A buffalo coin (worth $50!)
After my delightful clothing swap a few weeks back I found myself with a ton of clothes. The way my clothing swaps work is everyone leaves their clothes and the host disposes of them somehow. Usually people take them to Goodwill and that was part of my plan too. However, being my frugal and crafty self I had one other stop before I went to Goodwill- Buffalo Exchange.
For the unfamiliar, Buffalo Exchange is a store that buys and sells used clothes. It’s very similar to Goodwill only it’s not a non profit and it’s much more selective about it’s clothes. Trendy clothes only and they better be in excellent shape!
I’ve never had much luck selling things at Buffalo Exchange as most of my clothes come from Forever 21 circa 5 years ago or Goodwill circa two years ago. I don’t have the brands or the quality that they’re looking for.
With all the leftover clothes from the swap just hanging around though, I realized that this was a good time to try my luck down at BE once more. Maybe I personally didn’t have the brands or styles that they’re looking for over there but one or more of the lovely ladies who deposited their unwanted garments on my living room floor might! This was a chance to make some money off of my frugal habits!
I didn’t take everything down to the store because I knew there were a lot of items that BE would have no interest in. Work out clothes, Forever 21 stuff, things that had clearly seen a lot of love. I picked out the best of the bunch and threw it in a separate bag. My plan was to swing by BE before I dropped their rejects and the rest of my stuff at Goodwill.
So I went down there and I waited with my bag of clothes. I always feel very uncool in BE. The employees are very hip and experiment with their look in ways that I never have and never will. I applaud them but it makes me feel the like Grandma in the room, it really does.
I only had about 10 items in my bag overall and they only took two. One black skater dress originally from Express (also one of my items at the swap!) and one Free People wine red maxi skirt. (It had a weird, almost wrap pattern thing going on in the front so no one wanted it at the swap).
An employee sorts through all your clothes and decides if they will take anything. If they do they give you a choice: you can get 50% of the total sale in store credit or 30% in cash.
Since I am in the market for new clothes overall my choice was for the store credit. I got $17.13 in store credit and opted to put in on a gift card. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by shopping at that point and wanted to get out of there!
I put the gift card in my wallet and strolled out of the store with my bag of rejects. I swung by Goodwill, dropped the rest of the clothes off and came right on home. In a little over an hour I’d gotten rid of a bunch of clothes and made some cash!
The gift card never expires and BE always has a rotating selection of clothing. I plan to go back in the next few weeks and see if I can’t come up with some duds. I’m super pleased with getting something for nothing this way. Make money off your hobbies folks!
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.