Not everyone wants to have a garage sale in order to sell gently used baby and children’s items. It can be a lot of work and time to run a garage sale for a day or a weekend. If you are looking for quick cash on the spot or simply an easy way to offload kids items check out these Once Upon a Child selling hacks.
I’ve been selling children’s clothing and items for cash to Once Upon a Child for more than seven years now and have learned a few tricks to earn the most money for your items. Follow these tips to maximize the return on your items and get cash on the spot.
Once Upon a Child Selling Hacks
What is Once Upon a Child?
Once Upon a Child is a franchise with multiple locations nationwide. This is a store that buys and sells new and gently used children’s clothing and children’s items. The company was founded in 1985 and has many locations nationwide. This store pays cash on the spot for children’s clothing, shoes, toys and baby items. They accept sizes preemie to Youth 20.
In addition to everyday clothing, Once Upon a Child will also purchase lesser known kids items such as dance clothing, Halloween costumes, formal dresswear, swimwear and more. They also purchase all seasons so this includes items such as snow boots and snow pants. For footwear they accept size newborn to size Youth 7.
Once Upon a Child also accept toys, books and games. This includes larger items such as outdoor toys, ride-on toys and even bicycles. When selling toys and puzzles make sure they are in good condition and include all parts. I have also included the original instructions with the item if I had them.
The store also accepts all types of baby gear that hasn’t been recalled. However, this does NOT include car seats or vehicle booster seats. Examples of baby gear they accept include:
• baby monitors
• diaper pails
• bouncers and rockers
• activity centers
• baby gates
• high chairs
• pack and plays and more!
Depending on the size of your store they will also accept some baby furniture and children’s furniture such as changing tables, nursing gliders, table and chair sets. Please check with your local store before bringing these very large items as they may not have space for or be purchasing these items at the moment.
Sell at Once Upon a Child
Earn the Most Money
As I mentioned, what is great about Once Upon a Child is they purchase everyday clothing but also those specialized kids items. In addition they purchase toys and other non-clothing items which is different from many adult consignment and resale shops.
When my daughter was a baby and a toddler I would buy and sell at Once Upon a Child pretty frequently. Now that she’s older and not growing as fast I usually sell to the store twice a year, or every six months. Even so, most trips I come home with at least $30 to $50 in cash. That’s up to $100 each year I can put toward new clothing for her!
Over the years I’ve gathered some tips and tricks I call Once Upon a Child selling hacks to make sure I can get the most money possible for these items. I want to share these tips with you today so you can also do the same.
What’s great about Once Upon a Child is they give you cash on the spot for the items and because kids are constantly growing and needing larger clothing it’s important to maximize your budget for these items. Getting cash back for older items is one way to do this.
Here are my top tips…
• Check their Social Media: First before you sell, check your local store’s social media accounts. Here they often post their most desired items as this can vary from store to store. Also you want to make sure the store is open and buying that day before using Once Upon a Child selling hacks.
• Go When they Open: Next, if possible go to the store when it opens for the day. My store will sometimes stop buying when they reach capacity. This means if you show up with your items later in the day you may be turned away. It’s first come, first serve in the order in which items are brought into the store.
• Consider Trading when You Sell: If you have any items you need to purchase from the store on the day you are selling, try to do so and tell them you want to cash out in the same transaction. What you can do is put your cash back toward the purchase of the new items and the store will only charge you sales tax on the difference. This can save you a little extra money on the spot if you live in a state with sales tax.
• Newer Items are Best: Like most resale shops, newer items are more desirable. When it comes to kids clothing this means newer tags, popular brands and styles. My best advice is to sell your child’s items as soon as possible. If you have multiple children this can mean you are using items longer but keep in mind it will be unlikely that Once Upon a Child will want to purchase baby items that are 8-12 years old, no matter what the condition.
• Look Beyond Clothing: When it comes to baby items it can be easy to forget how many items this store will accept beyond the basics. Don’t forget they take toys, nursing pillows, swimsuits and swim gear, hats, shoes, books, crib sheets, changing pads, sleep sacks, pre-teen dance gear, soccer cleats, bibs and more.
• Consider the Seasons: While Once Upon a Child will take items year-round. I’ve had the best luck with storing my items at home and then bringing them in to sell during the right season. For example if I have summer clothing, I try to take it to the store in March. If you have a Halloween costume you are best to take it to the store around August. These are times these items are most in demand and most likely that your item will be purchased.
• Take Items to a Second Location: If there is more than one Once Upon a Child location near you, consider taking rejected items to a second store. My store is pretty small and they are limited on space so I’ve had some really nice items declined in the past. They also buy items based on what trends they are seeing locally and within their customer base. This can be different from a store in a different city or regional area. There is another location about an hour from me and when I was in the area for an activity I popped in and dropped off my bin. Many of the items rejected at my home store were purchased by this other location!
Once Upon a Child Selling Tips
• Organize Your Items and Pair Outfits: Be sure to pair the outfits together either folded clearly that it’s an outfit, or secure with a rubber band. This is especially important for baby outfits which often are purchased as a set. The same goes for pajamas. Your store may reject your items entirely if they are not organized in this fashion. Make sure all items, sets or not, are neatly folded for a nice presentation.
• Brand Names Matter, but Not That Much: When it comes to reselling kids clothes I’ve found trendy names aren’t as important. They will accept Hanna Anderson but they also take Walmart, Target and Kohl’s in-store brands. This might be different from what you are accustomed to when selling to adult resale shops, which often place high priority on name brands.
• Reconsider Your Large Items: Regarding toys and big items, they take them but my experience has been they don’t give much for them. One time I sold some Melissa and Doug toys brand new in the package, but my store only gave me a few dollars for each. You might be better off selling that on Facebook Marketplace or at a garage sale. However, if your goal is to get cash now and declutter your home you can easily sell these items on the spot and find yourself some peace of mind!
• Launder All Items: Please keep in mind when selling to Once Upon a Child or any resale shop it is vital to wash your clothing before sale. Make sure the items you present are in a state and condition that you would want to purchase and have your child wear. Older baby items that were in storage may need re-washing or spot treatment as baby stains tend to reappear while delicate items are stored. My favorite stain treatment stick is the OxiClean MaxForce Gel Stick.
• Pay Attention to Stains, Damage and Wear: As I mentioned earlier, newer or gently used items are often more desirable when it comes to children’s resale. If you notice any items with excessive wear, damage or stains it would be best to not include these items in your bin. Some baby stains can be tricky so it doesn’t hurt to try rewashing or a stain treatment first while trying these Once Upon a Child selling hacks.
• Place Items in a Plastic Storage Bin: I always have a few bins ready at home for this purpose. Depending on how many items I have to sell I might use a small bin with a lid or the larger 18 gallon tote bins work well for a larger haul or if I’m also including children’s toys and accessories. Avoid cardboard boxes, laundry baskets or plastic bags when reselling. Most stores have strict rules against these containers.
• Present any NWT, Big Items or In Demand Items: I like to place my best items at the top of the bin so when it’s opened by the store clerks they immediately see that I have desirable items. This is just a personal preference but I think it has worked well in terms of “selling” my bin to the store. If items are new with tag make sure the tag is easily visible so that it is not overlooked. NWT items are often most in demand.
Selling to Once Upon a Child
When selling to Once Upon a Child they make ask for your name and contact information or your ID. My local store doesn’t seem to ask for ID but other resale shops in my area do. So this might vary. I mention this so you aren’t surprised if your store does require it.
When your items have been selected the store will either call you on the phone and tell you to return or if you stayed in the store to shop they will call out your name. Then you can check out and receive cash on the spot after having used these Once Upon a Child selling hacks.
Do you have a tween or teen? Be sure to check out my post about Plato’s Closet Selling Hacks before selling new or gently used clothing to a teen resale shop.
Are there any other questions I can answer?