Cheap Online Children’s Clothing: One Mom’s Secret
Kids are constantly growing out of clothes, draining your budget in the process. But there are ways to make this “growing pain” disappear.
Spending crazy money on your children’s clothes is tough, especially when they’re going to grow out of them quickly. Luckily, this mom can tell you everything you need to know about finding cheap children’s clothes online.
Being frugal isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, but it does to Jennifer Fields, a young mom living in Colby, Kansas.
Fields is a mother of four — ages five months, two years, six years, and 12 years old. After the birth of her first child, she realized that she needed to get creative in order to save money. Kids are expensive, after all!
“It was when my oldest was getting ready to go to kindergarten before I realized how expensive it was going to be to keep him in clothes,” Fields said.
Her son was constantly outgrowing things like shoes and putting holes in the knees of jeans. “Even if you shop at Walmart or Target, kid’s jeans are about $15 to $20 per pair.”
Previously, Fields used the envelope budgeting system to buy clothes for her kids. But when she realized that her $100 budget wouldn’t be enough for her growing family, she had to find other ways to buy clothes for her kids. “One-hundred dollars is only four to six outfits,” she said. “It really doesn’t go far.”
Cheap Online Clothing Stores for Kids
This is when Fields started looking for solutions online. One of her favorite websites for getting kid’s clothes is ThredUP. The site sells new and gently used brand-name clothes sent in by users.
Buying and Selling on ThredUP
At first, Fields was only a shopper on the website. However, she soon realized that she could save even more by sending her kids’ clothes in once they were done with them.
“I send in my kids’ clothes when they outgrow them,” Fields said. “ThredUP gives me credit on my account that I can use to buy more clothes whenever I need something. I hardly ever have to pay out-of-pocket when I shop on ThredUP.”
To make the most of her store credit, Fields said that she shops sales, uses promo codes, and looks in the mark-down section on the site before anything else.
ThredUP doesn’t accept all types of clothing, but what they don’t accept, they donate to charity, which Fields says is a good thing. “I like to know that what they don’t give me store credit for will be given to charity. Plus, it’s a better use of my time to just send them in to ThredUP instead of having a garage sale or trying to sell them on Facebook,” she said.
Subscribing to FabKids
Another site Fields has used to get kids’ clothes is FabKids. “FabKids is a subscription service and if you forget to cancel it, it can get costly,” Fields said.
She’s a VIP member on the site, which helps her get buy-one-get-one-free deals on clothes and shoes. She also gets free shipping and exchanges. A FabKids membership costs $29.95 per month. That said, you can choose to skip a month if you select that option by the fifth. If you forget to skip, the site will charge you the monthly fee. You can then either use that to shop or leave it to accumulate a balance for future use.
Going Overseas for Cheap Children’s Clothing
With online thrift stores like ThredUP and other sites like Zulily, Schoola, and FabKids, Fields says that her $100 can be stretched to get her nearly six outfits for each of her three older kids. But her biggest money saver is Amazon.
“If you really want to save money, you can’t be afraid to buy clothes from overseas,” Field said
“Of course I want to support my local businesses, but I have to protect my bottom line, too.” She often finds clothes on Amazon that are the same as what she saw in boutique stores, but for a fraction of the price.
For Halloween, she got her daughter’s costume on Amazon for $5 instead of paying $60 for the same thing at a boutique. It took about three weeks to arrive, but Fields says that she doesn’t mind waiting because she saves so much. “Being patient is definitely in your favor if you want to save money,” she said.
Although it sounds like a lot of work to do research on multiple websites, Fields says that she only spends about two to three hours price-checking before a big shopping trip. That’s less time normally spent in stores. Plus it’s more convenient to order online and send things back if they don’t fit. “Sending stuff back is easier than most people make it out to be,” she said. “Most items come with return materials included to make it easy.”
Her biggest tips for parents looking to save on kid’s clothes are to shop with a purpose; plan ahead so that you have time for items to arrive; and know your kids’ sizes.