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Boston-Based Web Site Offers Kids Clothing Swap

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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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 http://www.thredup.com. 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.

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