Top Thrift Tips for Kids’ Clothing


There are so many reasons why thrifting is great for adults and kids alike. From sustainable practices to saving money to supporting the mission of making a difference in your community, it’s always a win-win when you thrift. For kids especially, they seem to fall in and out of love with different show characters and grow out of clothing in a matter of minutes. With a few tips, you can make the most of your thrift shopping efforts as you are looking for affordable clothing for your kids!

Before you embark on your first thrift trip for kids’ clothing, consider these five tips from Goodwill employees themselves.

Evaluate whether it’s something your kids will actually wear

Buying an item is only a good deal if it’s needed and wanted! If you find a brand new with tags pink jacket for just $3.99 in the kids section, it’s only worth it if your child will actually wear it. 

On the other hand, if your child has recently gotten into Paw Patrol, check out your local Goodwill for printed shirts at a fraction of normal retail costs! 

Inspect the clothing for stains, rips, and worn out knees

While children’s clothing is often donated before being worn much, some kids do play hard. Before purchasing an item, be sure to inspect it for worn out areas such as the knees or fraying around the bottom. If you’re choosing to cut them into shorts, go forth with your DIY project! Goodwill employees inspect items before placing them on the sales floor to try to only offer items with usable life left, but it doesn’t hurt to check your items with a second set of eyes.

Review the sizing

The sizing on children’s clothing is pretty standard, but with a variety of brands and materials to choose from, you might run into a slight variation in sizing..  can be beneficial to bring kids along to try on clothing. If you do bring them along, we recommend limiting the scope of the trip to just clothing – we know how easy it is to get lost in all of the aisles! 

Shop ahead for holidays

It’s hard to find a nice Christmas dress when everyone is looking for one. Barring any growth spurts, it can be very beneficial to plan ahead for holiday shopping throughout the year. Usually once the season or holiday is over, people donate their once used items like dresses and suits for Easter and Christmas. After the holidays is a great time to shop for these items for the upcoming year!  

Buy the staples

Some of the best items to buy thrifted are the staples like denim jeans and solid colored t-shirts. Kids’ coats and pants in particular are some of the best deals you can score at a thrift store. Buying kids’ jeans at a Goodwill of Central Iowa store will run you $5.99 while stores like Target sell them for $13-$25. In addition, a kids’ jacket at Goodwill costs just $3.99, while similar lightweight jackets at Target begin at $22.99.

Whether you shop for the deals or the thrill of the hunt, we thank you for supporting our mission and helping those within our communities. 

Find a store near you today.

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