Your world is smaller than you think, and you have to venture out less than you might imagine to source great quality clothing right in your area. How? Open your computer!
Meet your new best friend: www.craigslist.org. Find your state, then closest city, and voila! A whole new world is opened up, full of folks looking to sell their used kids clothes, often at a fraction of their value. In the ‘For Sale’ section, be sure to regularly scan both ‘baby + kids’ as well as ‘clothes+acc’ as folks may have the items you’re looking for listed in either section. Alternately, you can just type in a search word in the window at the top left of the home page, choose ‘for sale’ from the drop down menu and away you go. You’re searching for ‘kids’, ‘children’, or any other search word that works for you in your area.
You can also use Craigslist to generate a list of local tag sales, church sales, and other events that might be a target rich environment for you. PLACE an ad that says you’re buying kids clothing … let them come to you! Find estate sales, moving sales, you name it, Craigslist has what you need to source great clothes close to home.
Here are a few Craigslist (CL) tips from our EXPERT buyers here at thredUP:
– “If you see multiple listings from one seller ask if they will make a deal to sell them all at once. Most moms are happy to have one person come at one time to take it all, and you’ll get a better deal per item.”
– “Get them on the phone to talk about what they have. Ask them to call you back with the numbers of items they have and percentage of brands.
If they say that have ‘name brands’ ask them for examples; Faded Glory and Kids Connection are brands with names, but thredUP won’t buy these!”
– “Talking to people on the phone before you meet can help eliminate the ‘creepy factor’; makes everyone more comfortable meeting in person. You can suggest you meet at a public location (McDonald’s parking lot, playground, etc) if you or the seller is nervous for some reason! Trust your Spidey-Sense … if you get a wonky vibe from somebody on the phone, MOVE ON and find another lot worth buying.”
– “Don’t commit to buying anything until you have sorted through every item. Sneaky CL pros (usually reselling as their job) sometimes hide the poor quality stuff at the bottom of the bags.”
– “Look through moving sale ads on CL. Some of them are online and need to sell quickly. Search again Friday and Saturday afternoons for people with garage sale leftovers.”
– “ALWAYS be prepared to walk away, even if you’ve gone out of your way to do a pick-up. Don’t commit to a sale price on the phone; be clear that you must see all items to commit to a price – be polite, be fair, but don’t get pressured into buying something you won’t get paid for from thredUP.”
– “If someone is advertising lots of children’s items as a moving or garage sale ask if they want to sell them all before the sale. Make sure the ad says you can contact them first!”
– “I have had better luck PLACING ads on CL to buy than responding to those selling. Keep it super simple: ‘I buy kids clothes over 12 months and below size 18 on this side of town. Call me.’ The more you fluff the ad, the more you sound like another desperate CL reseller”
– “If you are using CL to map a yard sale route, bookmark the sales that are pretty far out there or in communities that you do not usually purchase from. If you don’t make it to the sale, email them and ask if they have anything left over that sounds like it’s worth your trip. Chances are they’re desperate to get rid of it!”
– “If you have someone that wants to meet farther away from you than you might otherwise go, make it an all day thing by scheduling an activity with the kids on that side of town or place a CL ad for that side of town saying that you buy clothing and schedule multiple appointments in one day.”
Have you used CL already to help your budding Super Supplier business? What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked out very well? Share share share below!