Finally, I’ve found a good solution for sensibly getting rid of brand-name clothing that your kids have outgrown. It seems like there should be a better solution than a thrift shop, and there is! I tried out Schoola recently. It’s an online store where you can donate gently used brand-name clothing, and the best part is: a percentage of the sales of your items go to benefit your local school! (or any school of choice that you nominate).
How it works in brief:
1. You donate your unwanted brand-name clothing to Schoola using one of their pre-printed shipping labels. You don’t pay a dime to ship. Your school (or one you nominate when you request your shipping label) is linked to your clothing items.
2. When someone purchases any of the items linked to your school, Schoola donates $2 to the school for every $5 spent. Wow!
Alternatively instead of donating, you can shop Schoola for gently used items and support schools that way. It’s a great way to build a brand-name wardrobe on a budget, knowing you are supporting schools all around the US. If you want to support a specific school by shopping, you can simply shop from that school’s items.
My experiences donating gently used clothing to Schoola
I recently tried out Schoola both from the donation side of things and from the shopping side as well. Today I’ll just be reviewing the donating experience, since I did that first (I’ll review the shopping in a separate article).
Here I’ll mention my experiences and then list some pros and cons.
1. I went to the Schoola home page, clicked that I wanted to donate, selected my school and printed off my shipping label in less than a minute with no mess and no fuss. They didn’t even ask me to sign up for an account or anything like that. Yay!
2. I then filled a box I had at home with my children’s good-quality, outgrown brand-name clothing. If you’re anything like me, I bet relatives have given your kids really good special-occasion clothing – which might only be worn once or twice before it’s outgrown.
TIP: I found the Schoola donor guide was helpful for knowing which items to put in. They ask you to only put in items which would normally retail at $30 and up, as lower-cost items can’t be sold for enough to offset the shipping. Also, only put items in that you will be comfortable parting with forever, because they don’t return any items to you, even if they can’t use them. In addition to children’s clothing, you can also donate women’s clothing.
3. I taped on the shipping label to the box, took it to my post office (Schoola says you can also leave it for your mail carrier), and it was all 100% free. Done, and done.
TIP: if you are privacy-conscious, I recommend using your nickname or your initials only as your first name when filling out your donation info. This is because Schoola then updated my school’s profile on their site to show I’d donated (see below). They didn’t use my last name, but I would still have been more comfortable to have been asked via a checkbox first.
- They make it very fast and easy to donate your gently used, good-quality clothing items.
- They don’t charge you for shipping – you print the label and you’re done.
- Guidelines are clear for what types of items to include.
- Besides children’s clothing, you can also donate women’s clothing and accessories.
- You would be pleasantly surprised how many schools are already on Schoola. Even in smaller cities like where I live, I wasn’t sure if our school would be listed, but it was! Even some preschools and daycares nearby were listed (I searched via zip code).
- If by chance your school wasn’t on Schoola, you could select a nearby other school to donate to benefit. This is why I like the zip code search. That way your clothing can still benefit your local community.
- If you don’t have convenient access to a printer, you can’t easily donate because you have to print out the shipping label somehow. With so much being 100% digital now, there are many households without a printer.
- You have to be ready to part with your items forever, as you’ll be taking on the risk that you might submit item(s) they may not be able to use.
- Takes a long time for your items to get processed at Schoola from the time you mail them.
- For some reason, the school finder only works perfectly with zip code, and not with typing in the name. Even if you type in the name correctly, it might not show you your school even though it will find others with a similar name. Rest assured though that with the zip code you can find your school if it’s on Schoola.
Schoola is a very worthwhile way to get rid of those gently used brand-name clothing items which your children have outgrown. Not only do you clear out closet space, but you are also helping support your child’s school. I had a very positive and smooth experience donating to Schoola and have listed the pros and cons above based on my experience. I definitely recommend this as a responsible and easy way of getting rid of gently used high-quality clothing.