Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Baby's Clothing and Toys: Try Reselling!

That sounds like an odd concept, doesn't it? But the fact remains that if you do not plan to have other children or anyone to whom you want to hand down the baby's clothing and toys, you will be able to get some of your investment back with just a little effort. Clothing and toys for babies can be quite expensive as we all know!

The strategy is to offer the items for sale at an online auction such as eBay or resell them in another way. Things of this sort are a hot resell commodity now more than ever.

What I did in my own case was to hold annual yard sales. That was a great idea back then and I made a little bit of extra money, but every time I see how those items are now selling on eBay, I cringe remembering how many things I nearly gave away without knowing better.

It wasn't unusual for me to sell my daughter's baby dresses for 50 cents or even less. I put most of her toys out at a yard sale when she grew out of them or no longer wanted them. The prices were always ridiculously low because I didn't want to pack the things up again.

And books . . . I don't even want to talk about books! Who knew that some of them, well many of them actually, would become collectors items in a few years?! So yes, I often sold Little Golden Books (tm) for a dime or quarter. I'm cringing even now writing about it.

If this is something that you plan to do in the future, it is much easier to do "maintenance" on baby's things as they are being used rather than after you are finished with them. This would include:

1. Keep clothing mended if necessary, and free of stains
2. Don't let the child write or color in picture books
3. Keep toys clean and in good working order
4. Clean shoes and pack them away as soon as the child outgrows them and then when you are ready for selling, they will be all set to offer for sale

Remember that not every piece of clothing is going to be in a condition good enough to resell. You will need to take pride in the things you sell so you will obtain a good reputation, so don't try to sell things with stains or tears. If you needed to do major repair work, it's always better to mention that in the description.

If books are coming apart from the spines or bindings they are not a good seller unless they happen to be a collectors item. If shoes are coming apart at the soles or have cracks or bad scuff marks, don't bother listing them. Same thing goes if toys are missing parts, unless they are antique or a collectors item.

When the items you wish to sell are clean and ready, decide if you want to try a yard sale, sell the things at a consignment shop, or open an eBay account. If you choose a yard sale just don't be as naive as I was and price the things more realistically than I did when I just wanted to get rid of the items.