Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Much Are My Clothes Worth {Hint: Not Much}: Selling at Buffalo Exchange

The store
I figure with summer around the corner, I should probably get a start on that spring cleaning that I resolved to do back in April.  After cleaning out my closet, I'm embarrassed to admit that I found a lot of clothing that was barely worn {some even still with tags -- the horror!}.  And while I would have loved to wear these clothes again, halter tops and miniskirts - apparently my outfit of choice in the mid-2000s - don't quite fit my late-20s lifestyle anymore.  Instead, I nicely folded all the clothes, put them into a canvas bag and marched on over to Buffalo Exchange in Cobble Hill with the hope of making a couple of bucks.

The store was small, although neatly organized so as to easily find what you're looking for.  I headed straight for the buy counter, where a staff member was currently inspecting the garments of another would-be seller.  After waiting only a couple of minutes, it was my turn to get my items inspected.  The entire experience of selling your clothing at Buffalo Exchange was pleasant.  The staff member who priced my clothes was very nice; she explained how the "process" worked and how at the end I would have the choice of receiving either 30 percent of the store's price for my items in cash or 50 percent of the price in store credit.

Now onto the "process" -- it went incredibly fast.  Sure, for all I know, the staff member pricing my clothes could have been a former expert buyer at Barney's {I didn't ask for her resume, unfortunately}.  She zipped through each piece in a couple of seconds and then turned to me and said, "This will be seventeen dollars" and then threw the item into the bin behind her.  She even managed to make a little small talk about the weather and what my plans were for the night while she was pricing my clothes.  I watched in silent horror as she priced my Pucci miniskirt at 30-something dollars, a very small fraction of what I actually paid.  I vowed to myself never to spend much money on clothes again, because as it turns out, nobody values them as much as you do.

After a couple of minutes, she magically determined that all the items I had brought that she wanted were worth about $250.  Yes, that she wanted - meaning, she had politely declined to take some of my items, which completely boggled my mind (more on that later).  Surely someone in Brooklyn would purchase my slightly-used J. Crew sundress or silk kimono top?  Apparently not. 

Faced with the choice of receiving either cash or store credit, I wanted to take a look around the store first to see if there was anything worth buying.  My friend frequently goes to Beacon's Closet in Park Slope and manages to always find something to walk out with, so I had high hopes that I would be able to find something.  I started looking through the "Designer" rack, and a Diane von Furstenberg leopard-print clutch priced at $65 caught my eye.  I eventually passed, noting that I already have more clutches than parties to go to, so I continued looking through the racks and racks of clothing.  While I ran into a Banana Republic or Ann Taylor top every five or so hangers I looked at, sometimes there would be a really hideous piece of clothing {and not in an ironic way} that made me wonder again why my J. Crew sundress was declined.  Oh well, to each his own, I guess...

After spending about ten minutes through the store and finding some gems, including a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps and a barely worn Elizabeth and James top, I decided to cash out.  And so, I left my first clothing resale experience with $76 in my pocket and the rejected clothes that will probably end up at the Housing Works store on Montague Street.  I'll ignore the fact that the $76 I received wouldn't even cover the price of one of the items I sold that day.  But, at the very least, I was able to pay for my dinner afterward. 

A wall of shoes.
 Buffalo Exchange
109 Boerum Place
Mon to Sat (11AM-8PM), Sun (12PM-7PM)


1 comment

Melissa said...

Ich liebe es Schuhe und Kleidung einzukaufen. Davon kann man nie genug haben und es macht einfach so viel Spass.

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