Resale and consignment shops sound like the perfect way to swap your unwanted clothes for cash. Selling stuff on eBay or Craigslist is for strange, bored people, right? ( http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/nyc/1496543734.html ) But sometimes, these places leave you with the garbage bag half empty and chump change as a thank you. At least no 2 are the same. And if you patiently figure out what they’re looking for, some good business can be done.
Here are just 3 of your options in Austin:
1. Just Between Us
Shop there? Yes.
Sell there? No.
This crowded (with stuff, not shoppers) little boutique is nice to visit once in a while. I’ve found Diesel jeans, a See by Chloe shirt, and a Dolce and Gabbana slip dress (for $11!). Prices are reasonable, and every day a ton of items go for 50% off based on their tag’s color. The women’s section is a bit Ann Taylor-heavy for the nonprofessional 20-something, but there are some gems, and a few good tees are shoved into the junior’s section. That said, this place is a huge waste of time to sell to. The middle-aged sisters who own the place are nice, but they’re picky and–understandably–lacking in edge. Of course it’s wise to lint-roll, clip loose threads, and present clean clothing for a sale. But these presumably lazy ladies demand that your offerings be ironed, put on hangers, and “fresh-smelling.” They also have you make an appointment way in advance for the consignment and follow strict schedules for when they will take items for each season. So, I basically got two armfuls of my discards in pristine shape only to have them take about half. I had to wait like 4 months to come back and be paid my $20 cut of what they earned off my stuff. My advice is to avoid consignment shops and go for stores that pay you up front.
Pond Springs Plaza 13233 Pond Springs Rd. Austin, Texas 78729
Resale Info. Hotline (recording) (512)-331-2999
Business Hours:M-F 10-6 Sat. 10-5 Sun. 12-5
2. Plato’s Closet
Shop there? No.
Sell there? Yes.
I filled with hope when I saw the counter girl in a sheer, drop-waist dress identical to one that I own. Like-minded employee aside, the place sucks. Plato wouldn’t have worn any of that shit. I think I’d go for a well-draped sheet over any of this store’s horrible inventory, too. It’s aimed towards teenagers and young adults, but the selection of played-out mall clothes (entire racks are designated for Aeropostale, Abercrombie, etc.) is more juvenile than I expected. It’s good for those who want to blend in on a budget, but not for actual vintage fans. In fact, the items they didn’t buy from me were rejected for being more than 18 months old. I didn’t tell the girl that all my dresses/skirts she nabbed were SEVERAL years old…but I also didn’t tell her that I think wearing a recently passed trend looks worse than bringing back a much older one. My politeness is the necessary consequence of their bag-check system: you fill out 2 little forms and are not welcome to stare them down as they pick. I perused the store during the reasonable 20-minute wait, and the only clothing I would have bought was a denim Lilly Pulitzer dress if it didn’t have a neckline so randomly low as to show off both cleavage and solar plexus. The prices are very low, but this translates to small earnings, of course. They also offer you the same amount in store credit as they would in cash. Even without the exchange-rate incentive, I traded my duds for a cocktail ring, intricate beaded cuff, and some cash. Plato’s Closet: lose a little faith in fashion, gain beer money.
5400 Brodie Lane Suite 240 Austin, TX 78745 Phone- 512-358-8888 (locations also in Cedar Park and Round Rock)
3. Buffalo Exchange
Shop there? Yes.
Sell there? Yes.
Ah, the mecca of recycled style for anyone who has business in the vicinity of its college campus location. Their high turnover of inventory (go early in the day to sidestep crowds and long seller lines) makes this one of my favorites to browse and my best bet for making what my weird dad calls “serious coin.” Just hope to get paired with a buyer who shares your style, because they seem to let the weeding process be more subjective here. That’s probably why the expansive store outfits hipsters, fashionistas, sorority girls, and punks alike. It burned a little to have my beautiful, heirloom-but-ill-fitting dress rejected only to subsequently discover some of the many LAUGHABLY BAD pieces they let onto the racks. But, remember a couple things:
1. It’s not a personal insult if a store doesn’t want something you yourself declared “crap that I don’t want.”
2. Don’t be one of those annoying jerks who questions the buyer’s decisions. Unless he or she tossed aside something without noticing its Marc Jacobs label, keep yer trap shut.
You too can walk out with a hefty gift certificate and an entirely essential, creepy necklace with beetle pendant. Score.
2904 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78705
Monday–Saturday 10 am–9 pm
Sunday 12 pm–7 pm