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Trash to Cash: Kids' Stuff


03/03/16
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 Anyone who has kids knows how quickly they grow out of, well, everything, including clothes and toys. 

 
Is it worth anything? First, you can’t sell car seats. It's illegal because of safety reasons, so you may as well forget about it. But most things can be resold if you go to the right place, as long as they're clean and in good condition. Never underestimate the value of a washing machine or Fantastic cleaning product. If it’s spent too much time in a basement or garage, it might be too late.
“The biggest mistake people make is storing [things] in a garage or basement. You get that mildew smell, or actual mildew, and those now aren’t re-sellable,” said Vicky Ready, owner of Children’s Orchard in Newington. 
 
How to sell it: Check what a consignment place takes before you go. Karen Goddard, owner of Mother & Child in Amherst, doesn’t accept pieces with high liability, like cribs and, of course, car seats.
“There are so many rules with Consumer Product Safety Commission, it makes it impossible or really difficult to re-sell cribs and car seats,” Goddard said.
The Children’s Orchard does take things like cribs, strollers, walkers, bassinets — still not car seats — but these pieces need to pass a recall inspection. Ready said children’s equipment must have brand and product number information visible for employees to look up and see if it’s still safe. Or you can check at cpsc.gov or wemakeitsafer.com.
 
How to donate it: If you don’t want to invest the time in re-selling, there’s always Freecycle. Post your things online and have someone else come pick them up. Or donate them to another family or friend with kids. Professional organizer Lorraine Falcone suggested looking up mothers’ groups or dropping items off at a day care. 
“For those beanie babies or stuffed animals — donate them to your local fire or police department,” Falcone said. 
Cops and firefighters often give those mementos to kids during emergency situations to comfort them.





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