Clothing exchanges are wildly popular right now. The reason behind this is really quite simple. Frugal families simply can’t afford to buy new things every time their children hit a growth spurt or grow tired of the toys that they already have. Rather than shell out money to purchase new clothing and stuffed animals, parents turn to their peers and work out a deal.
Websites like Thred UP make it easy for members to obtain gently used, new-to-you clothing for free. In fact, they even provide shipping boxes to make things run smoothly for parents. It doesn’t cost a dime to register and the only fees involved with the exchange are the $5 shipping charges you incur each time you request a box of clothes to your peers. In exchange for your generosity, you get first dibs on name brand clothing in your choice of sizes. There are over a thousand boxes to choose from on the site which gives you endless possibilities when it comes to dressing your child.
What Makes Clothing Exchanges So Successful?
There are a number of factors that make clothing exchanges successful. A few of the more obvious include:
- Reducing the amount per child that is spent on seasonal attire.
- Eliminating the need to visit retailers which saves time and money.
- Protecting the environment by making sure that unused clothing gets a second lease on life.
Secondhand clothing received a bad rap in the past. With people cutting back on expenses, the demand for gently used apparel is greater than ever. This is extremely beneficial for you because some of the items that you will receive from clothing exchanges still have the tags on them. That means the clothing never was worn and remains brand new. A lot of the items will also have designer labels for a fraction of the price. Dressing your young son or daughter to the nines is easy when you’re a member of thred UP or another clothing exchange.
Some Rules to Live By
There are some unspoken rules when it comes to participating in swaps online. Here are a few things to remember:
1) Clothing should be stain-free and in good condition.
2) Sizes should be grouped together. Girl clothes should be placed in one box. Boy clothes should be placed in another.
3) Shipments should be sent out as soon as possible. In fact, delivery confirmation can be added to a package as a security measure. This extra step makes sure that the package arrives in time and to the person that requested it.
You don’t have to go broke keeping your kids in clothes. Take advantage of clothing exchanges and have your pick of gently worn apparel any day of the year.
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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.