Turn your kids' old school uniform into cash with these 6 easy options

Our money expert explains how you can get money in return for old school uniform, from Shwopping to Uniformerly

Group of kids in school uniform with backpacks on walking towards the camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how to make money from old school uniform could help to boost your bank balance at a time when family budgets remain tight.

Now that the school year is over, most parents will be looking for ways to help make ends meet this summer. Selling any outgrown school uniform is one way to help you make extra money and this could be put towards the cost of days out or even some essential back-to-school buys. An added bonus is that you could be helping others at the same time.

Goodto.com’s Money Editor, Sarah Handley, says: “Financial pressure from the cost of living crisis means that finding ways to make some extra cash is essential right now. If your child has outgrown their school uniform or they are changing schools in September, it can pay to look for ways to make money from any unwanted items.”

Here are six different options to consider.

1. Use the M&S Shwop scheme   

Set up in 2008, the M&S Shwop scheme works in partnership with charity Oxfam. Although you don’t sell school uniform through the scheme, parents and guardians can donate preloved items in exchange for a discount on M&S clothes.

All you need to do is pop any unwanted school uniform in the Shwop box in the kidswear department at selected M&S stores and scan the QR code on the Shwop box to receive a 20% discount on kids’ daywear. You can then shop with M&S via the app or online, or you can scan your M&S Sparks card in store and the discount will be applied. If you have non-school uniform items to donate, you can use this scheme to get free Percy Pigs, too.

Director of Exam Papers Plus, Faisal Nasim, told us: “The clothes are then made available to other families via Oxfam shops or eBay. It's a win-win. You clear out some wardrobe space, and another child gets a perfectly usable uniform, not to mention the proceeds going to support Oxfam's charitable work.”

Alternatively, you can donate school uniform to an Oxfam store and you’ll receive a £5 M&S voucher if your donation includes an item of M&S clothing. If the items can’t be sold, they’ll be recycled where possible. 

 2. Sell on Uniformerly 

Register on marketplace Uniformerly and you can sell outgrown school uniform to other parents at your children’s school. Simply list the items you want to sell, add a brief description and photos, and then select the price. You’re likely to have more luck selling items if you set lower prices, say between 50p and £3 an item.

Taryn Elisa, who runs money saving website Saving in London, says: “Parents can benefit by earning some quick cash, and the amount of clothes heading to landfill is reduced. Also, there are no fees for selling on the website, so parents can keep hold of their profits.”

You can get paid by PayPal Friends or arrange for the buyer to pay cash in hand. Alternatively, you could arrange to swap items instead. 

three school children in school corridor and wearing school uniform

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 3. Sign up to Old School Uniform 

Oldschooluniform.co.uk is another preloved uniform website that lets parents sell unwanted school uniform with no fees. Simply sign up and add a listing for the items you want to sell, including photos. You can list as many items as you like for any of the schools you have added to your account. You can then take payment through PayPal or in cash. 

When we looked on the site, we found uniform listings from £1 all the way up to £400!

To take the best pictures, hang items up, in front of a plain background and in good lighting.

 4. Sell on Vinted 

Vinted has become increasingly popular over the last few years and enables you to sell second-hand clothes with ease. Simply sign up and list the school uniform you want to sell - not forgetting to include lots of photos. Items tend to sell for around £1 to £3 a piece, but you can also choose to sell in bundles. 

Once someone has bought an item, you’ll be sent a shipping label via email and you can package up the item and post it. The buyer pays for postage. When the item has been received and the buyer says everything is ok, the money will be sent to your Vinted account where you can leave it, or you can transfer it to your bank account. 

 5. Sign up to Cress 

Newly launched marketplace Cress enables parents to sell a range of kids’ clothes, including school uniform. It works in a similar way to Vinted, but Cress takes 20% of your sale, which includes payment processor fees. 

To sell your old uniform, you’ll need to register and then list your items and choose a price. Once sold, you’ll need to package up the items and print out the shipping label that will be emailed to you, or you can find it in your inbox in your account. Like Vinted, the buyer pays for postage.

However, unlike Vinted, Cress offers a Golden Service option which takes the effort out of listing different items for sale, as co-founder of Cress, Carl Morris, explains: “Our ‘Golden Service’ option enables busy parents to send a bag of pre-loved clothes to Cress - and we will do the rest (ironing, photographing, uploading, selling and posting items on their behalf).

“We’re particularly keen to receive school uniform and sports kit from parents in the coming months and hope to support families across the UK at a time when they need the most. 

“It doesn’t matter if parents don’t have enough uniform to fill a full bag, as we accept all items of children’s clothing (and an estimated £183m of kids’ clothing is sitting in the back of UK wardrobes), but just one bin bag of unwanted clothing could reach £500 - and that will go a long way towards uniform for the new school year.” 

Just keep in mind that Cress will take 40% of the sale if you use the Golden Service.

short sleeve school shirts in white and blue hanging on hangers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 6. Go on Facebook Marketplace 

You could also sell old school uniform on Facebook Marketplace and any local buy and sell groups you’re on. If you sell locally, you won’t need to worry about charging for postage, and it’s a quick and easy way to make a little extra cash. 

 Where can you recycle or donate old uniform? 

There are also a number of places where you can donate your children’s old school uniform. You won’t make any money from it, but you will be helping other families in need. Some of these places include: 

  • Local charity shops - most charity shops will accept school uniform, particularly if it’s from the local school(s).
  • Your school’s PTFA - some will run second-hand sales and the proceeds will go back to the school. If your school doesn’t do this, why not suggest it?
  • Wacky Warehouse - throughout the summer holidays, parents and guardians can donate old school uniform to their local Wacky Warehouse and it will be passed on to those who need it.
  • Friends and family - if you have friends with children in different school years, why not pass on your old school uniform or potentially do a swap?

If you have school uniform on the brain, make sure you know what to look out for in a school uniform and the school uniform grants you could qualify for if you are struggling with high living costs.

Rachel Wait
Personal finance expert

Mum of two, Rachel is a freelance personal finance journalist who has been writing about everything from mortgages to car insurance for over a decade. Having previously worked at Shares Magazine, where she specialised in small-cap stocks, Rachel developed a passion for consumer finance and saving money when she moved to lovemoney.com. She later spent more than 8 years as an editor at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, often acting as spokesperson. Rachel went freelance in 2020, just as the pandemic hit, and has since written for numerous websites and national newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and Forbes. She is passionate about helping families become more confident with their finances, giving them the tools they need to take control of their money and make savings. In her spare time, Rachel is a keen traveller and baker.