By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – It seems like no sooner do you buy kid’s clothes, than they outgrow them. Ask any parent and they will tell you those trips to the mall add up.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Some Boston based entrepreneurs have come up with a way for parents to get what they need for a fraction of the cost.

Darlene Jarek of Lowell doesn’t mind spending time sorting thru a huge pile of slightly used and even new clothes she got for around $30.

“If you were to buy all of these separate, it would cost you at least a few hundred dollars easily, even off a clearance rack,” she observed as she kept folding outfits.

Darlene uses It’s a site dedicated to helping parents swap clothes conveniently. “You can do it from your house,” she added.

It’s important to remember the premise of Thred Up is swapping, not buying and selling. Parents need to go thru their kids old clothes and figure out what they can’t use anymore, and also figure out what they’re going to need.

Carly Fauth, a consulting Mom for Thred UP from Milford, showed us how you list clothes. First, you have to create a description of what you are trying to unload, including the gender and size range of the clothes.

“They would describe different details about the sweater, if had a zipper or buttons, that type of thing,” she explained.

Carly created a box from items her son no longer can wear. She packed a brand new pair of Elmo slippers, as well as other items suitable for a two year old boy.

Every thing has to fit into the UPS Home pick up box supplied by Thred Up. Listing the box is free.

Now let’s say you want to skip a trip to the mall and want to look for clothes. You can then browse boxes, again by gender, size and season, which were created by other people.

Remember Darlene’s clothes, some of which were never worn, that she got for about $30? They came from two boxes she found on the site.

“Everything that I have gotten has been impeccable,” said Darlene.

Carly admits you never know exactly what you are going to receive, but said, “It’s a little bit of a mystery, but that’s part of the fun. . .Sometimes people will send you brand new clothes so that’s when you feel that you got a steal.”

It’s important to note that you can’t just order clothes. At some point you have to contribute boxes too. It’s all about the swap.

Thred up also maintains this service helps the environment, by keeping old clothes out of landfills. On Earth Day (April 22nd), they will give parents who sign up a credit good towards one box of clothes.

Thred Up is now listing children’s toys as well.

Comments (6)
  1. alycia says:

    MY AUNT! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (darlene)

  2. aunty woofie says:

    woooooooooooooooooooooooooooof alycia

  3. Bob says:

    Great job expoosing the web site to new consumers. It will truely be beneficial.

  4. Ron says:

    A few years before I left rural NY I noticed a HUGE surge in this trend. Yard sales typically got good business if they advertised used video games and you’d always find people trying to sell off old clothes for all ages. Then the big thing became to offer kids clothing. Advertising baby clothes? You’d get swamped w/ buyers.

    Hand-me-downs have long been a tradition in my extended family. Siblings, cousins, aunts, etc., clothing was always changing hands, especially for children. A family get-together typically involved at least some amount of clothing being swapped/passed around.

    1. Ron says:

      Just reread that after posting and missed a detail re: yard sales. They were usually SUPER cheap. Parents were able to get baby clothing for pennies on the dollar as the sellers initially received them as gifts. So, not free like this swap, but still a HUGE savings for families.

  5. Siobain says:

    For truly FREE items I have used the site I have found so much beyond clothing!

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