SparkNotes Blog

A Guide to Buy/Sell/Trade Shops

I frequent some buy/sell/trade stores in the East Village and Williamsburg. These shops buy inventory from the public—you, me, and anyone else who chooses to sell there. Oftentimes employees of designers’ showrooms or professionals in the fashion industry come in and drop off their goods for sale. At some consignment store, you get a cut of the proceeds when the store sells those clothes to a customer. You can take your money either in cash, or in store credit.

Since the stores use buyers to curate their inventory, you know every single item in the store has been inspected for label, quality, and trendiness by an an expert. Oftentimes the clothes in such stores are fashionable and in very good condition. You’ll also find tons of items that are brand new, with tags.

Here are two of my absolute favorite things I’ve found at consignment shops.

(Dress, Buffalo Exchange, $48 | Shoes, Nine West)

Though I couldn’t find the exact match of this dress online, other sequin dresses from Candela start around $350. I’m calling this my “man repeller” dress. It has long, full sleeves and a long hem. Along with the sequins, color, and Peter Pan collar, this is garment screams, “Don’t hit on me!” I’m obsessed with this piece because it requires no accessorizing whatsoever. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to wear it out, but with Fashion Week coming up, I’m sure I’ll have my moment to “shine” in this dress. Literally.

(Dress, Beacon’s Closet, $35 | Shoes, Hold My Gold Vintage)

I wore this dress all last season in just about every way imaginable. It’s so versatile that I paired it with platforms, sandals, boots, and sometimes even no shoes at all. The dress is constructed rather simply, but I’m a huge fan of the sheer chiffon back. It’s a great detail to add to an otherwise uncomplicated tank dress.

Oh, and what’s the icing on the cake in this story? This beautiful silk dress by Shipley & Halmos retailed at Barneys in Fall ’10 for $450, and I got it for 35 bucks!

My favorite buy/sell/trade stores in Manhattan are Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s closet. They both also have locations in Brooklyn.

*Photos by the super awesome Jenna Gard! Shot on a Canon EOS Rebel T2i

Do you have a man repeller dress/outfit?