Each week (or thereabouts), our Dear Penny column investigates the answers to reader questions about saving money in Brooklyn. This week, Cody McBurnett asks how to get the most from her closet giveaways, and fellow Brokelyn reader Tina Robinson is our guest expert. Take it away, Tina…
The best way to maximize this situation is to divide and conquer. Start by separating your no-longer-wanted clothes into three categories: designer goods and/or one-of-a-kind vintage, trendy items with labels people have heard of, and finally, everything else.
Bring the designer or vintage stuff to a consignment shop. I recommend Tokio 7 in the East Village (64 E. 7th St.) because you’ll get cold, hard cash for your clothes instead of waiting months for a check in the mail. Of course, Brooklyn has many great choices as well— the best being Fluke (86 N. 6th St.) and Amarcord in Williamsburg or Consignment by Eva Gentry in Boerum Hill. Remember that consignment shops buy by the season, so make sure to call ahead of time to find out what they’re buying at the moment (at this time of year, most shops are buying for fall). Divide your clothes into spring and fall, and bring in the preferred stock, storing the rest until the seasons change.
With the second batch, the name-brand trendy items, Beacon’s Closet is a good choice. They’ll evaluate your goods quickly and give you either 35% of their selling price in cash on the spot, or 55% in store credit. If you are a Beacon’s Closet shopper, it’s a no-brainer to take the credit over the cash—unless it’s the end of the month and your landlord has stopped accepting baked goods for rent. While they’re fairly picky, Beacon’s Closet will do you the service of donating for you anything they don’t take for the store. But you might just want to save those pieces for a stoop sale. You could end up pulling in a buck for that sequined bolero you thought was so hip five years ago (before you realized it just makes you look like a disco ball).
Lastly, stoop sale, yay! This is the place for everything else. Put out anything you don’t mind selling for only a couple bucks, along with anything else in your apartment that you want to get rid of. “Price to sell” is the golden rule when it comes to stoop sales. Remember that at this point you’re just trying to get rid of things, the cherry on top being some extra green in your wallet. NY Magazine just did a great how-to for stoop sales.
And when you’ve exhausted all the previous, more lucrative options and you have an errant faded tee leftover, take it to Housing Works in Brooklyn Heights. You’ll sleep better at night (and earn some serious karma points), knowing you’re giving to a great cause, even if you’re not making any material profit off these last few items. Of course, don’t forget the receipt so you can claim it all before April 15.
Got a question for this column? Please send your stumpers to Dear Penny.