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Friday, October 10, 2014

Declutter/Reclutter Report with Tradesy and Thredup and Buffalo Exchange

Miss Em (in absentia) and I continue to rework our wardrobes with the above venues. One thing about buying on the secondary market: one need not be racked with guilt at overspending. I have been reading various blogs on wardrobe construction and the guilt at overspending and resentment at being manipulated by salespeople is very dispiriting.

Tradesy: Miss Em and I continue to do pretty well with Tradesy. We just sold a bunch of Hermes ties. I was saving them for the men in my life and realized that Mr FS has worn a tie exactly 0 times in the past 5 years. Frugal Son wore a tie at a job interview a few years ago. We saved a few Ferragamos for him, but that's it.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT TRADESY: You hold on to the item till it sells. You can sell items in less than pristine condition, as long as you are upfront about it. As might be expected, people search by brand (as on Ebay). So if you have "prestige" brands, go for it. We don't have much that is high end, of course (aside from those ties), but have done well with shoes (Naot, Dansko, and even a beat up pair of Tory Burch Revas that we sold for under $10 within ten minutes).

Interestingly, we have sold a lot on this site but have never bought anything. That is because the seller sets the price and most sellers put prices that are way too high. We put fairly low prices on everything.

THREDUP REPORT. We are the opposite on Thredup. We have bought 5 black Eileen Fisher skirts (Miss Em has high end taste for a 23 year old).  We especially like Eileen's washable crepe. These tend to be UNDERPRICED on the site because they are not listed as such. They are listed by fabric content. Since I know the crepe fabric content, I can buy with some confidence. (Hoping that Thredup is not reading this!)

We have never sold on the site. You send a bag; they pick what they want; they put extremely low prices on the items--and take less than 50% of what you send. You don't get the rejects back unless you pay a return fee. Check out the on-line reviews of Thredup. Sellers are miserable and angry  as a rule.

So in our experience, Tradesy is for selling and Thredup is for buying.

Yesterday, we had a bunch of errands in New Orleans. We topped off the day with free admission to a wonderful folk art show at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. We had a bit of time before Frugal Son got home from work, so I took a bag of clothing to the Buffalo Exchange, conveniently located just a few blocks from Frugal Son's abode. While the hip fellow went through my bags, I looked around. This is a rare treat, since usually Miss Em looks and I stay with the buyer.

I found two items: an Eileen Fisher poncho sweater and a Nordstrom wool cape/jacket (each $17: the Buf is cheap). After deducting those purchases, I got $45 in cash!

Are my adventures in the clothing trade "worth it." Probably not for me in a financial sense. I have a job. For Miss Em--trying to set up a biz in the arts--yes. We both find the process relaxing and unstressful. In fact, it is a destresser for me. That alone would make it worth it. But I also like going to the Buf (as we call it) because I am of an age where young hipsters generally ignore me. TOTALLY. So I have to work a bit there to get some attention. Maybe it will keep me young(er), at least in spirit.

Clementine Hunter from the Gasperi Collection at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. 


Atlantic said...

Thank you--this is very helpful. I have realized that (part of) my difficulty in decluttering/deacquisitioning is that I want lovely things to go on being appreciated. This seems really odd as I write it but I want my stuff to be adopted (I am clearly too attached....). The best is if a friend or family member wants something. I am also very happy when I find a great charity where I know that the clothes/items will go directly to someone who needs them for free. Selling on ebay at a price that makes someone else feel that they got a great bargain and is delighted is also fine. I just have a harder time putting the nicest things in a Goodwill bag. Which is not to say that I don't donate to them--I do, quite a lot actually--but it is harder to see something lovely go into a big jumbled box. Maybe FrugalShrink can help me work through this since it would be far simpler to load up the car and donate at the Goodwill truck down the street.

But somehow the house has silted up with far too much stuff and it is not pleasant to be in the midst of it all. Time for a simpler though by no means minimalist life again.

Shelley said...

I read all this and think it sounds terribly stressful, dealing with all this stuff and figuring out the best deals. But for you it is a de-stresser. I guess we're wired up differently. But if your net result is less stuff you don't need and more cash for your pocket, it has to be a good thing.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Atlantic--I hear you, sister. In fact, just the other day, I had to rescue/adopt a Bonnie Cashin coat that was languishing at Goodwill. Do you have a kid or neighborhood person who would do Tradesy with or for you? And don't contact Frugalshrink: I think she may have the same disease.

@Shelley--Just wrote a post about this. I LOVE doing this. I think I was made to be a peddler in the old country.