Make money on your wardrobe with second-hand stores


by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 10 at 1:20 PM

HOUSTON -- If you are fashion-savvy, or eco-friendly, or budget-conscious, chances are you’ve considered shopping at a second-hand store. 

More and more shoppers are considering this alternative when it comes to finding one-of-a-kind fashion, and even making a buck on old clothing taking up too much space in the closet.

To get the scoop on consignment shopping, I went straight to Buffalo Exchange on Westheimer near Montrose to speak with store manager Sara Jones. 

“We are seeing a lot of first time sellers coming in [who] may have avoided second hand stores because there was a stigma attached to it, but I think that stigma is kind of gone now,” Jones explained.

Jones says the store buys and sells a wide variety of brands, including clothing from Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic and Anthropologie.  Buffalo Exchange also sells one-of-a-kind couture items, such as Louis Vuitton bags, BCBG dresses and even accessories such as purses, belts, ties and even Halloween costumes.

She says she’s seen it all.

“We did get from the 1970s a studded outfit that Johnny Cash wore on stage,” Jones said.

And if you have unwanted clothes in your wardrobe, you can cash them in or trade them for “new to you” clothes from the store.

If Buffalo Exchange agrees to buy your used items, you will receive 35 percent of the sale price in cash or 50 percent of the sale price in in-store credit.

Jones says there are a few tips to keep in mind if you plan to try to sell you stuff:

Current and Classic styles sell fastest

Clean clothing in good condition has a better chance of being bought

Don’t worry if an item is missing an accessory, such as a belt, that was originally purchased with the clothing item

If you are a first-time seller, bring as much as you can into the store so that the store buyer can help you identify the most lucrative items

 “People get excited when they find out they can trade their old clothes in for new clothes,” Jones said.

It’s a win-win for shoppers like Rocquelle Porche, a student and fashion blogger. 

“You can get trendy items that are on trend, but at a fraction of the price,” she explained.

In addition to the bargain prices, Rocquelle also shops here to find one-of-a-kind pieces no one else is wearing.

“I really like the idea of having something no one else has,” she said.

So whether you want cash in your pocket or cool clothes in your closet, budget-friendly fashionistas will tell you to check out the second-hand stores first.