• TheConfused Father

Why We Frequent Garage Sales

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

How much would you pay for a T-shirt? While this may sound like a rhetorical question I don't personally have an answer. I have not bought a tee-shirt since I was in high school and I still wear that shirt to this day. T-shirts are probably the number one giveaway item at any event you could possibly go to. From work conference door prizes to college football game T-shirt cannons I have so many free T-shirts that I can't ever see myself paying for one again. However, that last T-shirt that I paid for (pretty sure my mom actually bought it) has been well worth the money because I have been wearing it for years.

We all have a price we are willing to pay for the clothes we wear. Some people spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a single piece of their wardrobe. Most of us are saner than that and can put together an outfit we will wear on a regular basis for less than $50. Since that outfit stays in our closet for years and gets worn a few times a month it makes it well worth the money. However, when it comes to children's clothing; they grow out of them before years or sometimes even months pass leaving you with something that you paid more for than you really got out of it. That is unless you didn't pay full price for them.

Everyone loves a sale. Unfortunately, if you put the word yard or garage in front of it a lot of people suddenly lose interest. Erin and I are not in that group. Yes, there are some people out there that are selling literal junk in their driveway hoping to make a quick buck. But you can generally tell whether or not that is the case without getting out of your car. You want nice things because you like nice things and once you have them you take care of them. Luckily, most other people have that exact same mindset. A lot of people don't have garage sales because they are trying to make money; they have them because they have too much stuff.

One of the most common things sold at garage sales is children's clothes. That is because like I said earlier, kids grow out of clothes fast. Take for example my nephew. On the day of his birth, he was already in 0-3 month clothes. This means that all of the newborn size clothing my sister had was already too small. Growth spurts happen at random intervals during children's lives. This means at any age there are clothes out there in someone's closet that didn't get worn for very long, if at all. I cannot count the number of outfits we have bought at garage sales that still have the store tags on them. It is a great way to clothe your kids for a fraction of the price. Especially if you keep in mind that these are not retail stores, meaning you can haggle.

People setting up for a garage sale often don't have a lot of rhyme or reason for the prices they are putting on things. If you don't think something is worth what the homemade tag is asking for it, make an offer. Most of the time people will move on things if you don't throw out something unreasonably low. Also, when you are buying more than one item make bulk offers. Erin will walk up to a sale that has stuff in one of our kid's sizes and make an arbitrary offer on half or all of the clothes there. We have walked away from more than one of those with more clothes than we needed for a $20 bill just to sort out what we wanted and donate the rest to charity or other couples we know with kids.

Clothes can be a major expense when you have kids. By going to garage sales on a semi-regular basis you can turn it into a minor one. With the internet today you don't even have to drive around like you used to. Check Facebook, Craigslist or other local buy sell trade pages to find out where they are and what they are selling. Erin went out this morning for less than 3 hours and got nearly all the size 5 clothes Gabriella will ever need plus some toys we really didn't need for less than $100. We could have maybe bought 5 full outfits for her at Walmart with the same amount of money.

For anyone who thinks they are too good to wear something that someone else has worn before, I hate to break it to you but if you have ever bought something from a retail store someone else probably tried that on before you did. Just wash it when you get home and it is basically the same. They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. I am not telling you to go dig through garbage cans but I am telling you there are treasures to be found if you are willing to look for them.

I hope this post has found you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...

Why childrens clothes are so expensive?


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