Where can I get decent cash (or some groovy new outfits) for my old clothing?

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Beacon's Closet. Photo by Tokyo Hanna.

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.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. For people who are plus-sized, there is Re/Dress: http://www.redressnyc.com/

    Re/Dress NYC is a buy-sell-trade resale
    establishment. Based on the store’s style,
    size and seasonal needs, women are offered
    either 25% of the resale price in cash
    or 40% store credit for the clothing selected
    by the staff.

  2. This is some great advice! Very well written with clearly organized thoughts as well! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from you, Ms Robinson.

  3. The people at Beacon’s Closet are complete jerks. I should have gotten the picture when I was there last week for the first time at 11 AM on a Monday and the girl behind the counter went out of her way to let me know how “lucky” I was that my wait was “only” half an hour to have my clothes evaluated. She and three other girls then proceeded to dig through people’s clothing and make nasty comments about them. When someone called by telephone to inquire about bringing their clothes in, they all then discussed the items they hoped this person wouldn’t bring in. And of course, despite some of the trash available on their shelves, none of my clothing was the least bit appealing. How lucky I was that it was only a half hour wait! I’ll never go there again.

  4. Since Beacon’s (in Williamsburg) moved to this new ‘larger’ location it’s awful. The ‘buyers’ are overly trendy drones who are meerly buying from their friends rather than from everyday people. I recommend going to the Park Slope location. It’s smaller and the ‘buyers’ there are nicer.

  5. Where can I get a decent, no, BETTER THAN DECENT mani/pedi ?

    The last one I got here in my neighborhood(on fulton st. in BedStuy) was HORRIBLE! The entire experience was HORRIBLE! I didn’t even let her finish. $20 @#cking wasted. We almost came to blows when I demanded my money back! JUST AWFUL!

  6. This is really great advise that I didn’t expect to find without spending a good half hour on the web. Luckily, it answered all my questions and it was the first site that popped up. Very well written and easily accessible!

  7. South Brooklyn/Bay Ridge offers a special treat with Consign Connection, where beautiful things in an ugly shopping bag are better than ugly things in a beautiful shopping bag. Decent selection, decent prices, nice ambience.

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