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What are your thoughts on selling hand-me-downs?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I've been blessed to have some generous friends share their hand-me-downs with me and my children over the years. I've got a pretty hard rule for myself that I always return the favor (or pay it forward) and pass down my things to those who can use them.  I have NEVER sold anything that was given to me as a hand-me-down.  


I recently learned that someone with whom I shared a stash of diapers with sold them for a pretty decent sum of money. I gave the diapers to my friend without the expectation of getting them back. I shouldn't care what she does with them once I've given them to her but it does make me feel miffed knowing that she profited from the items I gave her. 


I've been thinking hard about this for a few days. I know that I would never sell a hand-me-down. If I thought that an item still had monetary value I would return it to the original owner.   I also realize that by passing an item along I am relinquishing ownership and can't really dictate what the new owner does with it. I wouldn't be upset if she sold something I had given her that was brand new, so why am I upset that she sold something I gave to her used?


I don't know....I don't want to be upset or annoyed at my friend...but I kind of am...I just need to talk it out.


What do you guys think?

post #2 of 30
I don't sell stuff in general once I'm through with it -- I donate pretty much everything. With hand me downs, I ask right when the person gives it to me if they'd like it back when I'm through, and if they say no I donate it along with my own donations when I'm through with it.

Since I don't sell stuff, I don't think I'd be annoyed if a friend were to sell hand me downs I gave her when she was through with them. I wouldn't have been expecting to profit from it anyway, and when I tell friends to pass my stuff along once they're done, it's because I don't want the hassle of finding a home for the item again. So I wouldn't care if they donated it or sold it, as long as I didn't have to mess with it again.

That said, I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be mildly surprised to discover that your friend sold your hand-me-downs. It sounds, though, like you have the right idea, realizing that she didn't really do anything wrong.
post #3 of 30
I had the exact same thing happen to me years ago, and it bugged me. And I'm not sure why because while I've been comfortable just passing things along, I really don't know how her finances were and if she really needed the money.

For me, I really like just letting things flow and trusting that if I freely let go of what I no longer need, my family will
get that energy back in a form that is more useable to us. It bugged me that she didn't feel the same. So I let it go.

But that was years ago and I haven't forgotten it , which isn't a good sign!
post #4 of 30
That has happened to me too and it bugs me...i dont think it is okay at all. I would not give her anything in he future. We have been given many handmedowns and always always regive them, never sell.
post #5 of 30

My tendency is to want to regift or donate anything given to me. But money is really tight so I will sell things to help make ends meet. If someone were to gift me clothes for ds but he really needed new shoes, I would sell the clothes to buy shoes.

post #6 of 30

You know, if someone posted that a friend who was fine financially had passed along used things to her,saying that she didn't want them back, and the poster who was given the things had used them but now wanted to sell them to buy something else her child needed, most of us would think it was OK.


Wouldn't we?

post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

You know, if someone posted that a friend who was fine financially had passed along used things to her,saying that she didn't want them back, and the poster who was given the things had used them but now wanted to sell them to buy something else her child needed, most of us would think it was OK.


Wouldn't we?

 Yes, absolutely.   And if someone asked me if I wanted stuff back or if they'd mind if I sold it I'd tell them to do whatever they wanted, it belonged to them now.


I guess that's why I need to talk this out because I KNOW I shouldn't be annoyed. I don't even understand WHY I'm annoyed.  

post #8 of 30
Originally Posted by momasana View Post
 I KNOW I shouldn't be annoyed. I don't even understand WHY I'm annoyed.  

I know. I'd feel annoyed if someone sold stuff I gave them and bought something I deemed frivolous. But how judgmental of me! Maybe manicures are really fulfilling to other people in a way I'll never understand. Maybe they are like a beautifully glazed, well thrown mug is to me. Except temporary. And useless. duck.gif

post #9 of 30

In general, my family wears clothes down to where they're not fit for donation or sale. We have donated a fair bit of infant/toddler clothing, though - nature of baby clothes, I guess. I've only ever directly handed down a very few things, because of where my kids fit into my circle of friends and family. Some of ds1's stuff went to my oldest nephew, but that's about it.


I don't sell things much, but it's mostly because I don't want to be bothered with the hassle. I can just dump things in a donation bin, and they're gone. If I did sell stuff, I'd probably sell hand me downs without even thinking about it. (I won't take things that someone wants back, as I worry too much about keeping them in good shape.) I appreciate the hand me downs, but once I have clothes for the kids, I don't really think about whether I bought them, someone else bought them, or they were hand me downs. They're just part of the stock.


I don't know how I'd feel if someone sold something I'd handed down to them, but I don't think it would bother me. OTOH, the details may count. Did she sell the diapers right after you gave them to her, or did she use them first? Things like that make a difference, imo.

post #10 of 30
This is how I see it......I give mom stuff away rather than sell not because im well off, but because i want to support the parenting community culture that I have been richly blessed by. When I give I am assuming the recipient values that culture too.

Therefore, if you are a person who prefers to sell stuff, I would prefer you decline the free things I offer you, or offer to pay me a small amount if you plan on selling them later.

That said, I usually give to friends in a similar financial place as myself. If I gave to someone who was destitute I would probably understand if they used then resold the items to buy much-needed things for their child.

I guess now I know how to communicate better to prevent hurt feelings in the future! smile.gif

I did once see a nasty tearfilled fight at a mom to mom sale because a shopper mom caught a seller mom selling a bunch of stuff the first mom had given her and confronted her loudly. So embarrasing....i would not want to be on the recieving end of that!
post #11 of 30

I too find it slightly "off" for no good reason I can articulate.


I kinda admire anyone who has the oomph to sell used clothes, though. Part of the reason I donate - even good stuff that I could get a few dollars for - is that the thought of hunting up the camera, listing the clothes, putting them online, dealing with the pickup and so on gives me a cold sweat. Who can be bothered? (A lot of people, I guess - SIL buys nearly all her clothes online, second-hand. But not me.)


Round our circle of friends, clothes go round and round. I see kids at church wearing stuff DD used to wear... sometimes stuff I used to wear. It's neat. Selling them interrupts that cycle. Maybe that's why it bugs me.


Also, I make most of my kids' clothes now. I haven't yet dealt with the lending issue, but I'd probably only lend them if I thought I'd likely get them back in reasonable condition, and I would certainly stipulate (if I thought it was necessary) that the borrower not sell them. A lot of love and effort went into those things!

post #12 of 30

It wouldn't bother me, but very little ever bothers me :)  If I give something away I no longer care what happens to it.  If I were to loan something I expected back I would care if they sold it.  

post #13 of 30
I would probably be annoyed too, most likely because I'd be sorry I was too lazy to sell them myself. wink1.gif
post #14 of 30

I wouldn't be bothered at all. I gave it away, it is theirs to do what they want with it.

post #15 of 30

interesting discussion .... i get the point & was right in the middle of this type of dilemna ....


our neightbor in the flat on the same landing moved away about 3 months ago, they were pushed for time & we ended up un-expectedly helping them (DD1 and DS and I) up and down the 3 flight of stairs on about 20 trips each carrying small stuff to their car for about 1H30 minutes or so ...

& also lent them a ladder, let them plug their vaccum cleaner in our flat with an extention cord when the electricity company cut out their supply too early (they asked to be connected at the new place NOT to be cut out  since they had wanted an overlap but were cut out at the same time), that sort of thing (we were used to ask or give an egg, some chocolate or flour when one of us was out of stock, or bake for each other ....)


now, they didn't want to move their one year old dryier which they had kept on their balcony & insisted on giving it to me as a "thank you"

i don't have much space indoor for a dryier, am used to my folding clothes drier, was sure my DH would not have the skill-time-willingness to alter the french door to get an electric cable out etc .......

it was all last minute and rushed so i said yes to the dryer and 2 other items (one of them i gave away later)

.... but i advertised on a local expat difusion list & sold the drier for 50 euros the next week end

AND NOW, am embarassed in case i meet up with my neighbor again (she sometimes comes shopping in our neighborhood supermarket ....) ... what if she asks me if the drier is working all right ?????

maybe i should give her 25 euros ?

Edited by IsaFrench - 6/27/13 at 6:44am
post #16 of 30
Nah, that's fine. You can just say dh didn't want to install it so you found it a new home. Dealing with bulky things for people moving under a time crunch is doing them a favor.
post #17 of 30

thanks for the idea, i didn't think of that

"DH didn't want to install it"

(it's true he wouldn't have done it ... though i didn't even ask him to !!!)

i'll feel more peaceful now, thanks again !

post #18 of 30
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I too find it slightly "off" for no good reason I can articulate.



Me too.  I gave a great deal of high value things to a mother I know only casually.  She is several years younger than me and her kids are younger than our son so it really worked out that when our son outgrew his carseats, winter boots, coats, Keens, etc., hers were ready for them.  I later learned she profited nicely from yard selling them immediately. The items bypassed the intended users, her children. 


I gave them with no strings attached and rationally, I know that she was 100% free to do with the items whatever she wished but it bothered me anyway.  Had I known ahead of time, I would have given the items to a local women and children's aid association.  She has hinted several times over the past two years about be open to more hand me downs but I let it slide without comment.


Lesson learned.  When I pass things on now, I say straight out "if you aren't going to use it, don't take it because I can give it to XYZ organization that is always in need." 

post #19 of 30
I think there's a defiance of intention when people sell stuff you give them. Having been your kid's stuff, it kind of gets personal. Seeing a friend use the stuff kind if extends the "life" that the stuff has in your memory. When the recipient sells the stuff, they ignore the personal nature of the gift and the fact that you specifically thought they would like it and be glad to use it. I know I often pass stuff down that I WOULD otherwise sell myself. If has value to me, and that value is honored by my friend's use of it. That's my take on it, anyway.
post #20 of 30
I think it's reasonable for both parties to set up expectations before an exchange occurs. For example, I always ask the giver if they want the item(s) back before accepting hand-me-downs, and if they say yes, I'll usually pass. If it's something large and obvious like a baby swing I'll accept it, knowing that I can remember who gave it to me and that I can probably take reasonably good care of it while it's in my possession. But clothing? Unless it's a snowsuit or something unusual like that, there's just no way that I want to deal with worrying about ruining those particular clothing items and remembering who gave them to us.

The flip side of that would be for the giver to make sure that the items will be used by the family they're being given to, which I think is okay. I do think selling something immediately, before using it for your kids, crosses the line. But ... I don't know, to say, "So I don't want this back, and I'm glad you're using it for your kids. But in 2+ years, when your kid is done with it, is there a likelihood that you might sell it along with all the other baby stuff you're getting rid of? Because if so then I'm not giving it to you" seems a bit much. Again, it's asking the recipient to keep track of it and treat it specially, just as if you were asking for it back. Once it becomes enmeshed with all their stuff, it's theirs, and they should be able to pass it along in whatever manner they do with all their other stuff.
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