I think one of my number one bits of advice I tell all my pregnant girlfriends is DON’T GO CRAZY on the clothes.  I know, I’ve been there… the tiny onesies at Baby Gap, the little Ralph Lauren polos, the super cute and only a fraction of the grownup price designer jeans. It’s all SO tempting to drop a load of cash on a fully stocked closet before the baby even arrives. The problem is it’s all such a waste.  Okay, maybe not ALL. They will get to wear about 2 of those fancy new outfits before someone slips some of Jack’s Magic Beans in their bottle and they grow overnight.

But, it’s not like anyone listens to me. Hell, I was given the same advice and didn’t start believing it until my little butterball was chunking up before my very eyes, leaving those precious Baby Gap rompers in the dust. And then what do you do? You have to buy new clothes, and of course you want those clothes to be just as cute as the batch you’re packing away. And so you throw more money into the deepening pit.

Around the time Kendall was 4 months old I discovered the pure awesomeness of kid’s consignment stores and consignment sales. Adorable, designer, like new clothes for less than what I could buy brand new at Target. I loved the prices, and I loved that it was a way to recycle. I’ve been a believer ever since. I still fall victim to the “new clothes” bug every now and then (mainly when I can earn or spend Gymbucks, my love for Gymboree is strong), but I supplement a lot of his wardrobe with gently used finds.

So I am thrilled, I tell you, thrilled at the idea of threadUp Kids. When Karen sent me the information about this “Netflix for kid’s clothes” program and wanted to know if I would be interested in sharing it with my readers, I responded with an “absolutely!”. I’m not getting paid to tell you guys about this, I just am excited to use it, personally, and it’s something I think a lot of you might like, too. So here are the details:

thredUP lets busy parents exchange boxes of clothes that no longer fit their kids for stylish ones that will. We’ll connect you with thousands of families nationwide, make clothing matches based on kids ages and brand preferences, facilitate exchanges and monitor quality. We know that swapping is hard to coordinate (especially with friends across the country) and that hand-me-downs often leave someone empty handed.  thredUP makes it easy to swap your kids’ gently-worn clothes.  There’s no bidding, no auction lots, no rifling through consignment racks, and no trips to the post office.  All swaps are done online, with scheduled home pick-up and delivery. Meet the next generation of swap parties!

threadUp Kids is in the “seeding” process since they just started up, and BabyRabies readers get an invite to be a part of this. You can sign up for free and start listing boxes (the process is very easy, I listed a practice box last night). For every box you list, you get a credit (up to $65) for a free swap. The credit covers shipping costs. Once they have 1,000 boxes listed, they’ll begin trading. So you have the opportunity right now to go through your kiddo’s clothes, organize some boxes and, hopefully very soon, be able to ship those boxes off for free in exchange for boxes of new (to you) clothes in the size that you need. How cool is that? I’m digging out all of Kendall’s clothes tonight and getting started.

Also, another cool thing is it works very much like Ebay in that you earn a reputation, which people who receive boxes from you assign. So if someone is sending boxes of shoddy clothes, they’re going to get a bad rep, and that will show when they list new boxes. Conversely, you’ll be able to see the people who are packing their boxes with excellent quality clothes (it also lists what brands, items and  colors) before choosing which box you’d like to receive.

I think the whole idea has excellent potential and I’m willing to give it a shot. If you want to participate or just want to learn more, head here:
http://kids.thredup.com/babyrabies
You can watch the video, sign up, order boxes (free, sent straight to your door), and start listing.

They also have a site for adult clothes, which I’m going to have to check out. I’m told it’s a little different from thredUp Kids.

http://thredup.com/

The free swapping deal only applies to the kids site, though.

If you have any questions, you can email them (they have contact info on their page), or you could leave questions below in the comments and I’ll see if Karen can swing by and answer them.

Off to do some closet cleaning!

Kendall is almost 23 months old, and that kid is already wearing 3T!

7 thoughts on “A smart, eco-friendly way to stock your kid’s closet (and clean it out!)”

  1. What a cool idea! Too bad I’m not ready to get rid of my LO’s stuff yet! But I too love love love consignment stores and sales! Thats where we get most of my daughter’s clothes!

  2. This is genius! I’m excited and can’t wait to get home from work and start building boxes.

    Have to be honest though, at first it sounded too good to be true. Had to convince myself it wasn’t an April Fools joke!

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Neat idea… I know how you feel about the munckin growing so quickly… my son is just about 14 months old and is already in size 2T and 3T (depending on manufacturer)

    I LOVE consignment stores, but have a hard time giving things up.

    Does this program run in Canada too?

  4. This is great – I was able to make 5 boxes today and got all the credits! I figure *if* we have another, the chances that it’s the same gender/season/size is small, right? Plus, it’ll be fun to shop for #2 (or just trade for more boxes!)

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