Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quarter Life on Tour: Plato's Closet

Plato's is a beautiful place. It's a chain of stores that takes juniors' clothing and styles that you could find in the mall today--Brand Name Gently Used Clothing--and sells them for rock-bottom prices. They tell you to come in, clean out your closet for cash, and get some new stuff, and I enjoy doing exactly that. Plato's Closet has locations in Chantilly, Virginia and Towson, Maryland in our area, but whenever I'm home in Philly visiting my family, I visit the one nearby.

This weekend was my first attempt at selling clothing to Plato's. Most of the items I took with me were things that I had gotten from thrift stores on sale, and had decided not to wear or sell on my own through eBay. I took eight items with me, and after a 1.5 hour wait due to Black Friday business, Plato's offered me $10.20 for five items. Included in the sale was this H&M patterned skirt suitable for summer, and this Ann Taylor short-sleeved sweater that was too short for my long torso. Since I figured out that I had paid about $19 for those five items in the first place, it was a bust in terms of profit. But if I had bought new items, worn them for a season, and sold them to Plato's, getting a little cash back would be worth the trip.

The best part of the experiment was when I browsed around looking for new items for myself. I only found one--a Gap sweater in a color that I had just picked up and put down at the mall only moments before--for a quarter of the price. A brand-new sweater from this season for $7 bucks? Mine now. Happy thrifter.

In conclusion: I spent most of the money I earned on the sweater I wanted, but I came out pretty even. To be able to walk into a store without an appointment and sell a bunch of clothes presents a great opportunity for frequent shoppers or someone who just needs to clean out the closet.

In Other News: Grossly overdue, but the Washington Post wrote up the new Goodwill location in Alexandria, Virginia and the changing nature of thrift shopping.


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