Gymboree Buying & Selling Guide
Buying Low Cost Inventory:
I am always being asked where I buy my Gymboree. People assume I have a mysterious wholesale source, since I have such a large Gymboree inventory. The fact is, Gymboree does not sell to wholesalers. You will need to buy your Gymboree from their retail stores, their online store, Gymboree outlet stores, or wholesale lots on eBay.
Gymboree now has outlet stores in a few larger cities throughout the USA. They do not sell clearances from the regular Gymboree stores. Instead, they remake the lines that Gymboree had in the past. They often remake them in different colors, or a little different style. They retail for less than the regular Gymboree stores. I always disclose if my item is from the outlet in my auctions. Many people want to know if it is an outlet or regular Gymboree item. The outlet items have white paper tags vs. red or blue for girls and boy's sizes or yellow and pink for layette sizes in the regular Gymboree store. The inside tag has little orange dots in the shape of a square on it.
I try to pay at least 70% off of retail when I purchase Gymboree. I do this by combining sales and coupons, and only buying clearance items. I only buy clearance items and I try to combine my purchases with additional specials, such as a coupon, additional percent off, or Gymbucks.
I love shopping in Gymboree stores because I often find items that are sold out online. Many times customers have come in with returns while I was there and the items they returned were recently marked down, so I will buy their returns before they are even put back on the store shelves. I also find great deals in the clearance bins. They keep several leggings, shoes, socks, and hats in the bins that have been marked way down. These are often tucked away at the back of the store, so be sure to look for them. Sometimes one Gymboree store will mark down items even further than they are marked down in other stores or online, simply because they have an overstock of the items. That is the perfect time to buy and list right away on eBay as other sellers will not be able to buy these items at such a low price.
Whenever I find a great deal on an item, I try to buy multiples of it in different sizes. It makes photographing and listing the item easier. Gymboree will limit you to 5 of the same item - even if you buy different sizes - so be careful there. The Gymboree online store has been known to cancel orders if you try to place one with more than 5 of the same item. You can always buy 5 items at one store and 5 at another, if you are lucky enough to leave near more than one Gymboree store.
You can buy wholesale lots from eBay sellers, but be careful. Do not buy lots that offer you double your bid. You will not make any money if you are only getting 50% off and paying shipping as well. Try to get lots for at least 65-70% off. Also, some lots may be full of small sizes, or multiples of the same items, so read the description carefully, as many of these auctions are confusing. Try to buy from a seller who has good feedback for selling their lots. You can always ask the seller any questions you may have before purchasing their lots. Many sellers are willing to customize your lot a bit for you - like a certain size range or season - if you ask them first.
What Sizes and Styles to Buy:
I have found that I sell girl's clothing in sizes 2T-5 the best. I also have some luck with girl’s sizes 6-7, but not with 8, 9, 10, or 12. I have not done well with boy's clothing, although it is very cute too. I cannot sell newborn sizes 0-3 months, 6-12 months for a profit, so I no longer buy them, now that my children have outgrown those sizes.
Some sellers report that they do well with smaller sizes if they put outfits in lots and include a gift box. People looking for baby shower gifts like to buy this way - it is easier on them to get a gift all in one place.
From experience, I can tell you that the more embellished items sell much better than the basics. For example, a cute top embroidered with a design, such as a panda bear, will sell for more profit than a plain pink turtleneck shirt and a decorative pair of jeans will sell better than a plain pair of leggings. Accessories, such as socks, hats, and hair items, do not sell well on their own, but they will help sell an outfit, so you may want to grab them if they are on clearance and match clothing items you have.
You do not always have to buy everything in outfits and sets. I do quite well selling single items in my store. People are often looking for one piece that they are missing from an outfit and will turn to eBay stores so that they do not have to risk getting outbid on something they really want. So if you see single items that are on a great clearance - grab them for your eBay store. I do try to sell outfits at auction as they do better than single items.
The Circle of Friends sale requires a coupon that you can receive in the store, or through email. Just be sure to sign up for emails on their website and you should receive one when the sale is going on. It is usually for 30% off your entire purchase. It is even good on clearance items. You can find an item on clearance for 60% off and then use your coupon and receive an additional 30% off. If you have a Gymboree Visa, you will get another 5% off on top of all of the other discounts. Sometimes they even offer an additional 10% off. It makes for great savings!
The Friends and Family Sale is typically 20% off of your entire purchase - even clearance items! It is a coupon mailer that is sent out to random homes. You can also get one by shopping in the retail store when the promotion is about to begin. The sales associate will hand you one. It usually has two coupons on it - one for you and one for a friend. I usually end up using both myself. It will also have a code that is good for online use and it can be used both online and in the store.
The Red Balloon Sale is a sale with price points on clearance merchandise. I have gotten hair accessories for as little as 19 cents and purses for 49 cents during this sale!
The Rise and Shine Sale is 25% off the newer lines that are still full price. It also requires a coupon that will be handed out in the store prior to the sale. I have never participated in this sale as 25% off the regular retail price is not enough of a savings for me to make a profit reselling the items on eBay.
Use coupon codes and coupons. Plum magazine has been offering a 20% off Gymboree coupon in their past few issues. It can be purchased online from Plum magazine, on eBay, or at book stores - such as Barns And Noble or Borders. Just be sure to check that the coupon is in the magazine before you buy it as I have seen several magazines missing their coupons. These coupons are great because you can use the code online and then use the actual coupon card in the store - so you can use them twice! Just be sure to write down the code before you use the coupon in the store, as they will keep the coupon. Other magazines have also been offering coupons lately - Cookie, Parents, and others have had coupons recently, so be sure to check your magazines when they arrive!
Sometimes Gymboree will hand out coupons when you walk in the store. They had a contest once where you receive a scratch-off coupon worth up to 50% off your purchase. After I used my coupon, I asked if I could have another to use on an internet purchase. They gladly handed me a few more and told me to see which one had the highest discount. It never hurts to ask!
Gymboree will also mail out coupons. This is usually done at random, so watch your mailbox. Sometimes they will look at who has a Gymboree Visa card and mail to those people. You get a 5% discount when you use your Gymboree Visa. You can combine this discount with any coupons or Gymbucks you are using. Also, you get a 1% reward on all other purchases. It goes towards receiving a Gymboree gift card, which will be mailed to you when you hit at least $20. You probably charge at other stores as well, so think of all the gift cards you can accumulate. It is like getting free clothes. Gymboree will even offer bonuses for signing up for their Visa card. They have offered a $25 and a $50 bonus in the past. They will advertise this on their website, so check in and see if they have a special and then go to the store and sign up during the promotion.
Gymbucks are offered at different times during the year. I always take advantage of Gymboree Gymbuck time. When you spend $50, you get a coupon for $25 off a $50 purchase during the redemption time. You can use the coupon in the store or online. If you sign up at Gymboree.com, they will send you an email to remind you it is redemption time. I also write down my name and phone number when I am in the store and they call me and remind me it is redemption time.
I buy only clearance items when I am earning my Gymbucks. Then I also use a coupon and my Gymboree Visa card for even more savings, This can get tricky in the store as I have to ask the sales associate to use their calculator to figure my total before they complete the transaction incase I need to go back and grab a few more items. I do not want to be a few dollars short of earning my next Gymbuck. This is when it is best to shop online so that you can put in exactly the total you need to get to the next Gymbuck level.
When it is Gymbuck redemption time I often buy the newest lines and use my Gymbucks and my Gymboree Visa so that I am getting them at least 55% off. Some stores will let you combine other coupons as well - such as the Plum coupon - but many will not. If you buy the newest lines with Gymbucks, be sure to list them on eBay right away. Do not hold onto them! People will pay you close to retail on eBay as they know they are not yet on sale in the stores. If you do your research and buy the hottest pieces and sizes, you can make quite a bit of profit this way.
Most stores even allow you to come in and choose what you'd like to purchase with your Gymbucks up to 24 hours before the redemption period begins. They will keep these items for you and allow you to come in and purchase them later, when redemption begins. Doing this allows you to snatch up the best items before they are all picked over.