1. The first thing you should do is sign up on mailing lists. This way you can receive special treatment.
You will receive notice of sales before the general public and you will also get lots of coupons and online savings codes.
Here are a few stores to sign up for:
Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, Bath and Body Works, Wet Seal, Banana Republic, The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Children’s Place, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Babies R’ Us, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, Lane Bryant, and MiMi Maternity
2. Get the newspaper. Go to McDonalds and look at the paper on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday if you can’t pay to have it delivered. You could also ask a friend or relative who subscribes to save it for you. All you need are the ads anyway. Look for departments store coupons, hobby store ads like buy one get one free, etc. and other sales. You will be surprised at how much money you can save with these coupons. Also, look at the weekend bargains. I have found several lots of children’s clothing for low prices that yielded a high profit.
3. Department and retail store shopping are another great resource for finding good bargains on clothing for all sizes. If you have access to a good, higher end department store where they sell name brand clothing such as Tommy Hilfiger, Osh Kosh, and Ralph Lauren then you are pretty lucky. This is where the newspaper comes in handy. They will announce their big sales via the newspaper and they will also put out coupons in the paper. They tend to be aggresive about marking down merchandise to move it out. A good rule of thumb is to wait until things are marked down 50-75% and then they do an additional percentage off on top of that. I tend to s buy any of the Ralph Lauren, Osh Kosh, Tommy Hilfiger, maternity, or plus size items at this level of markdowns unless they are very unappealing.
4. Outlet and Clearance Stores such as Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Dillards Clearance Center, Nordstrom's Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Chance, Gap Outlet, Children’s Place Outlet, Ross Dress for Less, Tuesday Mornings, etc. Sign up for their mailing lists too! Make sure you do not buy anything with a damage clothing tag. For example, Gap will sometimes put a gold line through their outlet merchandise. Avoid these if possible.
5. Clearance or going out of business sales are a great place to stock up on lots of items. Also, buy out of season merchandise or stock up after holidays. Use a central location in your home to store all of these items. Be organized with your stocking procedures and try to keep inventory of what you have in stock so that you can beat all of the competition by listing the current seasons items before that buying season even starts. Costumes are a perfect example. These do really well on eBay and you can buy these for more than 50% off after the holiday. Christmas dresses and upscale boutique brand Christmas outfits are another freat example. Just think ahead, sit down and decide what you think might be a plan you could afford and live with (the inventory) to get a start on next year! Hit those sales, especially with a friend.
6. Garage Sales are my favorite place to great bargains on lots of everything. Don’t be afraid to negotiate your prices. The sellers are trying to get rid of this stuff. The best time to hit the sale is when it first begins to get the best selection and/or towards the end of the sale because that is when you get the best prices. People are ready to just get rid of their items and not take them back in the house. Get excited if it rains that morning. This simply means fewer people to compete with and more negotiating room. You can do a search on eBay using completed items found in the advance search to see what is selling well. Garage sales are a great place to find stuff for eBay. To me it is like a treasure hunt. I always use code words if I bring a friend and want advice about the value of an item. Instead of saying “Do you think this will sell well on eBay”, I say, “Do you think Carla would like this?” Sellers aren’t willing to negotiate if they know you are buying it to turn a profit. I also like to have someone on standby so that I can call them to have them look up items on eBay before purchasing.
7. Other places to find great inventory are the following: Flea Markets, trade show, friends, family, consignment stores, thrift stores, Goodwill, clothing exchanges, and auction wholesale lots. More websites to check are: Bidville, IOffer, ePier, Free Site, What’s Your Deal, and Craig’s List.
8. Free Merchandise: Join your local Freecycle this is a great website where people post their unwanted items and if you are interested you can let them know directly. People get rid of books, toys, appliances, clothes and so much more.
*Seller Secrets: First, build up revenue in you Paypal account to use for inventory purchases. Second, pick a store that will have an upcoming sale (this is where being on mailing lists come into play). For example let‘s use Gap. Now, search eBay for a Gap gift card. I have purchased a $500.00 Gap card for $425.00. I saved $75.00 before the sales! Wait for the sale. Buy only clearance and sale items. To save even more shop through Ebates when it applies.
Probably the biggest children's clothing niche on eBay is Gymboree. This is primarily because Gymboree has amazingly adorable clothing for children and it is very well made so it lasts for a very long time. One of the biggest benefits to Gymboree sales is the Gymbucks program. The way the Gymbucks program works is that during the earning period you get a $25 Gymbuck for every $50 you spend. To redeem the Gymbucks you spend $50 and then get $25 off (basically 50% off) during the redemption period. The best thing to do is buy sets at 60% off or more and hold them until the next season. This is exactly how Gymboree Powersellers on eBay are buying Gymboree to sell. I too have sold lots of Gymboree items using this method and I can confirm that it is very lucrative.
For the best info on selling Gymboree, I highly recommend Gymboree News & Gossip Column. This site has all the relevant information on buying and selling Gymboree clothes for resale or personal use as well as which lines are the hottest sellers, when to buy, what to buy, how to buy, and lots more. If you sell Gymboree or just adore their clothes and want to get the best bargains then this is one subscription you need. It is very affordable considering the amount of money you can save because she gives you updates on every sale, coupons, Gymbucks, and what lines and specific eBay Gymboree items have sold for the most money recently. If you sell Gymboree then this is a must have!
Gently used Gymboree sometimes can sell for a higher profit than new with tags Gymboree. The reason is because the lines are no longer sold after a certain time and they become collector's items in a way. Here is an example: Check out this auction. This outfit didn't retail for that price when it was new!
Don’t forget to always make note of the Gymboree line you are buying since you will get more bidders by listing the line name in the title (you can check online at
Gymboree or check out Gymbohaven for line names.
Baby Gap is a pretty popular eBay clothing seller. To maximize your profit try to buy things at the end of season when they are marked down to 60-80% off. Remember to check the web site as well as stores since the web site can have many fantastic deals for resale.
Now if you live in the following cities then you are in luck because Gap has distribution centers located there where you can get first quality Gap merchandise for super low prices which means great resale for you on eBay. They are located in: Edgewood, Maryland; Erlanger, Kentucky; Fishkill, New York; Fresno, California; Gallatin, Tennessee; Groveport, Ohio; Toronto/Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Tips for buying clothing:
1. Buy sets or outfits since people will always bid higher and pay a bit more for an entire outfit versus a single item. Girls lines always sell better than boys.
2. The best selling sizes are girls 18 months -6x and boys 12 months to 4t.
3. Infant sizes do not sell well.
4. Try to only purchase what you can get for 60% off or more and plan on holding those until next season. I never buy anything that isn’t at least 40% off. You can also buy the current lines or season but you must immediately turn around and sell them on eBay.
5. Shopping at the end of a season or on holiday weekends yield good sales and high turn around profits.
6. Buy in volume when available. This saves time in having to relist each item. Saving time means making money.