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Online Clothing Resale Shops

by Shannon Cutts

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I have been a thrift store devotee since, well, birth. I learned the art of thrift store shopping at my mother's knee, following her up and down the racks as she pointed out which so-called "good deals" were truly worth their vastly reduced secondhand store price tags. As well, at least once per year she would load up our sedan with bulging bags full of shoes, jackets, dresses, pants, and hats we had outworn or outgrown or both. A product of post-Depression era parents, Mom believed every item in our closets had at least two lives, possibly three.

But I will confess I did not realize how popular mainstream "resale culture" had become until 1994, when I moved to California two weeks ahead of my luggage and discovered that mecca of the stylishly underfunded, The Buffalo Exchange®. Since those early days, I have visited The Buffalo Exchange® stores in at least nine different cities. I haunt the two locations in my home city of Houston, scoring Armani, Juicy Couture, 7 for All Mankind, BCBG Max Azria, and other brand deals with the ease of an old secondhand pro.

Buying brand names for pennies on the label isn't the only big benefit of befriending my local thrift stores. When I tire of the bright green Coach handbag or soft ivory Free People tee that once made me weak in the knees, guess where I take it? Back it goes to the place we first met to be sold for cash or exchanged for lucrative shopping credits.

In this way, my closet has enjoyed semi-annual style revivals of the kind I could never have funded at full brand label prices. Freelance writers (at least those in their startup years) do not normally prance around in purple suede Miu Mius or suit up with a Michael Kors crossbody bag. But then again, I'm not just any freelancer writer. I'm a freelancer writer who knows how to make her dollars stretch until they could teach their own yoga master class.

For great deals on buying, selling, and swapping your way to the stylish wardrobe you deserve, I suggest you start by visiting these authentic resale gems!

The Buffalo Exchange®

The Buffalo Exchange® has 53 locations nationwide (according to their website). The Buffalo Exchange® opened its doors in 1974 with a single store in Tucson, AZ. The same family still owns the chain today. One of the coolest aspects of The Buffalo Exchange® is that each store's merchandise is utterly unique because all clothing and accessories for women and men are sold and bought locally. When you sell clothing, you can choose between a cash payout and "trade value."

Plato's Closet®

Plato's Closet® is a close runner-up to The Buffalo Exchange® with a slightly different slant. The chain specifically targets the teen mall shopper market. On their website, Plato's Closet® promises trendy styles at discounts up to 70 percent off what shoppers would pay at local malls. The chain caters to young men and women and offers clothing, jackets, shoes, and a variety of accessories. Like The Buffalo Exchange®, Plato's Closet® offers cash or store credit for sold items.

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Clothes Mentor®

Clothes Mentor is another franchise of Grow Biz International, the parent company for Plato's Closet®, Once Upon a Child®, and Play it Again Sports®. Clothes Mentor® caters exclusively to women, offering a healthy selection of trendy brand name clothing, jackets, accessories, handbags, workout clothes, and more. Their website includes a list of 105 nationwide locations.

SnobSwap (online)

SnobSwap is an online resale store catering to individuals and boutique resellers. If you don't have time to wait in line at your local reseller, bundle of gently used couture fashions in tow, SnopSwap offers you another option, sell your clothing online. The process is easy and automated. You can also swap or buy clothing.

Shannon Cutts is first and foremost a birdie mama (to a very pretty and quite precocious grey parrot named Pearl.) She is also a writer, speaker, mentor, nonprofit director, lover of retro threads, and champion of all things (and people) recovered and recovering. Visit her here at and here at Also, find Shannon on Google+.

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