What to Buy (and what NOT to buy) for Kids at a Thrift Store



Kids grow fast! Shoes you bought just a couple of months ago are snug, and the jeans you got at the start of the season must have shrunk in the wash. Clothing growing kids is hard to stay on top of and can get expensive. Help your wallet keep up by shopping at a thrift store. They are a great place to buy gently used clothing and shoes, plus they are also a great resource for books, games, movies and toys. Your local Goodwill store is a great spot to find items for kids of all ages. When thrift store shopping, here are a few tips:

  • Shop frequently! Inventory changes daily at thrift stores. You’ll find something new every time you visit.
  • Buy today; it won’t be there tomorrow! Because inventory is changing, if you see a nice coat in the summer that would be a good fit, buy it now and store it away until needed. Keep a list on your phone of items you’ve purchased and stored and items to look out for.
  • Shop off season. As a season ends, people clean out closets and donate. That means at the end of summer, you’ll find a lot of summer pieces for sale. Be prepared to buy in advance to save big.

Although clothes, toys, books and shoes are all great purchases, you should avoid purchasing some things at a thrift store. Due to safety concerns over cribs, car seats and other baby items, Goodwill will not carry these items, and parents should not buy them at any thrift stores.

Continue the cycle by donating your thrift store finds after your kids have outgrown them. By shopping at and donating to a Goodwill store, you’re not only saving money, but also giving back to the community. When you shop or donate to Goodwill, sales fund employment programs and services, where local job seekers get the skills and confidence they need to find gainful employment.

To find a donation center near you, visit MoKanGoodwill.org.

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