Second-hand. Hand-me-down. New to you. However I slice it for my kids, it’s rarely new. I’m talking clothes. Most of my friends and family’s children are older than mine. That puts us in a good position for hand-me-down clothes. I was thrilled by that when I was pregnant with my first.
By the time number two came along, meh, not so thrilled.
Don’t get me wrong. I love what second-hand clothing means: easy on the environment, easy on the wallet, good lesson for my kids.
But after three years of hand-me-downs for my daughter, I was feeling a little bit gypped. I had never had the opportunity to buy my daughter a Christmas dress because each year we’d receive a bag full of hand-me-downs that included two or three beautiful holiday dresses. I was grateful. The dresses were beautiful, practically brand new and my daughter loved them. But every time I went shopping, I would see these beautiful, sparkly dresses that would have looked so nice on her (not that the other dresses didn’t).
So, in my frugal way, I started shopping second-hand. I checked out kijiji.ca and picked up some good deals at Once Upon A Child. But the experience was always a bit of a pain, and I was just accumulating more stuff. I did try posting some of my kids’ used clothing on kijiji.ca, but everyone has so much stuff for their kids I didn’t get many nibbles on my ad. And I tried taking a bag of my kids’ clothing that was in good condition to Once Upon A Child, but the process took so long and net so little money that I couldn’t be bothered to go back with another bag.
However, this new service I’ve heard about seems to be on the right track to making the process simple and effective for parents.
Here’s a video of how it works.
In brief, users simply sign-up for free on Minitrade.ca and from there can either browse for new clothes or use the service to clean out their children’s closet and ship their slightly used clothing.
Those wishing to clean out can request an empty Minitrade bag that will be sent directly to their front door free of charge. All they need to do is fill the bag with clean and freshly laundered lightly used-to-new condition children’s clothes that was originally purchased within the last two years.
Once the bag is full and ready to be shipped, Minitrade will arrange for pick-up and cover the costs of shipping.
Minitrade staff members sort through the clothes and post them on the site and the sender is awarded credits for each clothing item that is posted. All clothing on Minitrade can be purchased with cash and/or credits.
It’s that easy.
I know Santa and grandparents and aunts and cousins will be giving my kids lots of clothing this Christmas. My goal for the new year: use Minitrade to clean out my children’s outgrown clothing to make room for the new stuff.