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12 December 2021

Is It Worth Selling Unwanted Children's Clothes and Toys?

You might still wear a much loved jumper that you bought 10 years ago, but children’s clothes aren't worn for as long. Even if you keep bits for younger siblings there will be some clothes and toys that are still in good condition, but you don’t need any more. The easiest thing to do is to bag them up and pass them to charity, but if you have the time it can be worth selling items to go towards the cost of replacements, but what is the best way to sell unwanted children’s toys and clothes? This post looks at the different ways you can sell children’s toys and clothes.

Selling children's clothes and toys
If you decide to sell there are lots of ways to make money from old children's clothes and toys

The Best Ways To Sell Children’s Clothes and Toys

When deciding whether it's worth selling old clothes and toys think about: their condition, the time it will take to get them ready to sell and how much they are likely to sell for. Is it worth it for you if you are only going to get 50p an item? Selling lots at once can be more efficient and make the total amount you receive more rewarding.

Selling Apps

There is a small risk with online sales websites that items can get lost or damaged in the post. There are also buyers who falsely claim there is an issue when there isn't. In all these cases the apps or PayPal will nearly always give the buyer a refund so you can end up out of pocket, but don't let that put you off using them.


Ebay has been around for years and is a well known online marketplace for selling pretty much anything. You can choose to offer delivery or collection only and either set a price or choose for people to bid on the items. It has become less popular in recent years because the fees mean a big chunk of any item you sell doesn’t reach your pocket. Since 2021 you no longer pay a PayPal fee as payments to sellers are made by eBay. 

How To Get The Best Out Of eBay

• eBay regularly has offers including free listing or £1 maximum selling fees so it is worth registering to be informed of these and planning your sales accordingly.

• Make sure you know the correct postage cost. The guidance in the app isn’t always helpful so know the size and weight (with packaging) so you can list the postage cost accurately.

• Take lots of clear photos and be honest. If there is any sign of wear or damage state this and include pictures, this ensures the buyer knows what they are getting and protects against disputes.

• Work out the minimum amount you need to sell the item for to make money and start the bidding at that. Sometimes after fees you can make nothing if you start at too low a price. You have to pay a fee to set a reserve price, but you can choose any starting price for free.

• You have to pay eBay fees for creating a listing (but only if you list over 1000 a month), any upgrades to the listing and a final value fee which is 12.8% of the total amount of the sale (including postage) plus 30p for private sellers.

Newer selling apps: Vinted and Depop

eBay is no longer the only dedicated selling apps and you can now choose from a range of different apps with the most popular being Vinted and Depop, both of which you sell at set prices rather than via an auction.

Vinted is generally considered easier for occasional sales. It has less UK customers than Depop, but the bonus to sellers is the fees are paid by the buyer so it is free to sell. You can sell clothes and shoes on Vinted, but not toys. Vinted has it's own payment platform so you don't have to pay fees to PayPal, the money becomes available when the buyer confirms they have received the item and you can withdraw it to your bank account. 

Debop take 10% of the sale price (including postage) as a fee, PayPal also take a transaction fee (2.9% plus 30p in the UK). Listing doesn't cost anything though so you only pay a fee on items that sell. The style of Depop is more like Instagram which definitely appeals to younger buyers. You set up a "shop" first which becomes your profile and to list an item you need to add 4 (square) photos and an optional video. You also add a description, hashtags your location, a category, shipping information and how much you want for the product.

Facebook Marketplace

A great way to reach local parents (and avoiding postage) is via Facebook. You can list items directly on Facebook Marketplace as well as in local Facebook selling groups where items will stay until they are sold. There is no fee for selling via Facebook and people often pay cash on collection which avoids PayPal fees.

People can get frustrated with “timewasters” who get in touch and ask for significant discounts or agree to buy and then don’t turn up to collect the item when they say. It can also get annoying at times because of there are restrictions on what you can sell, no animals for instance, and the automatic rules pick up on wording in text preventing posts being listed. I know of people having to get creative in the descriptions of cloth nappies and toys to get round these filters blocking items that are allowed to be sold.

Car Boot Sales

At a car boot sale you turn up (or prebook), pay for your pitch and can bring whatever you want to sell at whatever price you want. The success of car boot sales will vary massively and as they are outside a wet day might end up as a bit of a flop. Most customers at car boot sales are real bargain hunters so they will haggle and be looking for low prices, but if you have lots of small items you are happy to offer for a low price you could clear out a lot of items quickly.

Nearly New Sales, Mum 2 Mum sales and similar 

There are two main types of nearly new sales:

Table top sales are similar to car boot sales, you will pay for your table (which is normally inside), you set your own prices and sell the items directly to the customers that turn up. Some sales have more customers than others and the location of your table can influence how many people see your items.

With labelled sales you put a label with a price on and your reference on all your items before handing over to the selling team who place all items on display in themed areas. Customers take the items to a central pay point where the label is removed to later be sorted out and identify which seller is owed what. You normally pay a set fee for registering and a percentage of your total sale amount. Any unsold items are returned to you afterwards.
The success often depends on luck of how prominently the item was displayed and demand for that type of item. You need to ensure your labels are securely attached or they can't be sold and they might not be returned to you either. 

Tips for The Best Way To Sell Children’s Clothes and Toys 

To make it worth selling children's clothes and toys you want it to be as little effort as possible and get as much money as possible after fees. Good quality items with known labels will always sell best, but how can you make sure to maximise the money you make?

• Sell bundles, especially for clothes and small toys. Combine less desirable items with a few that will encourage people to buy. 

• Sell in the right season. There is no point selling baby Christmas items in the Spring, people will start looking for coats when it starts to get cold, school uniform generally sells best in the summer holidays and summer clothes in the late spring. Toys often sell best at the end of the year when people are looking for Christmas presents.

• Take clear photos in good lighting and make sure the colours in the photo are representative of the actual colour.

• Be very clear about condition and any damage, if you don't money might be automatically refunded if the buyer raises a dispute.

• Don’t expect to make a huge amount per item. Clothes in particular are available new for such low prices that people aren’t going to buy second hand for a high amount unless the item is limited edition. Check what similar items have sold for as a guide to set your own prices.

• Sell in batches. Going to the post office or a drop off point with one parcel at a time isn't the best use of time, but taking 10 (for instance) is much more efficient.

• Certain toys and popular brands can sell for a surprising amount, especially if they are a limited edition print that is no longer available. You can find special sales groups on Facebook for brands like Duns and Frugi where fans will pay more than on a general sales site. 

• Make sure toys are clean and have all pieces available.

• Trust your gut, if someone is asking strange questions or you think they might be trying to scam you, move on. There are a few dodgy people out there, but most people will be genuine.

If you do decide to sell, I hope you have fun decluttering and you make lots of sales.

The best ways to sell unwanted children's clothes and toys
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