How to save money on back-to-school clothes
The first day of school is just over two weeks away, and on top of getting all the necessary school supplies, students in Alaska also need a long list of winter gear.
Students will eventually need gloves, hats, snow pants, coats and boots, but that list is one that can wait for later.
Our average first subfreezing day isn't until Oct. 24 which is also about the time of year we see our first snowfall in Anchorage of an inch or more. That means you still have more than two months to not only shop for the best deals but also make money selling last year's gear.
Parents have been buying and selling used children's clothes at Once Upon a Child for more than 20 years.
Heather Willkomm, the store's manager, says now is the time to make money on last years gear. "We are definitely in need of winter items like boots, hats, gloves, jackets, snow bibs, things of that nature."
Simply bring in your boxes or bags of clothes and they'll buy whatever they think they can sell.
“Generally our computer system will price items between 30% to 50% of the new price and you would receive 30% to 50% of that. So what we would do is we would look at the condition and then we would enter the brand,” Willkomm said.
That means a used pair of generic brand snow boots would make you about $3. Those same boots in a bigger size would cost you about $9.00, which means you could walk away with a new-to-you pair, in the right size, for $6. Willkomm says a pair of more expensive name brand boots would likely get you $4 or $5.
They don’t take everything though. Willkomm says the items have to be shelf-ready — clean and in good condition.
While now is the time to sell your clothes, September is the time to buy.
“We'll probably be putting out our winter gear around the second weekend of September. We do a whole big unveiling over the first weekend,” said Willkomm.
Buying and selling used clothes and winter gear is also becoming more popular online. Three of the more popular sites are Poshmark, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.
You can simply put in the size and style you're looking for and you'll see the options listed. Most of the prices are comparable to resale and consignment shops in town and are generally negotiable but just remember you'll have to add shipping on top of that for most orders unless you're picking up from a local Facebook seller.
Outfitting kids for the school year adds up fast but taking advantage of the time to shop around while leveraging what doesn't fit anymore can cut the price of this list by 50% to 70%.
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