Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buy used: Good cause. Sell used: Good luck.

The day started out easy enough. I put on lipstick, mascara and a breezy summer dress before meeting Liesel for coffee and a chat at Grounded. We sat outside under an umbrella, my heart-shaped sunglasses reflecting California sunlight. We sipped and talked about our lives, about anything and everything on our minds -- parents, boyfriends, jobs, drugs. I hadn't seen her in three, maybe four months.

After our date, my attitude changed from play to work: I was on a mission to get money. Two garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and accessories sat in the backseat of my Pontiac G6. I was ready to hit stores that could, hopefully, give me cash for these items: Crossroads Trading Company and Buffalo Exchange. They aren't consignment shops, no -- these companies hand you dough on the spot.

I was going to do thorough reviews of each store, but...

Miles driven = 8.4
Time spent = 2 hours
Money earned = $2.45
Cost of coffee = $2.19
Money actually earned = $0.26

That's pretty much all you need to know. Any questions?


  1. This is comical in a tragic sort of way. sorry you didnt get the return you'd hoped for. garage sales are the way to go when getting rid of clothing (if you live in the 'burbs, anyway), in my experience.

  2. ugh I know exactly how you feel!!! This is such a major pet peeve of mine. I've tried everything from ebay to flea markets to garage sales to a shop-my-closet page on my blog.. NOTHING works for getting rid of my used clothes. And even if you do actually manage to get rid of something, you only get back like 2% of the original cost :(

  3. I just gave away four shopping bags worth of clothes to my local thrift shop. Included in the bags? Barely worn AnnTaylor, my husbands gently used but faded Ralph Lauren and Lacoste polos, and a vintage Halston ultrasuede jacket that was in my grandfathers closet but honestly was so severely seventies no one would want it. I also gave away anything that had sequins on it. I'm over sparkle-motion. I've never had luck at any of those clothing exchange places. I just figure someone else can enjoy them and I help to employ the people at the thrift store.

  4. at this point I just give my clothing to my sister and hope for some good karma in return....

  5. I hate how hard it is to try, and sell used clothing. The most I ever got from Plato's closet was $60. But, I gave them 2 full baskets of clothing. The worst is if you decide to leave your stuff for them to donate some stores look through it and consider it free items for them to use even though they wouldn't pay you for them.
    My Heart Blogged

  6. Yeah Buffalo Exchange is especially picky and barely gives you anything for your clothes. I feel like it's easier and better karma to just donate stuff to goodwill. Better luck next time!
    xoxo Lauren

  7. Sigh...better luck next time. I agree with Lauren's idea of creating good karma. I sort of treat my local thrift stores like clothing lending libraries.

  8. Thanks to everyone for the comments -- especially Tiffany, who understood the humor in this story!

  9. Oh, my lovely Stephanie!!! 'Twas a tragedy, indeed!! We were both so excited for your fashion foray, & then to hear that you were snubbed & your time sacrificed, well that just gets my goat!!! We should all do another one of those clothing exchanges that you suggested a few months back...I missed your last one, but I'm in for the next one!!

    Luv, ML

  10. i didn't know that places like Buffalo Exchange were so strict and gave such little money. I was in NY last year and went into the Buffalo and thought it was such a cool initiative, but to hear you only got a little amount of money for all the clothes, the driving, the sheer effort (!!!) you have to laugh, really :P

  11. My daughter took a HUGE bag of clothes to Platos Closet...they tried to give her $3..I dont think so.....

  12. hahaha! So true! I was thinking of going to Crossroads & Buffalo Exchange this weekend too. I like to go to the ones on Haight Street. I usually do pretty well there. Last time I think I got a couple hundred dollars. But I have to drive 20 miles to get there. Anyway, the ordeal of watching them go through my stuff gives me self-esteem issues. It's like, why did you pass on that skirt? Isn't it good enough for you? Seriously? I paid $100 for that dress, you want to give me $2?? But then I go through the store & it's filled with tons of crap that's all torn up & stuff. Those guys are nuts.

  13. Wow - that sucks! I am so sorry! I was just thinking I would like to do a wardrobe exchange kind of thing.
    I have to admit - my stuff usually goes to the Massey Cancer Thrift For Life store - they are a non-profit and the proceeds go to cancer research.
    At least you got a quarter to call someone and a penny to throw in the fountain!

  14. oh man! i hate when you go into stores like this and you think you have really nice stuff that should be worth some money and then they only offer pennies! at least you kinda got a free coffee out of it. :)

  15. i'm with you, girl! you lose money to re-sell.
    try a loudmouth closet here online or something.

  16. Booo. I hate that, I was about to say I wish we had a place like that in Ireland,(possible job opportunity for me? hmm) but, not if they end up making you no money!! Hope your next day was better missy!!

  17. I have just had 2 weeks of the same thing!!!
    I think I earned about 10 cents every 2 hours ;)
    I posted about it.........
    it was disheartening to say the least.
    By the way, nice to meet ya:)

  18. @Liesel: Thank you for your sympathy, dear friend. I always love getting together and chatting over coffee with you! I never ended up doing a clothing swap, due to a lack of interest from others. Perhaps just you and I should do it!

    @Nickie: Yeah, it was really awkward watching them go through it. In Michigan we had Plato's Closet, and they encouraged us to walk around the store while they did it, but at Buffalo they forced me to stand there. They were super friendly, though -- I've gotta give them that!

    @Bella: I've thought about doing that, but it seems like a lot of work and I'm not sure how successful it would be with my small following. I may wait until my readership grows.

    @Reva: Very interested to know what you did! Will visit your blog soon.


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