If you’re a small business wondering if it’s worth your while to participate in Facebook/Blog/Rafflecopter giveaways, the answer is YES. Why? Because that’s just what Catherine of Surrey, BC-based Flipsize.ca did this summer, and that’s how she gained my business, my referrals and this unsolicited blog post!*
I’m obsessed with thrift shopping and bargain hunting in general. I recently wrote about 4 ways to use your kids’ unwanted clothing like cash. Most of the time I try to get my hands on things we want and need not only cheaper than retail, but ideally second-hand. I love to buy second-hand because I know I’m contributing to the local economy (and often to charity in the case of many thrift shops) and am reducing my environmental impact. Through participating in many Facebook parenting groups, I’ve noticed that many families really only have access to big box stores in their areas, meaning that even if they wanted to save money buying used or get some money back by consigning their kids’ clothing, they don’t have many options beyond Craigslist and Walmart. Enter Catherine and her WAHM business, Flipsize.ca: an online second-hand children’s clothing store that offers you gift cards, cash or credit in exchange for your littles’ gently loved apparel and re-homes your bug’s wardrobe at a fair price!
“Flipping” (selling) to Flipsize: One dollar = 20 points, and you are paid 30-50 points per item, depending on size and brand. This is on par with what I experienced at Once Upon a Child, and certainly more than you’d get selling piece-by-piece at a garage sale! (I know, I’ve tried!)
I have not yet sent a bag of clothing to Flipsize because I’ve been lending out all of Cub’s things to his smaller buddies. If it’s time to clean our your brood’s closets, you can request a (free) pre-paid mailing bag and send your gently-used items to Flipsize. The process and the list of accepted items is available on their website. If you’ve ever been to a Once Upon a Child franchise or to a locally-owned consignment store, it’s a pretty similar process, except you are paid in points. These points can be turned into cash (via PayPal), used in the store or even traded for gift cards to places like Amazon.ca.
Buying from Flipsize: Flipsize carries clothing and shoes from newborn all the way to kids size 12. Everything up for sale has been carefully inspected, so there will be no surprise stains or wear and tear on the items you purchased. (At a recent swap I forgot to check the zippers on one of the items I brought home and it was broken… no chance of that at Flipsize!) I purchased one Gymboree t-shirt for under $1 (thanks to her Boxing Day sale) that was pilly, but this was disclosed in the item description. If there’s one challenge about shopping at Flipsize, it’s that children’s brands (like adults’) cannot seem to get their sizing right! For my 16-month-old Cub, I check the 18 months, 24 months, 2T and 3T sections because I know, depending on the brand, he fits into any of those sizes! (Just for future reference, H&M sizes huge and Gymboree super small.)
Catherine offers free shipping on orders over $60, or a flat-rate of $9.99. I know we can all get our panties in a twist about shipping fees when online shopping, but since running my own online business, I now have an acute understanding of how much Canada Post charges for parcels. Just keep in mind that if you are paying $10 to have your items mailed to you, the business is normally covering at least a few dollars more (if not $5-$10 more) to get it to you even with CP’s lowest rates.
Tips if you plan to Flip:
If you plan on sending your kids’ clothing to Flipsize, obviously you need to limit the wear and tear on items. As children get older, this does get more challenging, and I am not suggesting you send your kids off to school every day warning them not to wreck their clothes! That being said, if you take care with stains (oxygen bleach and Buncha Farmers work wonders!), don’t cut off the garment tags (labelling on the tags like we do for school or day care is fine) and buy desirable brands (Gymboree and Ralph Lauren, for example), you can count on flipping a few things when your offspring have a growth spurt!
Are you local to Flipsize.ca? (in Surrey, BC)
– You get bonus points for dropping of your bags of clothes;
– You can save on shipping by picking up your order!
About Catherine @ Flipsize.ca: A seasoned small-business owner, Catherine loved the US-based Flipsize.com model and knew she could make it work north of the 49th. She is Mom to five: her oldest is 8 and has autism, her second son is 6, third son is 3, fourth son is 20 months and her little girl 8 months. She is an adoptive and a foster mother.
*Note that since planning this blog post I have become a Flipsize affiliate, so the links are “affiliate” links. However, I received no direct compensation for this post.