WFMW: The Second Hand

I have always loved a bargain. When I was a teenager, my Dad would give my sister and I a $10 bill for shopping. My sister would return with an adorable shirt from the mall.

I would return with an entire wardrobe from the thrift store, albeit smelly.

My love for second hand items came alive in college. Everything in my dorm room and closet were gently used. This art became a gift during the first years of my marriage and a necessity when we had babies on one income.

And even though there are some things I can afford now, I will not pay full price until I first exhaust my second hand options.

I don't mind if you call me the second hand queen (as long as you attach queen to the title).

Tips for shopping second hand:
  • Shop with a plan-know current sizes or estimate off season sizes
  • Familiarize yourself with retail prices so you know a good deal when you see it
  • Check items carefully for holes, stains, broken zippers, etc
  • Forget the stigma especially during these economic times
  • Ask, "Is this the best price you can do?" You might be surprised at the answer
  • Check for coupons, discounts, specials-even thrift and resale shops offer these
Tips for selling your second hand items to a resale store:
  • Make sure your items are clean and in good working condition
  • Check online for product recalls
  • Know the value of new and used for the item(s)
  • Decide before you go how much you will take for your big items
  • If you're at a resale store, take store credit instead of cash. They often offer 20% more if you shop in their store with your credit.
Places to second hand shop:
  • Garage sales
  • Thrift stores
  • Resale shops
  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • Classified ads
  • Swap Mamas (created by blogger Mommy Pie)
Children's resale chain stores (I've frequented that offer name brands):
Kid to Kid (this is the one I use most often)

Here's a few children's online resale stores:
Want more? Follow this link.

70% of my kid's items are second hand. The rest are items I find on clearance. Much of my home decor is from thrift stores or garage sales also. I found a great kid's resale shop in my town and I'm one of their best customers. (I'm not bragging, the owner told me that! I'm not proud). 

The other day I took in this potty chair, a booster seat and a couple of toys my toddler had outgrown. I was given $37.49 in store credit. I used a 20% off frequent shopper coupon and bought some nearly new name brand shoes and this adorable outfit:

Plus this awesome picnic table:

I paid $2.14 cash for the difference.

Can I get an Amen?

Buying second hand works for me!

Don't forget to enter my fun giveaway going on right now, it's even better than second hand because it's free!

{Thank you for joining me for WFMW! You can read the guidelines here.}

Have a Works-For-Me Wednesday tip you'd like to share?  I'd love for you to join us!  Please note that the links will close at 8 pm CST tonight, in order to keep away the spammers!

Please note that NEXT WEEK, April 1st, there will be a BACKWARDS Edition of WFMW: Present a dilemma to your readers and get their best ideas!

Was your link deleted? Click here.

Links have now been closed. Please join us next week for our Backwards WFMW edition! 
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236. Eileen (Recycle Water with a Kitchen Windowsill Garden)
237. Kristin K (Personal Recipes)
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240. phyllis (year to year)
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245. Free 2 Be Frugal (FIRE BOWL)
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248. Claywoman (Eating Oreos)
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250. Amanda @ Save, Spend, and Manage Wisely - Homemade Teething Biscuits
251. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates (Dried Spice Tips)
252. Christine (the BEST cereal!!!)
253. cuz I\'m the mommy, that\'s why
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256. Carolina Mama (Weight Watchers Girl &Winners)
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273. michelle (giveaways all week)
274. Emily @ A Place of My Own (Giving kids choice in their clothes)
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Sarah said...

I love second hand shopping! We just had a HUGE consignment sale here and I loved it!

I'm so sorry, number 10 is a mistake, I forgot to add my description. My real entry is #16.

Kirsty said...

Amen Sistah! I too am a bargain Queen although I feel I must demote myself to Bargain Princess after reading your tips-they are fabulous, thank you! I bow to your awesome finds.

Ali said...

Buying second hand is the BEST! I love it and I have been doing it for so long and have found such awesome deals that I have a really hard time buying things new. Great post!!

Living with Lindsay said...

I'm getting ready to do a little selling at JBF in a few weeks. I need to sign up to volunteer so I can do a little shoppy shoppy for my DS, who needs new summer cloths. Thanks for the tips!

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

WHOA! Lucky you finding a picnic table! There are a few local resale shops near my house where I've been scouting for one of those for probably the past two years! (The one woman who owns the store in our little downtown area sees me walk in and just says, "No table, hon. But we have...blah blah blah." (She'll go on to point out the cute boys' clothes for me!)

Kids, esp really little ones like mine, don't often wear stuff enough to actually wear it out. Never underestimate the AWESOME things you can find in 2nd hand stores!

Holly said...

I'm a thrift-oholic too! You got some awesome deals.

jen said...

I'm constantly haunting the thrift stores in my town. My thing is furniture that can be re-done. I have made several donations to our goodwill for kitchen gadgets that didn't work. Ahh well, I guess I can't win them all.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Wow, that is quite a deal! Way to go!

Amber said...

Great post! I love hand-me-downs and thrifty finds. Thanks for the links to online shops!

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

I love second hand goods!

I scored this past weekend at a city wide yard sale. Got a new wardrobe for my daughter, as well as some much needed baskets for myself. All name brand, all looked brand new.

Great tips!

Bridget said...

Amen from me! And, I LOVE that little outfit!

Kirby3131 said...

I am a huge fan of Freecycle. I love to give stuff away there. I don't think I have gotten anything from Freecycle, but I've given away tons. My husband just used Craigslist to trade a car for a boat and the listed the boat and made a friend and got some really cool carved statues.

Great post! and I'm so excited that I got in the top 25 for the first time ever! I'm Kristin (The Goat)

Mom Of Faith said...

I messed up...39 is the wrong one. Sorry! THanks:)

I love second hand stores! The clothes I get there are just fabulous deals!

Raise Them Up said...

I'm with you all the way! :) Great post. And thanks for the links. There are a few there I didn't know about. I'll definitely be checking them out!

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

I love shopping second hand, too! Don't we all! I think after you bite the bullet the first time you are addicted! Those are great tips- especially about the store credit and the recalls- I hadn't even thought of that!! You made out like a bandit with the table and the cute outfit. Or should I say, a Bandit "Queen"! :)

Jenny said...

I have found a lot of great toys at garage sales and second hand shops. My favorite find was a Little Tikes Victorian kitchen for only $50! I had seen them for sale up to $200 at the time. My daughter has played with it daily for the last 2 years.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Hey Kristen,
For some reason my "(info)" isn't showing after my listing. Is there a way I can fix that? It's supposed to read: Hillary @ The Other Mama (Holy Spirit v. Holy Ghost)
Wondering if that was too long and it got dropped? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm #8 on the list (which, incidentally is the highest I've ever gotten!). Can I get a Mr. linky gold medal? Or bronze? Or what do 8th placed people get?


Angie in AZ said...

I'm givin' ya' a big AMEN sista'! I'm a thrift store queen too! I ALWAYS shop second hand before I have to go to a regular store. I find the most amazing buys! And not just for my kids. Almost all of my clothes are second hand and I find brand names in excellent/ like new condition. I always say, "Goodwill is so good to me!"

Muthering Heights said...

My kids basically LIVE out of Kid to Kid! Seriously, 95% of their clothing comes from there. And I always receive compliments in their cute outfits!

I'm sorry I didn't have a tip to link up this week...maybe next time. :(

Nicole said...

Amen, sister! Im a second hand store believer too...

Diana (Ladybug Limited) said...

I've shopped secondhand locally, but online only at eBay, so thanks for all the other sites-- off to check 'em out!

Daiquiri said...

We just went browsing today at a 2nd hand sporting goods store - couldn't believe all the stuff they had in there! I'm never paying full price for cleats or shin guards again!

I just have to plan better, I think. I always wait until the last minute, and then feel pressed for time and like I *need* it. That's how I justify paying retail. But that's a lousy excuse for what is really laziness (and a bit of snobbery) on my part. I have to get over it. For the sake of my empty wallet by the 20th of each month (when it's supposed to last the whole month)...I gotta get over it!

Thanks for the reminder and handy tips :)

Lynn from said...

Wow...I didn't even know WFMW had moved! Looking forward to getting to know you - I've already signed up to follow you on Twitter. (I'm on as OrganicMania).

And yes, I love consignment shops...the ones for women are great, too! They're not just for kids!

momstheword said...

Amen, sister. I just bought two pair of shoes for my son today. He likes Michael Jordan's but there's no way I'm paying over $100 for a pair of shoes. I have bought him a couple of pairs and paid about $7.00 a pair for them.

I think I'm winning him over....It's amazing what you can find at a thrift store or a yard sale.

Loved your daughter's outfit, BTW. Very springy!

se7en said...

I could have written this post: "How to dress Se7en", but I didn't... I actually tell all my friends that if they give me their bags of old clothes I will pass on whatever we don't need to the local township (huge need here in South Africa). They are so happy not to have to go and donate them themselves and I am so happy to grab a couple of things on the way through - works for everyone!

RitaSmeeta said...

That's awesome! I loved going to the thrift shop when I was in highschool (thank goodness it was the grunge era! lol!) These days I go to check out what I can get for fabric! Old curtains are the best :)

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...

It never would've occurred to me to shop second hand ONLINE. Wow. I'm a bargain shopper (will NOT pay retail for ANYTHING) but I'm lousy at thrift stores; you make it look EASY, so impressed w/your finds :).

My WFMW is one everyone who doesn't homeschool SHOULD know, but just in case they don't? I'm linkin' it here :).

(Second night of insomnia and when I got up, I thought of you, lol. Now I'm off to read a book of all things!! Hope you're doing well, Kristen :). )

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

You can get an Amen! from me! I love second hand shopping...I just wish I could get the chance to do it more. Also, I'm definitely a clearance gal, so I frequent that area often. Thanks for the links!

Mary Ann said...

Amen to bargain shopping! I love yard sales especially.

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Well, you can certainly get an AMEN from me! That's great! I would love to find a picnic table like that--it's definitely time to eat more meals outside. I love shopping second hand. I, too, rarely pay full price for anything. Most is second-hand and the other stuff is usually way, way on clearance like you said.

~*Michelle*~ said...

You not only get a HUGE Amen to those scores.....I might have to teach you the song I sing when I am yard-saling or even give you my secret dance I do in the parking lot of Good Will!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE bargain fact, today is half price family day at Salvation Army and I am heading over this morning.
Last week, I scored a like new Hanna Andersson 2 piece snow set for my daughter, sized for next year....(yes, coat AND bibbed overalls) for......drumroll.......$3.50!!!!


Bailey's Leaf said...

My mother-in-law doesn't always appreciate my thrift store shopping, but let's face it-- you wash it once and it is now used. Why not buy it used to begin with and not pay all that money?

Hooray for recycling!

Aunt LoLo said...

Love me some second hand!

Ugh...#115 above is me...and so is #117. I put the post up in the wrong blog! #117 is the right link. Can you delete #115? Sorry!!!! (and thank you!)

JanMary said...

I don't tend to shop in 2nd hand shops much - except for kids books and dvd's. I do however receive and pass on kids clothes and toys within my group of friends at church.

Just this morning I took down and back of books and toys which the mums at our church toddler group shared between them. Anything that remains unwanted is then taken to the charity shop.

My WFMW is a yummy banana bread recipe this week.

pam at beyondjustmom said...

I've just rediscovered second hand while shopping for some props for my son's school play. At the Salvation Army I thought, "Hey, there's some great stuff here!" and filled up my basket.

Dusty said...

It's been awhile since I've participated in WFMW. I didn't even know it had moved hosts! lol. I love your blog! I've been lurking for quite some time, which made it easy to find the new host.

I am a total second hand maven. I love Once Upon A Child, and buy most of my children's clothing there. Thanks for the links to the online consignment stores! I never knew such things existed!

Hoosier Homemade said...

I love shopping Goodwill. On one income, it's a must.
Thanks for hosting!

kristi_runwatch said...

you cannot beat a good thrift find!!

Sheila said...

I LIVED at consignment shops when the kids were little! One of the thrift shops near where I lived had a $1 a pound sale, so you could fill up bags for $1. I found the best stuff there.

Even now that we have more money, I shop second hand, even for me. It's just fun.

I hope the new Consumer Product Safety act doesn't wreck second hand shops. I heard that many are taking the clothing out because they don't want to go through the testing process. Moms really need to bug Congress about this!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Kacie said...

Yep - me too. In fact, I have to intentionally avoid thrift stores, because I spend too much.

I got my wedding dress on ebay. :) Yes, that's kinda sad, but when you're both mks there's not a lot of money to go into planning the big day!

Tracey said...

I, too, enjoy finding bargains for my girls at consignment and thrift stores and yard sales. What a cute outfit you got for your little girl!

MB said...

I love second hand shopping too. Unless they are gifts (although we don't mind getting those second hand either!) most, if not all, of our toys, books, clothes, and even cloth diapers are second hand. At the last consignment sale I went to I bought a Fisher Price digital camera for $6! Score! And, I made enough by consigning to pay for almost everything I purchased, which included all my oldest son's summer clothes and pjs, some toys and books. Second hand rocks!

Nikji said...

second hand shopping is the best. not only do you save money you are saving the planet. great finds.

Kirstin said...

AMEN!! I too love thrift, consignement stores and garage sales...we have a favorite consignment store, and I have bought quite a bit of my daughters clothes there. Not as much anymore as they're getting older, but we still shop there.

Great tip.

nicole said...

I do love that outfit!

Sonya said...

Amen! Great Post!

Songbirdtiff said...

I am a big fan of second hand shopping! I've become even more of a tightwad since I discovered it. Last week I went to Salvation army and found a gorgeous sweater. I THOUGHT all the winter stuff was 1/2 so when it rang up at regular price of $3, I decided I wouldn't buy it. (Because $3 is OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive for a perfect Liz Claiborne sweater, lol!) so the lady gave it to me at half price. I didn't even have to ask. :)

Amy said...

Awesome deals! :) Most of my kids' clothes, and my own, is second hand. It just kills me to pay full price for most things. I'm spending the rest of today getting ready for my first-ever participation in a giant local mom's used clothing sale... hopefully I'll make a little $ and score some good deals, too!

Tiff said...

Thank you for the advice! I have gotten where I have become somewhat of the bargain shopper lately and this really gives me some GREAT ideas!!

P.S.He loves you.. said...

Another reason I think your cool..

{ L } said...

Yea! I did it, my first WFMW post. :) I have dipped my toes into the idea of second hand shopping. There is a really big thrift shop here that I will have to go check out now! Thanks for the info.

Beth S. said...

I think you're my long-lost sister! It also kills me to buy anything full-price and I LOVE the 2nd hand stores, especially Once Upon A Child! My kids also have tons of name-brand hand me downs. My sisters and I have girls in different sizes so we swap back and forth. It sure saves on the clothing bill and I know they take as good of care of my stuff as I do theirs so I know it'll come back in good shape. Along the way, new items are included here and there. One would think that the clothes would be worn out, but girls are so much easier on their clothes than boys that the stuff still looks good. Find a friend or two to clothes swap with...even though it's second hand (technically) it's new to you!

tidymom said...

I've just recently started shopping the second hand stores!! I wish it was the "in thing" when my kids were little! You can find such great deals!!


Trish said...

Thanks for the tips. I get most of my son's clothing on clearance at The Children's Place and Target. And usually I pick up more clothing at garage sales. It does seem to be harder to find used clothing for my son now, he's 4, but I will continue to look.

Amy said...

I love second hand shopping! I need to check out my local thrift store for some summer clothes for myself and 2 of my kids! For some reason those 2 don't have any hand me downs for this year :(

CandiceM said...

I JUST started shopping at a thrift store!! We took a HUGE downturn in income and we needed new summer clothes and hubby was losing weight and needed new shorts to work in... I was stressing about how we were going to do this!

Went to goodwill and found him 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of swimming shorts and myself a new shirt to wear to church... all 13$!! When IF I could find it on sale I would of paid 10$ just for ONE pair of shorts!!

I sewed a skirt from a sheet and got a new outfit for church for under 8$!!

Jan said...

I just got a beautiful brand new $50 Easter dress for my daughter at Once Upon a Child for $6!

Feeling Frugal Fairy said...

Great post! I love shopping at thrift stores and yard sales - my home is full of second hand treasures :)

kathy said...

You got a great deal there! I love thrifty shopping - I love the challenge. Great post! Great blog!

'Becca said...

I love second-hand shopping, too! I am still getting compliments on two sweaters I bought at Goodwill 15 years ago...almost makes me feel guilty. :-)

Lorie said...

I refuse to pay full price for anything (unless it's just absolutely necessary). Love second-hand shopping!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...


I so so so love second hand shopping.

But I also love that little tikes picnic table. We were handed down one from another family and it has served us well. So well that we are about to hand it over to another family. That brightly colored plastic just lasts forever and ever!


Ruth Saves $ said...

Kid 2 Kid is one of my favorite stores! I purchase name brand, high-quality clothes that are in great condition for the future. I have at least 3 outfits for the next 3 sizes each for my son. That way, if the economy goes bust and we become homeless, I at least know my son will have clothes on his back! :)

AmyK said...

Ooooh, now I want to go thrift store shopping! And maybe take some of my junk--Ahem, STUFF--down there to see if I can get any store credit! We've got a few kids' resale places and I've got BAGS of old kids' clothes that don't fit, maybe I should hit 'em up!

Ashlee said...

I think shopping for gently used items is a must! And particularly with kids clothes. They out grow them so fast they are hardly worn!

Thanks for hosting. I do wish that people would only link to new WFMW ideas that they wrote today. I clicked on 4 posts (# 151, 152, 153 and 155) that I had already read because I subscribe to that blog. I often find new blogs I want to subscribe to through these posts but when people are reposting ideas they've written before I loose time in my efficiency.

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

I love cheap, and free is even better! If it's on the curb for pickup and is not broken/can be fixed, it's in my yard - bikes, ride-on toys, even one of the Step II playhouses!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I love second hand stuff! I would say that my son's wardrobe might even be 90% second hand. Once you pay those low prices for perfectly good clothes, it's hard to pay full price!

And I have such fun looking through thrift stores for home decor, tea things, and fun gifts!

Great tips!!

Emily B said...

I have gotten some amazing deals on ebay, especially on maternity clothes. Best deal ever: New with tags GAP cashmere maternity sweater. Tag price of $69.99...ebay purchase price (with shipping and handling) $4.95!

Harper said...

Excellent post.

Harper said...

Sorry for 262, the "Delete Link" option did not present itself.

Hollie said...

I am the queen of second hand shopping and actually prefer to some of the first hand stuff!

Anonymous said...

I'm totally getting into great kitchen-y finds at thrift stores. BUT I accidentally went into a "antique" store the other day - same stuff, 300 times the price... And I still wanted it...
Better get my butt back into those thrift stores!
Great tips - will "bookmark" this blog for shop-for-cheap advice!!

MommyAmy said...

I LOVE buying second hand! I get most of my girls clothes that way or at Kohl's clearance racks. There's several really awesome biannual kids resale events in my area, so I always hit those and get amazing stuff for super cheap!

Nikki said...

Awesome deal you got! I love second-hand shopping too. I have to remember though, that even when the items are only a couple dollars, I don't necessarily need 2 dozen shirts for my little girl. lol

StacieinAtlanta said...

I am serious thrift store shopper. I buy all name brand clothes for my children at thrift stores. I then turn around and sell for darn near close to what I paid for them at consignment sales. The thrill of a bargain is like no other.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I LOVE buying consignment and shopping at our local Goodwill. We just went to Florida and I went shopping at Goodwill before left and bought myself two pairs of shorts, a cute khaki skirt, a top, and a monogrammed hot pink tote bag (with our last name initial..woot!) all for $19!!!! One pair of shorts was Ralph Lauren. Double woot! ;) got me all excited.

Joy said...

Hmmm... do you know an online store for second-hand maternity clothes?! You know how expensive maternity clothes are!!!

Alexia said...

I am a HUGE fan of second-hand stuff! I just bought my 2yo an entirely new wardrobe and paid $2 for each item of clothing, I was so happy!

Karen said...

My favorite is "Married with Children"

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