Can I Charge My Sister for Hand-Me-Downs?

A mom writes in asking for advice. Though she is done having kids, her sister is expecting, and she wants to know if she can charge for hand-me-downs or if etiquette dictates she should offer everything to her sister for free.

Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important mom questions. Thoughtful mom answers. Let’s hear from the community!

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A member of the community asks:

I need advice. Let’s say your sister is pregnant. Her and her husband make decent money, so do you. Assuming you’re done having kids, would you give all your baby clothes and gear to them for free? Or give some and charge a small amount for the rest? Is there a certain etiquette or unspoken rule for this?

Mamas Uncut Community Member

Let’s see what the community had to say on this topic.

Offer What You Want at No Cost


“Free. Unless you need the money.”

“Free. You just said you both make decent money. Why would you need more? I can’t wait to watch my nephew use the things that helped me take care of my girls.”

“Etiquette?? What about kindness? Let her take what she wants for free and then donate the rest.”

“It used to be called ‘hand me downs.’ Just let her pick out what she needs/wants. Why charge money? If you want to make money, have a yard sale.”

It’s Family, So It Should Be Free


“Just sell the stuff to someone else if you need the money, but don’t charge your sister.”

“For family and close friends I give for free or if I know someone truly is in need then free. I always feel better anyways to give and help others.”

“Just give it to them, they’re family.”

“Never ever would I charge a sibling or friend. If I’m struggling that bad, I’d sell online. But you said you both make decent money. Please don’t charge your sister.”

“You don’t charge family. If you want to recoup some of the money you spent on them, give your sister some and sell the rest on your local Facebook market.”

You Can Charge for Some Things


“For things that cost the most, I would charge something because you would make your money back selling it somewhere else. My family (sisters and cousins have all done this) if it was a larger more expensive item then we charged it/paid a fee. And it was fine, made it easier on us not to have to shop around and actually know who we were getting the items from.”

In Conclusion


The general consensus is that you shouldn’t charge your sister for hand-me-downs, especially since, as the OP notes, both her family and her sister’s family make decent money.

We agree with that, and we love the idea of offering to let her go through what you are looking to get rid of, giving that stuff to her free of charge, and then selling the rest online or at a yard sale. It’s really the best of both worlds!

We wish you the best of luck, mama!

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