A reader suggested this topic for a blog post and first I laughed it off because it all seems so obvious to me. But then I asked about it on Instagram stories and apparently a lot of people have questions about the world of children’s clothes BST. (If you’re a serious newbie it may help to note here that BST stands for buy/sell/trade). If I had known about this kids clothing world after having my first kid I would have thought all these moms are crazy. But now that I’m pregnant with my 4th it is just a daily part of our lives and I love it. I fully embrace that kids are only young once and having them dressed sweetly means a lot to me. The memories we make in these outfits, the pictures we take, it’s all priceless. But on top of that it can actually be a way to make some money, or at least recuperate what you spend on clothes, if you play your cards right. Whereas some less expensive mall brands may seem more financially conscious, those brands don’t resell well at all. The right brands, who usually are the ones making the cutest clothes, can sell used for more than what you pay to buy new. Does this blow your mind? Let’s dive in…
There are so many sweet children’s clothing brands that have huge buy/sell/trade markets. In fact some mall brands like Gap, Hanna Anderson, and H&M have big markets as well. But outside the brands you may know a lot of boutique and smaller brands dominate the BST world. Brands like The Proper Peony, The Beaufort Bonnet Company, Sweet Honey, Well Dressed Wolf (and their sister brands Omi Jo and Wildling), Ric Rac and Ruffles, and the list goes on. Some of these brands produce on a wider scale, like The Beaufort Bonnet Company and The Proper Peony, but the items hold their value especially older items that are no longer readily available in stores. And if you wait a while after brands release new seasons many boutiques have sales where these brands will be heavily discounted.
A lot of the smaller brands like Sweet Honey and Well Dressed Wolf do small, limited quantity releases of items, or ‘drops’. They will have these once a week or less, and everything sells out in seconds. Literally. Seconds. For both of these brands and a lot of the other similarly structured ones you can actually buy bots from companies which for some drops seem to be the only possibility of ‘carting’ (aka being successful in buying) an item. I wish I could say everyone is buying to dress their kids in them but unfortunately a large amount of those buying up everything immediately upon release are ‘flippers’. They buy these items and immediately list them for sale for at least 2 or 3 times what they cost. There are lots of discussion threads about whether this is ethical or not and I’m not going to dive into that but it’s just how it is. Because of this sometimes the retail value of an item is $50 but the market value immediately upon release is $200. I refuse to ever pay PSN (pending shipping notice) prices on an item so for me I know not to fall in love with anything in these releases as I am very unlikely to actually be able to cart one.
The Forums of BST
The biggest forum of the BST world is Facebook. There are zillions of BST groups for kids clothing. Some general all brand ones, some dedicated to specific brands, specific genders, monogrammed for certain names, and even other ‘preorder groups’ that are usually small shops who send their designs to manufacturers in China to produce but they run their preorders on Facebook. There are also groups designated just for moms involved in BST to chat about anything random that they wish. Facebook is awesome for BST because people simply list the product, condition, price (usually your price should include shipping fees), and to claim another person comments with their PayPal email. Then an invoice is sent via PayPal (goods/services) and PayPal takes a small fee, and shipping through PayPal is easy and the least expensive option. I keep a stock of polymailers (and always double bag anything I ship), and shipping labels that you can print at home (PayPal immediately sets up their shipping labels perfect for printing easily on these).
Sometimes keeping up with everything on Facebook is overwhelming for me and I want to be able to show what I’m selling to a broader audience (like my Instagram friends). So anything that doesn’t sell on Facebook after a day or two, or that I’m not too concerned about making a lot off of, I also go ahead and list on Poshmark. This way I can keep up with everything I have listed for sale, share it on Instagram, and know that more people have access to seeing my listing. I really enjoy using Poshmark and alway throw in a hand written thank you note (these on Amazon are the cheapest option) and a gift (usually an extra press sample or face mask – I buy in bulk here) as well to hopefully brighten someone’s day. Poshmark does take out a steeper fee than you would pay on a PayPal transaction, and the buyer has to pay shipping on top of what your prices are. But I’ve really enjoyed using Poshmark and have had nothing but a positive experience on it. There are other selling sites like Mercari and Kidizen but I stick with just Poshmark to have it all in one place. You can check out my Poshmark closet here and save $10 with the code CLAIRE5388.
If it’s been a few weeks and things haven’t sold on Facebook or Poshmark I go ahead and move it to our church consignment sale pile. Our church does a kids consignment sale every fall and spring and it’s something I love helping out with. Consigners set their own prices and keep 70% of everything that is sold, and you can choose for anything that doesn’t sell to go to charity which is what I do. 15% of the proceeds then go to our church moms group, and another 15% goes to a charity we pick out. I try to price everything for this super cheap so that another mom in my community can benefit from it and it gets it off my hands! I know not every community has church consignment sales so other girls sell at local consignment stores or even send in clothes to online consignment stores like Bagsy.
And for fun, here’s what my ‘you need to sell this’ pile looks like:
And some of the pretty stuff currently hanging in Millie’s closet:
I love and adore the girls I’ve met and become friends with through the BST world. Girls I text with late at night about everything in life, let borrow different outfits (and borrow from), and even some I’ve gotten together with IRL for play dates. I’m so thankful that this common interest of kids clothes has brought new friendships into my life from all over the country. Any mom can tell you how isolating motherhood can be so I’m glad this community exists.
Common Acronyms of BST
BST – Buy/Sell/Trade
ISO – In Search Of
PSN – Pending Shipping Notice (ie selling once purchased but not yet in hand)
NWT – New With Tags
EUC – Excellent Used Condition
VGUC/GUC – Very good used condition/ good used condition
SFPF – Item comes from a smoke free/pet free home.
M2M – Made to Match
IRL – In Real Life
OP – Original Poster
PP – Paypal
RV/MV – Retail value/market value
DD/DS – Darling daughter/ Darling Son
TPP – The Proper Peony
TBBC – The Beaufort Bonnet Company
WDW -Well Dressed Wolf
Was this too much? I started this post thinking there wasn’t much to really say and then ended writing a lot, pretty typical. Next in this series will be how to bust into the world of blogging and make money doing it but since I have about 10x as much to say on that than this I may need some time to organize my thoughts. If you have any other tips on the BST world please leave them below!