Why I May Never Buy New Clothes Again: My Online Thrift Obsession
After that last post, I thought it would be a good change of direction to post something light-hearted. So, let’s talk shop. Shopping to be exact. THRIFT SHOPPING to be super specific! Have I mentioned that I’m OBSESSED with baby clothes?? And you know what, I don’t care if you judge!!! I’ve had several family/friends criticize me for the amount I spend on my son’s wardrobe but I am shameless about my obsession. Here’s the way I see it: I don’t plan on having any more kids so I need to cherish these days while I can. It won’t be long and he will be old enough to voice his opinion and it’s going to be, “Mom, I don’t want to wear a sweater vest. I want to wear sweatpants and Ninja Turtles shirts.” And I will let him. But for NOW, I am going to maximize my opportunity to dress him in little suspenders and bow-ties. I work hard to have a little extra spending money and if I want to spend it on baby clothes, then I’m going to… regardless of what anyone else thinks!
That being said…. Dude, baby clothes can be EXPENSIVE! I guess I also have expensive taste but… have you BEEN to Janie and Jack? Oh my gosh! Having a little boy, it is hard to find awe-worthy clothing. I can’t just go to Wal-Mart or Target and find him nice church clothes or special occasion outfits. Almost all of the options are either A. pajamas or B. emblazoned with a T-Rex riding a skateboard that is shooting flames. What? For my nieces, I can go to Target and find 47 outfits for any occasion. Not so for my son. Boy moms, I know you feel me on this! I really had to dig to find a few brands that carry a good selection for baby boys. My favorite is without a doubt Janie and Jack. I also really love Ralph Lauren, Oshkosh and Gymboree. To put it lightly, I spend more on his clothes than I do on mine. After my first shopping spree at Janie and Jack and Oshkosh, I knew I had to find a better way to buy his clothes.
Enter SCHOOLA! OMG SCHOOLA!!!!!! What is Schoola? Well, I’m glad you asked. It is basically an online thrift store, but it is SO much better than any thrift store I’ve ever seen. The way it works is, people from all over the country donate new/gently used clothing for adults and kids. In exchange for the donations, Schoola gives 40% of the sale price to the school of the donor’s choosing. Amazing right??? Schoola goes through the donations, selects the quality stuff, photographs it, and then offers it to you on their website for a fraction of the original price. What’s even better is that occasionally they offer discounts up to 60% off their already super-low prices. I am HOOKED. You can get $10 off your first purchase by clicking HERE!!
RUN, Don’t Walk!!!
Let me tell you… when they run their 60% off specials, you can’t get clothes for less at a yard sale. I have ordered from Schoola now three times and every time I have been so pleasantly surprised. It can be a little overwhelming if you’re new but I have tips for you! A lot of their stuff is crap, let’s just be honest. HOWEVER, if you’re willing to dig there are some real gems!!! Let me tell you how I got a ton of high-end merch for a steal. I have found everything from a leather Michael Kors bag for myself for $38 to a Polo Ralph Lauren jacket for the baby for $6!!!
If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of stuff offered on their website, don’t panic! I have become a PRO at finding the good stuff! The best way to go is to create a “collection.” which is very simple to do. Here’s how I did it: I went to their website on my laptop, because it is MUCH easier to navigate that way. Then, I started applying refinements. I added the sizes I was looking for, in this case 18 months up to 2T boys. This makes it so I can see the good holiday/spring things for Chase as they are added. Next, I applied refinements for the brands I wanted to see. I added all my favorites, Janie and Jack, Ralph Lauren, Oshkosh… they have it all! I even found a few boutique brands like Good Lad, Naartjie, and Hartstrings. I added EVERY brand that I was remotely interested in buying. The reason I did this is because if you don’t, your results will be flooded with things like Carter’s onesies and those Ninja Turtle shirts I can’t escape.
Once you’ve created your collection, it will look something like this. Excuse my typo, apparently you can’t edit a collection’s title once you’ve named it! >.<
Once I applied my refinements, I hit “Create Collection” and named it “Baby Chase’s Favorite Brands.” Now, not only am I left with only results that interest me, any time there are updates to my collection, Schoola will send me an email! Today I got an email letting me know that they are doing a new with tags Gymboree event! Which reminds me, I forgot to mention that periodically, they will receive donations from top companies of new with tag overstock items! I have seen Gymboree and ModCloth!!! Currently, they are doing a new with tags event of Athleta for women. While these items are not eligible for additional discounts, they are available at a fraction of the retail price. I mean, where else can you find a new with tags ModCloth dress for under $20??!? On my first Schoola order, I got Allen 2-3 new with tags Chaps dress shirts, which retail for over $50 each. I paid about $12/each. My husband is difficult to shop for, so this was a great deal!
My Latest Haul
Here’s the highlights of my most recently Schoola purchases: (keep in mind that I scored a 60% off $60+ coupon, which is still available if you hurry! Use code PICK60)
Allen – Express 1MX dress shirts 3 @ $4.80/each! (these retail for $60+)
Under Armour logo tee – $4.20
Nike Basketball pants – $9
Myself – Leather Michael Kors Hobo bag – $38 – Retail $398 (I’m NOT KIDDING! I’ll post photos of it when it comes in!) **The cheapest I could find this anywhere else was used on Poshmark for $150!)
Lucky brand cords $4.8 – retail over $119
Patagonia ¼ zip fleece – $9!!!! Retail $99
Marmot fleece vest – $8.4 – retail $80
Here’s the real show stealer though, the things I bought for the baby!
Polo Ralph Lauren Oxford dress-shirts – 2 @ 4.80/each – retail nearly $50/each
Polo Ralph Lauren ¼ zip sweater – 6.40 retail $50
Stride Rite boots – $4 retail $49 (these look BRAND NEW! I don’t think they’ve ever been worn)
Smartfit patent oxford shoes – $ 7 retail $19.99 (not the best deal but these are new with tags!)
Under Armour athletic pants – $4.80 retail $32.99
Here’s a few screen shots of my goodies
I couldn’t help myself.
I placed two orders…
While the things I bought are mostly previously owned, I’ve NEVER gotten something from Schoola that didn’t look GREAT! I’m usually surprised that the items have ever been worn. They always look mint. I even once ordered something that they considered to be in “blemished” condition, and I couldn’t find the blemish to which they referred. Really! The blemished items are clearly labeled as such, so there’s no anxiety on your end and I’m pretty sure they offer a guarantee. Here’s the best part: my kid wore the “blemished” Ralph Lauren jacket I got him, and once he outgrew it, I resold it on eBay for THREE TIMES what I’d paid for it!!!
When I placed my order, while I spent nearly $200, their little blurb said I was saving over $1,200 off retail price. WOW! Keep in mind I got Lucky Brand pants, a Michael Kors bag, a Patagonia fleece, SIX dress shirts for my husband and loads of baby clothes! Any one of those purchases would’ve have cost me at LEAST $100! LOL. As I lose weight, Schoola has been essential to updating my wardrobe in smaller sizes without going broke. I also plan on buying MOST of the baby’s clothes this way because he is at the age where he’s getting stains on EVERYTHING so I don’t see any point in putting him in anything that is 1. In pristine condition or 2. More than $20!
Here’s one of the best things about Schoola– while I did make two large purchases and spent roughly $175 on a fall wardrobe for my entire family, my purchases also sent over $50 to help fund schools across the country. I feel like this is a win-win for everyone! I get super-cheap, high-end clothing and the people who donated those clothes get money sent to their local schools!!!!
SO! RUN, HURRY, GO NOW!!! I have a $10 off code for you!!!!! Follow this link for $10 of FREE STUFF and start shopping! Just a disclosure that while this is an affiliate link and if you make a purchase, and I will receive a small credit in my Schoola account (at no additional cost to you) – we will BOTH feel good knowing that we’re getting great deals and somewhere in the US kids are getting money for their school!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you didn’t already know about Schoola, I hope you learned something useful that will save your family money. If you DID know about Schoola– HEY WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME SOONER?!?!?!?????!!!!!! Do you know of any other awesome ways to score deals on dressing your family? Please share them with me by commenting below! I love finding new obsessions.
I hope you have a beautiful and blessed day!