It’s that time of year: the season to shop! In advance of the toy avalanche that the holiday season brings, you’ll want to put on your purge mask, head to the playroom, and make space for the new items they’ll get this winter that they will have forgotten about by February (Kidding! … March!)
We’ve brought in guest contributor Kristin Markovich to advise us about the best spots to sell or donate your gently used kid gear. Kristin is a marketing professional and children's book author. Her latest book, The Fruit Circus, is available on Amazon.com and tells the story of some very special performing fruit that help to make heathy eating fun for your little ones. She lives in Westchester with her husband, two young children, and dog.
The Best Spots to Sell or Donate Your Kid Stuff
BOUTIQUE RESALE STORES
29 Elm Street, Tuckahoe
With the tagline “Sell your kids’ outgrown stuff & find your treasure.” I had high hopes when I walked in, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve had great luck buying and selling at this store. They sell mainly kid clothes in sizes 0 to 12, shoes, and toys. But you can also find books, gear and more. Check out their buying guidelines here.
How it works: Bring up to two bags of seasonally appropriate items during buying days (currently M, W, F & Sat). They offer 30% cash or 50% store credit based on the resale price. Store credit is good for six months from the trade date. Since the store is small, they can’t take it all, so be choosy with what you bring. As a big bonus, there’s a play area so kids will be entertained while you buy and sell. This store recently celebrated their one-year anniversary, and it’s a great addition to world of Westchester kids’ stores.
This store is a catch-all of everything kids. They have a large selection, which means the items offered are a lot less curated than some of the smaller kids resale stores, but the odds of them taking your items are higher as well. Head here to unload basics.
How it works: They’ll consider any clothes and gear that have been manufactured within the past five years. Bring clothes in flat and off the hanger. No appointment necessary, but if you come in on a weekend or other peak time, be prepared for a wait. Once you check in, they will quote you an approximate “wait time” so you can leave and come back if you prefer. They offer buying hours seven days a week in Scarsdale and every day but Sunday in Somers.
We’ve never sold anything there, but we’ve heard sellers should be prepared to be offered 10%-20% of what you paid for the item new. It’s a great place to go if you have a bunch of stuff you were planning to donate but wanted to see if you could recoup some gas money first.
We love coming here for to shop for larger items like specific brands of strollers, infant gear, and ride-ons, or kid clothes such as fancy dresses and bathing suits (year round!). If you go in just to browse, you might get a bit overwhelmed, we find it’s best to walk in with a list in mind as you’ll be digging through tubs, combing racks, or hunting the aisles. They doublecheck every item for recalls, so rest assured the toys and gear you buy has been checked for safety.
10 Main St. Dobbs Ferry
This store is a gem as they offer an almost overwhelming number of kid-related items. Unique finds that caught my eye were sturdy strollers, nursery lamps, baby gates, winter coats, soccer cleats, Halloween costumes, American Girl toys and maternity clothes. Get the picture?! Click here for a full list of product categories.
How it works: If you want to bring in clothes to sell, then plan ahead. You need to have to have an appointment, and they are booking now … for Spring only! Equipment is a different story; just call them up and see if they are interested in your item.
Once they agree to take an item, you sign a contract and become an official consignor. This means you will get paid if and when the item sells. Items under $20 have 60 days to sell, after which they will be returned to you or donated to a charity partner. Baby equipment and/or items over $20 have no expiration. You will get 40-50% of the sales price as cash or by check. Be sure to call them to see if you have earned any revenue.
My recommendation is to leave the kids at home for this trip. Strollers are a tight fit in the aisles, plus you’ll want time to rummage through their selection. As a bonus, there is a beautiful view of the Hudson River that you will catch when you exit the store. A great excuse to spend time in the river towns.
Be Green Kids Bi-Annual Consignment Events
Purchase, Fishkill, and other NY locations
We at BabyGotChat looooove this sale! We’ve talked about it lots of time on our blog, like here and here! This is the Comic Con of baby shopping. Twice a year we make our way to the gym at SUNY Purchase, which is crammed with enough kid stuff to keep the SUNY Purchase students away for days! Come with a list, things go fast and if you don’t have a game plan (baby gates, high chair, puzzles), you might get lost in the sea of Elmos.
How it works: We’ve never signed on as consignors, but it’s a pretty simple process. Gather one or more items that add up to at least $100 in value. Check out this list of accepted items. Create an account and log in your items online to generate tags. Put your clothes on wire hangers and attach tags to your items with safety pins or tape and schedule a drop-off time. Choose whether you’d like to discount your item on the last day or donate your unsold items to charity. After the sale is over, you can check online to see what was sold and await your check.
ONLINE SOCIAL GROUPS
Nextdoor describes itself as "the free private social network for your neighborhood community,” which can come in handy for certain kid items you may not be able to sell in a store. It’s one thing to bring in used clothing in size 2T, it’s another to unload large backyard toys or heavy furniture items. The obvious way to go with those is to sell locally.
How it works: Nextdoor is a website and an app where info is sorted by neighborhood. People use this app to ask for service provider recommendations like landscapers and roofers, but you can also sell things on it. Be safe: when selling, we recommend keeping items in your garage or yard so you don’t have to invite strangers into your house.
Craigslist can be a great way to find a bargain on a specific toy. We love it for those instances where “like new” doesn’t matter, like outdoor toys that will look worn as soon as winter hits.
How it works: Create a login on the site, then add your post. For best results, specify Westchester, unless you want to explain to Brooklynites 100 times that, no, you don’t deliver. Be sure to use a few different keyword variations, (i.e. “dollhouse,” “doll house,” “play house,” “barbie house,”) and don’t be too specific in describing what you are selling, because “Kidcraft Chelsea Doll Cottage” might not come up if someone is searching for a doll house. Pictures help sell, so be sure to upload some! If you don’t people will just ask for them anyway. Make it easier and take close ups of any damage on the items so you can explain it up front. It will be a big waste of time if a potential buyer comes all the way to your house just to turn it down over one scratch. And you don’t want to accept a price and then have them lowball for damage they find in person.
In the market for gear? We love the Craigslist alert feature, where you can get an email once a particular item you’re looking for hits the market. We snagged a highly coveted used-only-indoors Step 2 Up and Down Roller Coaster for $40, but only after watching several more expensive and more rundown models come and go.
If Craigslist is a rowdy teenager, Facebook Marketplace is their college-aged older sibling. A little more organized, a little more studious, but still prone to flakiness and mood swings. The oversight of Facebook takes away some of that stranger danger element that Craigslist is known for.
How it works: We’ve both bought and sold on here, and it’s a reliable way to sell your item at the price you want. It’s a little harder to sort by location on Marketplace, as Facebook insists on making a perfect circle, so if you want to look for items in the entire county, your circle is also going to include parts of Long Island and New Jersey.
If you’re looking to buy something, you can save items and create search parameters, and it’s much easier to message people than on Craigslist. Keep your guard up, though. Just because it’s Facebook doesn’t mean it’s scam-free. Word has it that cake lady con artist still uses Marketplace to steal people’s money. We’ve only had good experiences, though. We recommend the usual safety precautions of meeting in a public place.
Facebook Tag Sale Local Groups
Several such as “Westchester Moms Tag Sales” and “Westchester Tag Sale: Babies/Kids”
These groups existed before Facebook Marketplace and are becoming more phased out as Marketplace gets more reliable and easier to use. But they are still a good place to browse and are a simpler way to buy things, as most of these groups have a strict first-come, first-served policy, whereas Marketplace items can go to the highest bidder.
How it works: In your home page, go to Explore, then click Groups and enter in search parameters like “tag sales”. You’ll have to be approved before you can start selling. But be warned these groups are only as good as the moderator who runs them. I've learned that the more the moderator talks about "no drama" in their rules, the more drama there's likely to be. In one group I listed something and got so many "just a note..." messages from the moderator that it was easier to leave the group and sell somewhere else. Duds aside, all in all they're a solid resource when you need to sell something quickly.
Facebook Freebie Groups
Pay It Forward - Lower Westchester
Want to give stuff away without leaving the house? Post it on Pay It Forward and brighten someone else’s day.
How it works: Join the group and post away! Just don’t say “It’s on my curb, come and get it!” Etiquette says the first person to post interest is first in line, then go down the comment list. You can post in more than one Facebook group, but make sure you say “cross-posted” so the people interested know it may not be a sure thing.
Bundles of Joy
This charity provides new moms with the essentials they need to care for their infants. The items you donate go to help local moms, so giving to this cause is a great way to make a difference in your own community. Bundles of Joy collects new and “nearly new” baby items. Donations are sorted, bundled, and delivered to disadvantaged families through a network of social service agencies and local hospitals.
How it works: They are looking for lightly loved baby clothes, shoes, swaddle blankets, puzzles, toys, diaper bags, baby carriers, baby equipment. Drop off locations include the Bronxville Library Children’s room and Sammy & Nat clothing store in Rye. They also do personal pick ups that can be scheduled through their website. No donation is too small! Click here for more info.
4 Martine Avenue, Store 2B, White Plains
Have your little ones outgrown their American Girl dolls and alllllll that stuff that comes with them? Donate here and help young women with autism. This store is run by the non profit Yes She Can, which helps women with autism develop job skills, including being placed to work in the store.
How it works: Drop into the store with your donations or you can mail them. You’ll get a tax receipt and the wonderful feeling of giving to a great cause.
The Sharing Shelf
47 Purdy Avenue, Port Chester
The Sharing Shelf has been established as Westchester’s clothing bank for children. Operated by Family Services of Westchester, they take new and used clothing in size newborn to XXL. Click here for their donating guidelines.
How it works: Head to their warehouse with clothes, brand-new school supplies, gear like strollers and pack-n-plays. They are currently collecting fall and winter clothing, and they are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and some Saturdays for drop-offs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
If all else fails, this is a great organization to turn to. They take a large variety of items including clothing, toys, curtains, dishes and changing tables—and they will come to you! Check out the full list of acceptable items here.
How it works: Call 1-877-399-2570 to schedule a pick-up, or go to one of their multiple donation centers.
Goodwill Donation Centers
19 Mill Road, Eastchester | 28 Joyce Road, New Rochelle | 380 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford
The purpose of Goodwill is to provide employment and training for people with disabilities. They do this through staffing their donation centers and thrift stores. Goodwill takes many personal items, but it’s a good idea to call your personal center to see what kinds of kid stuff they will take. We’ve heard they are a no on stuffed animals and some other toys and gear. There’s been a bit of chatter about Goodwill not being that great of a charity because of some of their practices, so you may want to do a quick Google search before you commit to donating (and that advice goes for any charity you are thinking about giving to).
How it works: Head to one of the dropoff centers and put your items in the bin! Purge complete!
That’s our list! It feels good to imagine how many things will soon be out of the house. Please help us add to this list by sending your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Kristin! That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out our great list of things to do for Halloween. And of course our exclusive list of every children's library program in Westchester. It's been updated for Fall 2018, so everything you need to know is in one easy list.
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See you next time!