From reading comments in various forums and other reviews about Once Upon a Child, I am not alone in feeling this way. Our store is fairly new. When it first opened, the employees used to tell you, if you asked, how much they were giving you for each item. They no longer do this; rather, they give you the quote of how much they can give you for all items they accept. You can either accept it or reject it. But here's what I learned back then, and it seems true still today: they will sell the item for half its estimated retail price. They pay you a-third of that cost. So if a shirt retailed at $5, they will sell it for $2.50 and pay you 30% of that (a little more than .75 cents). It seemed for me that the basic breakdown was 60-cents for shirts (less for short sleeve) and 90-cents for pants (more if they are brand name, like Gap, OshKosh, Old Navy, etc).
To share a recent experience--a couple of days ago, I took in a box that contained several items, including a Tonka Rumblin truck that my son received as a gift but never played with. The items the store bought from me included a nice sweater vest, at least three long sleeve shirts (one Ralph Lauren), two sets of pajamas, a Bob the Builder fleece, a sweatshirt, a brand new Arizona zip-up hooded sweatshirt, and a pair of jean shorts. The total of what they offered? $13.75. I took it, because it was better than nothing. But when I got home, and realized just exactly how many items were in the box (and what they were), plus the brand new toy, and what they paid me for them, I just felt kind of ripped off.
Another common complaint you'll find online against Once Upon a Child is that the store will reject some items, saying they are stained or too worn. Yet, you can't find a stain on them, and they don't appear too worn. Nonetheless, when you shop the racks, you will find many stained and too worn clothes for sale. It doesn't make sense. Plus, once I asked the manager if she would take a small discount on a pair of Gap pants I was looking at for my son. They had obvious pink marker stains on the knee, but I was willing to try to see if I could get them out. The stained pants were marked $6.50. She wouldn't discount a penny. She said they were "Gap," and "someone will buy them." I didn't buy them. Later, an employee told me those should have never been on the floor.
So what is the conclusion of the matter?
- Choose your kids' clothing carefully and wear it out. At least you'll get your money's worth.
- Don't expect to make much money from your good-quality used clothing (unless you take the time to sell it online)
- If you know someone who can use your extra kid clothes, you'll probably feel better passing them on. Someone could not buy for $13.75 what was in the box I took in to Once Upon a Child. You could also donate them and take a tax deduction, if you itemize.
- If you still decide to sell them, realize you may not get much at all for them. If you are ok with that, then remember your decision was to earn a little cash, even if it's not as much as you would have preferred.