Friday, September 18, 2015

5 Tips: How to Prepare for Selling or Trading Your Clothes In Store!

(Did "Cher" actually wear all of her clothes?)

The tricky part about fashion that makes it so interesting, yet sometimes a bit frustrating, is this: The trends of today can quickly become a thing of yesterday, but will eventually come back around the following seasons. This means that many shopaholics and fashionistas are left in a pickle, with several items taking up their closets that stop getting good wear and just sit there while more are being piled in. And unless you have a closet the size of a bedroom (most of us don't!), then you have to consider what should stay and what should go. 

With New York Fashion Week just ending, the European shows beginning, and Los Angeles Fashion Week approaching quickly (October), the desire to update one's wardrobe becomes very desirable. I mean, how can you not gain inspiration from all of the amazing street fashion and runway pics on social media? And if you're in the fashion industry and actually made it to some of the shows, it's very likely your brain is jam-packed with new ideas and inspiration on how to better communicate your personality with fresh fashion.

What is especially important to consider when evaluating your wardrobe? The cost factor. Buying, buying, buying, and then not wearing can quickly add up! You may also be in a situation where you need extra cash or wish you could somehow do an exchange on your wardrobe. The awesome thing is that this is not wishful thinking! There are really cool hotspots that allow you to do so. Based in LA, I've often hit up vintage stores like Buffalo Exchange, Wasteland, and Crossroads to sell some of my items and/or exchange them. While you will never get close to what you paid for (I've sold a Juicy Couture sweatsuit jacket years ago during the height of the brand's popularity for only $20), you may definitely walk out with a few more bucks in your wallet and less stress (knowing you just freed up some room in your closet). 

At each store, if a buyer accepts an item you have the option of cashing out or exchanging out. Typically, receiving store credit for an exchange is offered at a higher rate than receiving cash payment. (Even thought it's an option, yes, these retailers likely prefer that you choose to exchange your old items for their new items without having to actually give you money. Good business.) So depending on your circumstance, you may choose to pocket the cash or uncover new pieces from that store and try some new styles (that you will currently wear instead of letting them collect dust like the pieces you brought back.) 

(Evaluate your wardrobe FIRST!)

No matter what your goal is -- selling or exchanging your items -- the preparation process is still the same and does take a little bit of work on your side first. Here are my 5 tips on how to properly sell or trade your clothes in store:

(1) Thoroughly go through your closet. Be sure to try on every single item you plan to get rid of. The last thing you want is to live with regret! Been there, done that. Then either hang your items in a garment bag or fold nicely in some sort of duffel bag or even grocery bag. Technically, it doesn't really matter what you put your clothes in, just make sure that it shows you actually care about the pieces. 

(2) Be selective with what you bringAn important factor to consider is that designer wear and higher-end brands are the most appealing to the buyers at stores such as Buffalo Exchange, Wasteland, and Crossroads, especially if they are unique in color, cut, pattern, and trend. So be sure that you're hip to what's savvy in the streets as well as on the runway. 

(3) Call a few stores first and ask the type of items they're accepting right now. This will save you tons of time! While most major retailers are already selling fashion for the next season, you'll notice that with stores, like these, they have different standards. With so many clothes going in and out of their stores, they need to have stock of what's going to sell now. Now, even though it's mid-September, some of these So Cal vintage stores may not be buying fall and winter clothes from customers just yet. This is why it's important to call and ask these two questions: What are the hottest items you're currently buying? What are you guys currently seeking? This will help determine what you actually bring in. It won't make sense to bring in several pairs of boots if they're still only buying sandals. Calling first is a time-saver and will prevent you from having to walk back to your car carrying the same items you brought in.

(4) Make sure that the items you bring are in near mint condition. Think about it: What store wants to buy inventory that is scuffed, torn, or stained? So make sure that you clean and/or sew what needs to be taken care of first. If it's very minor, then it shouldn't be too difficult to correct. If it's a bigger job at hand, then it's probably a loss. That item may need to go into the "donate" pile. 

(5) If you live in the city and you have to pay for a meter, make sure you allot at least one hour. These hotspots attract a lot of people, so you may find yourself waiting in line for awhile as others have their items reviewed by the buyers. Your best bet is not only to make sure the meter is full, but try to get there as soon as the store opens. I've also been one to arrive early, so I'm the first one in line! 

I love that there truly is the option of selling and/or trading in fashion pieces! However, should you find that none of your pieces qualify according to an establishment's policies and standards, don't get discouraged! You can also give away items to a friend or loved one, sell them on ebay (if they're in great condition), and even use social media to promote your items. If you have any other tips, please do share in your comment! We can all learn from one another. xo

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