FAQ: Selling my Gently Used Clothing for Store Credit
Drop in Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 2-5 pm
One Brown Paper Grocery Bag per week
We get many calls each week asking if we buy children's clothing and it's just not practical to read you all of the guidelines on the phone, so THANK YOU for coming here! We buy for store credit only. We buy gently-used children's clothing for babies to size 10 and children's shoes for 12 months to size 3Y if it is free of stains, not too worn, in season, and fits our style. We are usually looking for boys size 2+ and girls size 3+. Because we get SO many questions about this process, here are some detailed instructions to hopefully clarify the process for you.
“Dear customers, the following may seem like a lot of persnickety little rules, but I assure you I can write an essay on the reasoning behind each one. You would be amazed at the volume of clothes that come through our shop from dear customers such as yourself, and we are limited by space, time and our human selves being only able to do so much at once. You and your bag of clothes are one among the 30-40 we are assessing each week. Thank you for your understanding and patience. —Mae”
1) SORT through the clothes your little darling has grown out of or just can't use. Put aside any pieces which are stained or showing wear (fading, holes) to pass on to friends or donate. Set aside out-of-season items; we only buy IN-SEASON which I say think of what you're dressing your kid in now or within the next month. For example, if it's wintery outside, bring wintery clothes. Or, if you're wearing short sleeves most days lately, I probably don't want your kid's long sleeved tops. Lastly, it's very possible that if you didn't like it enough to put it on your kid, neither will we.
2) CHOOSE the best styles, i.e. styles you think Ruby's Garden would sell, and narrow it down to one (yes one) brown paper grocery bag (YES this includes shoes, NO not one IKEA bag, not one plastic bin, not one garbage bag, thank you!). ONE BAG ONLY ONE BAG ONLY ONE BAG ONLY ONE BAG ONLY.
3) WASH everything before bringing them in to sell. We are more inclined to buy a cute boy jean that does not have cereal in the pockets and does not smell like the basement/garage/trunk of your car. Same with a good looking pair of sneakers that is not full of sand or dirt caked in the treads (true stories!).
4) DROP IN during buying hours Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 2-5pm. It's first come, first serve starting at 2:00 (not 1:00, 1:55, etc.). If you can't make any of those times, we can make an appointment for you for the following week.
**PRO TIP: Don't come at 2pm if you want to get in and get out. That's when everyone comes. It's ok, go get your kids and bring them at 3:30 or 4:00. **“Please note, there are occasions, such as illness or a parenting emergency, when the buyer just cannot be in during buying hours. If it is essential to your happiness that the buyer is in that day, why not give us a call ahead of time to make sure?”
5) BROWSE our shop while our buyer looks through your bag while you wait. We will record the value of your store credit and let you know when we are finished, and return any pieces we were not able to buy.We can no longer take same-day drop-offs as too many end up not coming back to pick up their returns and we do not have the room to store those bags.”
6) SPEND any store credit issued you. I call this the Mommy (or Caregiver) Paycheck: we're paying you in store credit for choosing good styles, keeping them in good shape, and taking the time to bring it in to sell. This credit is good toward all store purchases; any unspent value will remain valid on your file card as long as we are in business.
7) TAKE with you any pieces we do not buy. If you don't have a friend to give them to, we suggest donating them to the nearby parent resource center Bananas just around the corner on Claremont Ave. Other places to sell nearby include:
Child's Play (Rockridge)
Silver Moon (Lakeshore)
Grove Street Kids (N. Berkeley)
Chloe's Closet (Solano)
Lauren's Closet (Alameda)
“We are grateful for the excellent pieces you all bring us and we hope it is a win-win for you to have some store credit to spend on new clothing your child will love or on birthday gifts for your friends. Thanks for your business.”