The Phrase “Upscale Resale” Makes Me Want to Gag

thrift store bragging

Everyone knows that I buy almost all my kids’ clothing used. The exceptions are underwear, socks, and sometimes jammies – but only because those are hard to find. I actually think it is kind of stupid to buy new clothes for kids (sorry), unless you can’t find what you need or it’s a special occasion. Like Easter- isn’t it good luck to have new clothes in Easter or something? Most of the time, kids outgrow clothes before they get all used up and pilled anyway, so it’s super easy to find good stuff.

Plus, I’m a little spoiled because people take pity on families with three boys in diapers and often donate bags of clothes. I consider that to be extremely generous, because they could have sold those clothes for money. It’s as if they donated money to my family.

When I was on bedrest and my 2-year-old was outgrowing his clothes, I panicked when I realized I couldn’t go to the thrift store like usual to get the next set. I was worried that I would have to buy all new clothes online or something. (Unless Mr. Okayest were to make a trip to the thrift store to pick out a season’s worth of toddler clothes, which he would be perfectly capable of doing, but somehow I just didn’t see that in his job description…) That’s when my friend Jen told me about something called online consignment. Holy cow, I had hit the jackpot. I didn’t even know something like that existed. You could buy used clothes online? Without using ebay? Sweeeeeeet.

I quickly realized that most of the online consignment places billed themselves as “Upscale Resale.” Gag! At the risk of quoting that awful John Stossel, give me a break. “Upscale Resale” seems to be infiltrating this market. The phrase “Upscale Resale” must have been invented by someone who was too embarrassed to shop at the thrift store. Most of these online shops bragged about their “flaw free” clothes, “zero imperfections”, and, of course, the Holy Grail of Nothing, “name brand children’s clothing.”

As a crazy mom of three children three and under, may I just say that I am super proud of myself if they are dressed at all?! Do you think I care if my kids’ clothes are “flaw free” and made by J.Crew? Do you think that “upscale resale” matters to me when there is always puke, pee, peas, or poop on every article of clothing at all times? An outfit lasts maybe an hour in this house.  Twins quadruple (not double!) the mess, because not only do I have two babies who make themselves dirty, but I also have two babies who smear mess on each other.

Or maybe I don’t care about name brand and “flaw free” because I was a teenager in the 90s, when girls could stay covered up in oversized thrift store flannel. That’s a blog post for another day.

And the prices? Well, if the Upscale Resale used shirt is $7.99 and shipping is at least $2.99, and I can get a similar shirt NEW at Target for $5, or used at the thrift store for $2, what is the better option here? Duh.

I have taken advantage of the online consignment to sell overflow and/or outgrown clothing, because they just mail you a prepaid mailer bag. You can stuff it and schedule a mail pickup, and it’s easy enough for even a mom like me to handle. However, most places don’t accept Wal-mart brands or even Target brands! When did used clothing become snobby?! Someday when my kids are in school and I am free to watch Teen Mom all day long, maybe I can sell the clothes myself at a proper consignment sale – where they accept regular old kids’ clothes. (Or, probably more appropriately, pass them on to another mom who is as overwhelmed as I am.)

Give me a real thrift store any day. I’ll take the clothes that smell like a stranger’s B.O. and have a few flaws. I’ll take Wal-mart brand. I’ll take the kind of clothes that need baking soda or vinegar and a couple heavy-duty washes to get the stink out. Downscale Resale for this family.  Hey, at least my kids are dressed, okay?


12 thoughts on “The Phrase “Upscale Resale” Makes Me Want to Gag

  1. A-FREAKIN’-MEN!! We buy used for our 3 girls as well. They don’t know any better if it is name brand so why waste the money now when they will bleed us dry when they are teenagers wanting the name brand crap.


  2. I buy new clothes. I went the eBay route of nice used stuff for Hudson, but once he got old enough to start being hard on things *AND* he had brother(s) to hand it all down to, I started waiting for sales and coupons and buying new. Gymboree stuff lasts forever. They are always introducing new lines and putting the last ones on deep discount. Add coupon codes. Gymboree quality, Walmart prices. And then when you do that, you get Gymbucks, which give you 50% off of new, full-priced lines during a certain time period. That’s how I get all of their holiday outfits. Occasionally I’ll buy something new for Cannon and Keaton, just because they’re always stuck with hand-me-downs. I didn’t get new stuff as a kid unless I bought it myself, and I have a soft spot for that issue. The great thing is that even after going through my three boys, I can pass it all along looking great. Somebody has to buy the new stuff. Might as well be me. 🙂


  3. Angela has outfitted our boys in name brand (Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, etc), practically brand new baby, toddler and now first grade level clothes for pennies on the dollar by going the thrift store route. There’s a goodwill just down the street from the most exclusive neighborhoods in the Las Vegas metro area, and the place is a veritable gold mine! We’ve given some of these clothes to friends with new babies, only to find that one of these Mom’s was reselling those clothes online. No more freebies for her!


    • Yeah, I do try to be really careful of that. If someone donates clothes to me, I mark those tags and then pass them on to another mom (if she doesn’t want them back). I try to resell only the ones that I bought at the thrift store.


  4. You’re still awesome. I started out snobby first when #1 was born. Five and a half years later I am like “Whatever.” The search for something “new” (ish) in the next size up is never ending. P.S. I have to vacuum the playground sand out of the beds every morning, so you can imagine my chagrin when I see what they did to the “new” (ish) Tommy Hilfiger crap… So whatever. Too true.


  5. I agree, who needs upscale for kids that have no clue and as you said are lucky to be dressed somedays. My sister didn’t want hand-me-downs for her kids because we had no choice growing up in a large family. Me on the other hand loves thrift stores and what others give me, I’m not picky and a little elbow grease can sometimes work wonders on what other people don’t want or need any more.


  6. Hmm. Nice, thought provoking article. It seems to me that your piece of heaven, used clothing, has been infiltrated by the most aggravating aspect of our society. People who must make everything a trendy, elitist, status symbol. They grind my gears.


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