After leaving my corporate job to start Ink Road, I keep myself on a VERY tight clothing budget. It’s definitely a perk to work in my pajamas, but when I do need new clothes I head to Plato’s Closetfirst. Search here for one near you. I worked at a Plato’s location in my early 20s, and never came home with a paycheck! I spent it all at work. So when I was cleaning out my closet this week – I made a pile to take to Plato’s to EXCHANGE for new-to-me items. More on why it’s better to exchange vs. sell than buy in a moment! Hopefully my inside info can help you get the most out of your Plato’s trip!
Here’s how it works: Plato’s buys and sells gently used, trendy clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories. Click here for more directly from their website.
1. Good condition only!
Plato’s will not accept anything TOO worn. Don’t take anything that has holes, rips, stains, tears, pilling, smells weird, is stretched out, or missing any pieces (like a belt with no buckle). Ideal: you bought it and wore it a handful of times. This will be your best bet with most brands.
2. Know your benchmark brands!
Trends come and go SO quickly that Plato’s can only keep the most UP TO DATE trends on hand and still have space for people to come in the store. (We would regularly have huge bins of product to donate every month because while we bought them from someone, they just didn’t sell and the trend had changed already! If we kept them on the racks with the new things we were getting each day, it would be just like my closet when I was 15: STUFFED.)
They are more likely to buy your items if they are benchmark brands (good quality and have a long-standing clothing industry name): J. Crew, American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, PINK by Victoria’s Secret to name a few. They DO buy designer bags and shoes like Coach and Michael Kors but you will need to fill out a statement of ownership for them or provide the original receipt.
3. Don’t expect to get full retail back for your items!
This is pretty simple but I was shocked daily by the people who would come in and get angry at me for offering them a lot less than they paid when the item was brand new. If your item is worth more to you hanging in your closet not being worn than the $5 I’m able to offer, then just keep it! Plato’s is a business. They need to make a profit just like any other business! You will not get rich selling your used clothes to Plato’s closet.
4. You can pay for dinner at Chili’s, but not a new designer bag.
You won’t make enough cash at Plato’s to buy a new Kate Spade bag. You can TOTALLY make some cash to take your family out to dinner, though. Pretty cool still if you ask me.
5. Get the MOST out of it with their trade system.
Take your bag of clothing/shoes/bags/etc in clean and folded. Presentation DOES help. While the person is evaluating your items to make you an offer, take a stroll around the store for NEW-TO-YOU stuff! Not only will you save money simply because they have great deals, but when you take your choices back to the counter to trade for any of the items you brought in – you totally get to skip the retail tax in MOST states. By doing a trade, Plato’s doesn’t have to charge sales tax. So you don’t have to pay it! This time, I traded a Fossil wallet, a Coach crossbody bag and a Michael Kors crossbody (all about 4 years old and used, but in good condition). The dollar amount they offered me covered the pile of shoes I’d been making on the counter from the store! EPIC because look at the deals I scored:
Vans Coral Lo Pro, probably only worn once or twice (no visible signs of wear): $16 (retails new at $44)
ROSE GOLD SPERRYS WHATTTT!!! (very used but good quality holds up): $16 (retails new at $90)
Keds Champion Sneaker (brand new, inside tags still intact): $14 (retails new at $60.00)
Madden Girl Krespo Brown boots (no visible signs of wear but definitely used): $10 (discontinued but similar retails new at $69)
Put these babies on immediately! Somebody already wore them in for me, which honestly is a bonus to my ankles. (Definitely use a shoe sanitizer before wearing, and wash any clothes first!)
Notes: even with my previous expertise on their system, they still didn’t accept some of my items. It all depends on the employee – Plato’s hires a team they trust and train!
Not all trips to Plato’s yield such gems. A lot of them are combed over regularly by wannabe fashionista’s like me! Be patient, keep checking, you’ll score some awesome deals for SURE.