Having worked at Plato’s Closet for about six months, the most common questions I receive are “What is it?” and “How does it work?”.
Plato’s Closet is a franchise with over 470 locations in North America. Unlike other consignment stores, they offer cash on the spot for trendy clothes in good condition.
When you bring your things in, we separate them into two piles: the things we don’t want and the things we do want.
The things we don’t want are our “passes” and you are free to take those home with you. The things we do want get entered into our computer, which gives us the amount we should price your item at for the store as well as the amount we should give you for that item.
You will generally receive 30-40% of whatever we price it at. For example, if we price a pair of jeans at $16, then you will receive $4 for that item. We will present you with your offer and, if you accept, we pay you cash on the spot. If you decline, you get your clothes back.
Generally, the clothes we are looking for have to be in style with in the last 2 years and they can’t have any obvious damages such as staining, tears, or excessive pilling. Plato’s will generally look to buy some of the larger brand names such as Hunter Boots, Free People, Forever 21, Lulu Lemon, and more.
Because it is a wholistic approach, we can never guarantee that we would take an item because of its brand. For example, if you were to bring in a really trendy maxi dress with its tags still on it from Primark, we would likely buy it off of you. However, if you brought in a Free People maxi dress with a coffee stain down the front, we wouldn’t take it, despite Free People being a much better brand than Primark.
Another really important factor is our age demographic. Plato’s Closet is geared towards teenagers and young adults. The clothes we buy have to be for that age bracket. We don’t generally buy items that are for 40 and 50-year-old women unless the item is more age neutral, such as a sweater or a pair of workout pants.
When it comes to the types of items we are looking for, we generally take all seasons all year round. We are interested in purchasing your tops, shoes, pants, dresses, jackets, and purses.
The things we don’t take, at least at the store that I work at, are business clothes, underwear, socks, and older styles. Sometimes, someone can bring in a really nice item that just wouldn’t sell at our store specifically, so we have to turn it down. Usually, if that happens, we will recommend somewhere for them to sell it at.
The process at Plato’s Closet doesn’t offer you as much money for your items as Poshmark or Facebook Market. However, it does give you cash on the spot which you wouldn’t receive anywhere else.
The problem with putting your stuff on apps like Poshmark is that you run the risk that your item will take five months to sell, and that it will sit in your closet until them. If it is a case where you are desperate to clean out your closet, and you just want to get rid of your stuff, your best bet is to sell your things at Plato’s. Anything that doesn’t sell at Plato’s can be sold online or donated to Goodwill.
My final note is this: If you know someone that would really want your clothes, consider giving them a few items. I know that it is really nice to make some cash off of your items but there are SO MANY people in the world who need clothes, but they just can’t afford them.
Whether that is the daughter of a friend who is out of work at the moment, or even a homeless person, try to pass your items on to someone in need. They will love you for it and you will feel like a much better person because of it.