Closet Switch Up: How to Turn Yesterday’s Fashion into Dollars!

Welcome to the mid-week on this blistering day in July! I had an early start this morning and already it felt as though it was nearing 90! Anyhow, I hope your morning was a pleasant one. I’m not sure about you, but the Summer months always seem to inspire me to do a good, thorough cleaning in my home, but not only of the typical spots (i.e. kitchen, bathroom), but more specifically, my closet! Over the years, it seems I’ve accumulated tank top after tank top, a large amount of slip on heels, and other items I promise myself, “I’ll wear when the day is right.” However, if you’re like me, more often than not, that day never comes and it sits in my closet, or in a pile in the back of my closet, accumulating dust and becoming a ghost of fashion’s past! Typically, I will call up the American Center for Cancer Research and schedule a donation pick-up, however, at times, I will attempt to sell my clothing and accessories at a store by the name of, Plato’s Closet”. Before I share more, I will pause and brief you with my morning eats!

Breakfast (Wednesday, July 17, 2013):

1 container Yoplait Light Strawberry Shortcake (As I mentioned earlier this week, I tried a different flavor of Yoplait Light and wanted to continue the theme today… well, in a way, it’s also expiring in a couple days, so it ended up working out. Again, I was a little disappointed in the taste of this yogurt. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it was more or less a plain strawberry yogurt, I didn’t really catch any sort of taste reminiscent of shortcake. Still a decent yogurt choice, however.)

1 cup Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins (Ahh, I just cannot seem to get enough of this cereal. I love the crunchy texture and satisfying flavor it takes on when mixed with other cereals and yogurt).

1 cup Special K Red Berries (After a brief break, the red berries are back in action! I’m quite fond of this cereal as I’ve mentioned in the past, though as I’ve said before, as well, the berries in this particular box are minimal).

1 Banana (Alright, so this banana was still apart of that bunch I recently purchased from Target, but I rescued it from the back of the refrigerator before it had a chance to become completely frozen through and through. The top half was slightly frozen, but was able to be salvaged, I’m proud to report!)

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Back to today’s musing: Consigning and trading clothing to earn some cash! Nearly two years ago, I was frustrated and overwhelmed by the clothing in my closet (I know, overwhelmed by clothes?!) I was though, because there were lots of pieces and shoes in closet I wasn’t wearing, didn’t fit right, or simply weren’t comfortable for me to wear any longer or maybe, even, they never were to begin with. Realizing I could donate some, I decided to bargain with myself. After sorting through the abundance of clothing, shoes, and handbags, I sectioned off half to donate and the other half I would use to try my hand at a relatively new store in town which had caught my eye – Plato’s Closet. Perhaps you’re already acquainted with Plato’s Closet, but if you’re not, I’d like to take a couple moments of your time to introduce you:

PLATO’S CLOSET:

  • What is it? – Plato’s Closet is NOT a typical consignment shop, where you might bring in clothing and receive payment (if any) at a later time. No, at Plato’s Closet, you gather your gently-used clothing, shoes and handbags bring them to the store location, fill out a paper with general information (name, address, where you heard of Plato’s Closet, how many bags your selling, e-mail address), then simply hand over your bags and either browse the store, or return in a short amount of time (usually they provide you with the amount of time it will take to sort through your belongings) and learn if they will be buying any of your items.
  • What do they buy? – As you might expect, it can be a little tough to strike a sale at Plato’s Closet. The items must be current (their website states within the past 12-18 months), current label (they like brands such as Arden B, Bebe, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Target, Kohls, Express, just to name a few), must appeal to their demographic (from teen through 20’s, 30’s – i.e. Juniors clothing), sizes 0/1-15/16 for females… however, I can’t forget about any males who might be reading, or for those females with males in their lives! SEE BELOW…
  • Is it only for Females? – One might think so at first, but absolutely NOT! Plato’s Closet also has a generous selection of clothing and accessories for males. For males, they accept 28-40 waist, as stated on their website.
  • What can I bring to sell? – LOTS! The list includes: clothing (outwear, casual-wear, dressy attire), footwear, handbags (of all kinds, however, if you are bringing designer items, a dust bag or some proof of purchase generally must be included in order for them to accept it), jewelry, mittens/gloves, hats, scarves, belts, jewelry, sunglasses! I’d say, if you have a question whether or not you can sell it, bring it along anyway! It never hurts to ask and in the long run, it may be money in your wallet! When in doubt, bring it!
  • Where can I learn more? – Definitely check out http://www.platoscloset.com to discover locations near you (they appear to be surfacing nearly everywhere, or at least near where I am located. Just in my area alone, there are several and even more on the horizon (I just learned by checking their website today that a brand new Princeton, NJ location will be opening soon!).

Tips/Things to Keep in Mind Prior to Selling:

  • Make sure the items you’re bringing in to sell are clean, gently-worn (free of stains, rips, visible wear and tear), current (within past 12-18 months), the brands they are searching for (consult their website for a comprehensive list, or call to check prior to heading in.)
  • Remember you do not have to accept what is offered to you. Bringing your items to Plato’s Closet most likely isn’t going to afford you with excessive amounts of money, but it can give you some cash to keep in your wallet, or help in some way, however, it is important to remember if you think what they are going to give you is too low, you’re not obligated to sell. If you’re unhappy with what they will give you, you are free to take your items home. There is no contract, no obligations, simply a “consultation.”
  • Keep your head up. It’s easy to feel bad, let down, or sad if Plato’s Closet will not accept your items. This has happened to me several times (though on many other occasions, I have sold), and it can be easy to feel frustrated, however, it’s important to keep in mind that the store employees, owners and managers are experienced and typically know what sells and what doesn’t. If they won’t accept it, maybe it means taking a second look to see if you will wear it, or know someone who could benefit from it (whether it is through a donation, or having a “closet exchange” party with friends/family.) Or, a general consignment shop is a possibility, as well and can usually be located through a simple Google search.

Plato's Closet outsidePlato's Closet insideClothing

GENERAL/TRADITIONAL CONSIGNMENT SHOPS:

If Plato’s Closet isn’t really what you’re searching for, there are always general/traditional consignment shops. To provide you with a brief overview:

  • Typically, a “consignor” brings in their items (clothing, accessories, etc) and they are reviewed by an employee of the consignment shop. After they are reviewed, it is determined if they can or will be accepted or not. For those items that are accepted, they are then priced at a fraction of their typical retail price, placed on shelves and if purchased, the original consignor is provided with a percentage of it’s selling price (this occurs so that both the store owners and the consignors can earn money.)
  • It’s important to keep in mind, that it can take weeks or months to earn any kind of profit and no profit is guaranteed. Also, depending on the consignment shop (I recently visited one who had this policy – $5 to consign), they could initially charge you to consign your items.
  • If you’re looking to earn a profit relatively quickly, a traditional consignment shop may not be the route for you and it may be more beneficial to try a store similar to Plato’s Closet, initially.

HandbagsShoes

Selling your clothing and accessories can be an arduous process or a simple one, but in my opinion, can be worth a try! You never know what that shirt from last year could provide you with… a new pair of earrings, perhaps?

QUESTION: Have you ever sold to a store like Plato’s Closet or a consignment shop? If not, would you?

 

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