and at consignment shops that specialize in clothes for infants, toddler, tweens and teens. If you are looking to sell your child's wardrobe, here are a few tips. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Organize: Open the drawers, closets and storage bins in your home and locate outgrown or unwanted children's clothes. Divide castoffs into three piles: charitable donations, hand-me-downs and consignment store candidates. Clothes in the best condition can sell quickly on the second-hand market. "We ask parents to pick the best of the best," said Cecilia Herrera, co-owner of the Children's Exchange, a consignment store in the Miami area. Everything, including donations and giveaways, should be freshly laundered.

Study labels: Not all labels are well-received by consignment store shoppers. Brand names and designer fashions sell briskly and offer good deals. For example, Vilebrequin swim trunks, which sell for $85 to $90 at full price, sell for just $16 at the Children's Exchange. Other popular labels and brands include Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Juicy Couture. Items from Target, the Gap and Old Navy also sell well. But used clothing from Walmart and Kmart can be difficult to re-sell through a consignment store because big-box retailers steeply discount new merchandise, leaving a narrow price gap between new and used items, Herrera said.

Watch the calendar: There's a large secondhand market for seasonal merchandise, sportswear or other specialty items that kids often outgrow within a season or two. A ski jacket, which may be needed for a one-week family vacation, can be purchased at a consignment store for just $25 or less, down from a retail price of $60.

Be flexible: Consignment store owners will review your merchandise with an eye toward what will sell and at what price. "We research everything," said Herrera. Consignment garments are priced 50 to 70 percent below the retail price, with periodic markdowns. At Children's Exchange, sellers are paid 40 percent of the final sale price. In the consignment world, pricing and policies vary from store to store. Ask about payment and other policies, including vendor discounts. Some stores offer extra "store dollars" to vendors who accept store credit instead of cash for payment.

Selling children's clothing produces cash from your closets 04/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 5:30am]

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