parents cut back on spending on kids because of inflation

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – When money is tight and parents sit down to work out a budget, usually the last thing to get cut is money spent on the kids. However, children’s secondhand stores are seeing a notable increase in business, and many say budgets that are stretched too thin because of inflation are the reason why.

Children’s clothing thrift stores are seeing lots of growth in new customers. According to the resale platform Mercari, 62% of parents bought secondhand items for their children in the past year. 25% of those purchases were motivated by inflation.

Once Upon a Child buys and sells gently used children’s clothes, toys and other baby products. They say they’ve seen an increase in new customers looking for ways to make their dollars stretch even further.

“I think it’s definitely an effect of the economy. We’re at a point where we’re just looking for ways to make some extra cash, to make up the difference for the big increase in our grocery bills, and at the gas pump. So, I think people are definitely more motivated to go through their kids’ stuff and bring it in and sell it to make some extra money right now,” said Tricia Arenz, owner of Once Upon a Child.

While some parents might be new to the idea of buying second-hand clothes for their children, mother of two Katie McClintock says she’s shopped used clothing for her kids for a while but has started visiting more often.

“I do come here more. I’ve always come here, I do like the store, but it’s really been helpful with inflation,” said McClintock.

Arenz says they’ve also seen an increase in parents coming into the store to sell clothes for extra cash. She says they have a trade program where parents can walk out with new purchases and not spend a dime.

“Whatever we’re paying you for what you sell, you just apply that to what your child is wearing now, what size they need now. Who wouldn’t love that? You leave with things you didn’t have before and you really didn’t spend any money or spent very little,” said Arenz.

As the economy continues to work through 40-year highs in inflation, some parents might find thrifting an easy way to let go of some unused clothes and make some space in their family budget. To really stack up the savings, Once Upon a Child also has a rewards program members can use towards future purchases.