On Saturday, September 2nd, I journeyed to Beacon’s Closet in the hopes of selling my unwanted clothing. As a fashion-obsessed 27-year old with a desperate need for more closet space, I figured I could turn a buck while clearing out my wardrobe of clothes I simply no longer reach for. Knowing that I would have a ride for Labor Day weekend, I piled four bags sky-high with several years’ worth of clothing.
I went through my entire collection and collected close to 50 items I was willing to part with. The brands consisted of Brandy Melville, Free People, Forever 21, the Gap, H&M, J. Crew, Nasty Gal, Necessary Clothing, Ralph Lauren, Tobi, and Urban Outfitters. Some of the clothes no longer fit, some of them I hadn’t worn in years, some were gifted to me but didn’t tickle my fancy, and some just no longer fit my own personal aesthetic. A few pieces were new items with tags that were completely unworn.
Here are the pieces:
I didn’t wholeheartedly want to give away all these items, but I wanted to make room in my closet for new purchases, and I knew that many of these I simply don’t reach for. It was time to downsize and earning cash in exchange for parting ways with them sounded immensely appealing.
So with a heart full of hope, I brought four heaping bags of clothing to Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope at 92 5th Ave, Brooklyn.
I was very nervous as I entered because it looks really, really nice. It’s a far cry away from Buffalo Exchange (which I tried selling a few items a couple of weeks back), and has more of a vintage boutique feel to it. I was a little relieved when I entered the shop because I definitely saw some items that looked out of style, even by retro standards. Overall though, it definitely had a curated feel to it, and I wasn’t sure my clothes would belong.
This is a quick photo I snapped of the back area where you head to sell your clothes. They have you sign your name and (if I recall correctly) write down how many bags you’ve brought. While doing this I was told what I already knew from browsing the website – that they do buy vintage and modern clothing if it’s on-trend and on-season. They give the items a price, and pay 35% of that price in cash to you or allow you to have 55% store credit. Once I finished they simply told me to give them 45 minutes and come back.
In the interim I went to the Doughnut Plant for the first time ever, which I’ll work into a separate post. A little over 45 minutes later I walked nervously back into Beacon’s Closet and headed for the back.
Time for the big reveal… which of these items did Beacon’s Closet buy from me?
None of them.
I should have known looking around the store that they wouldn’t want any of what I had to offer. After being told they couldn’t take a single item, I managed to stutter and ask how they base what they do and don’t accept. The girl said that brands like H&M and Forever 21 are in low price bracket comparable to prices they sell for and they don’t really feel it sells/has enough value or something.
After churning over that explanation over and over in my mind, I feel conflicted for several reasons. A) I dropped off a wide variety of clothes, some with brand new tags, not just H&M and Forever 21 B) If they had carefully looked through my items they would have been able to see the value beyond those select items C) I believe I was prematurely judged because my clothes were mainstream and at one point, mass manufactured, thus lacking the “character” they like their clothes to have.
I was so saddened and frustrated by the whole experience. I went to Buffalo Exchange the next day and made $15 off of three items they bought from me that were brand new, and the rest was given back. All I can say at the end of the day is that it is extremely difficult to resell clothing at these consignment shops. Really think a purchase through once you make it, because once it’s not returnable, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to resell it, or get more than a fraction of return on your investment.