Cash For Clothes Resale Stores: Cool or Crappy?

In Colorado, you hear the ads on the radio constantly... the voice of a fun and energetic teenager inviting you into some hip resale store, where you can either buy all the brand names at a fraction of the cost or bring in your gently used clothing to sell on the spot! It sounds amazing, right? But is it legit? Well, yes; these cash for clothes resellers are 100% legit, but they may not be worth your time... 

To write this post, I figured I would venture out by myself to one of these Denver second-hand stores with a box of thrifted clothes in hand to see how the process works, what types of clothes they accept, and just how much scratch they will pay on the spot. 

 All set to go with about 20 different items I have picked up over the last month! (You can't see it, but my top is Banana Republic -- $1 at Goodwill -- and it is my go-to sweater for Fall 2017.)

All set to go with about 20 different items I have picked up over the last month! (You can't see it, but my top is Banana Republic -- $1 at Goodwill -- and it is my go-to sweater for Fall 2017.)

The journey to the store was a long one... After putting my youngest down for his morning nap, I kissed my husband and 3-year-old goodbye, hopped on I-25 and sat in traffic for 45 minutes (on what should have been a 7 minute drive)... despite the setback, I still arrived to the shop optimistic and enthusiastically handed my items to the less-than-enthusiastic gal behind the counter (the "buyer"). 

In the interest of discretion, I will not give away which cash for clothes shop I visited, but I will tell you that they advertise themselves as selling designer brands for up to 75% off retail and that they pay sellers up to 40% of their (the resellers) retail price. Anyway, the buyer gave me a 10 minute time frame for an offer, so while she looked through the box, I browsed through the racks and was a little shocked by just how much their inventory cost. (Maybe it isn't that high but I am just used to Salvation Army pricing? I don't know.) 

After 10 minutes, I was called back up to the front and was offered $14.95 for 5 pieces: a new-with-tags Betsey Johnson dress, two LOFT sweaters, a dress that I bought at Target last year that was too big for me, and a Flying Tomatoes maxi that I found at the bins. 

Yikes. 

Out of curiosity, I asked what the offer was on the Betsey dress (new with tags, mind you), and she came back with an offer of just under $5 (which wasn't going to happen, since I thrifted it for $8.99). This is the part that bothered me: judging by their asking price on dresses from Target and Forever 21, I am betting that Betsey would be sold for AT LEAST $40, meaning that the offer they made me was in fact only 10%.

Now, I know that a lot of their offers are based on what they think will sell the fastest and what's hottest right now (and I know that you can't expect too high of an offer when they are paying cash on the spot), but overall it just seemed like a total ripoff. 

In the end, I did exchange the Target and Flying Tomatoes dresses for double store credit (I spotted a few Free People dresses there that I can use it toward whenever they have a sale), but probably will not waste my time again trying to sell anything.

Moral of the story: Cash for clothes stores are okay for a quick flip, but if you can hold out for an eBay sale, DO. IT. 

Has anyone else sold at a cash for clothes store? Was your experience different? Let me know in the comments.