If you’re like most people you probably have a closet filled with articles of clothing you no longer wear. Whether it is due to gaining or losing weight so they no longer fit or you simply don’t wear them anymore it makes no sense to hang on to these items most of the time. We’re all aware of taking our clothes or unwanted items to places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army to receive a deduction on taxes, but the actual money saved on taxes at the end of the year may end up being insignificant. Wouldn’t you like to receive cash right on the spot for dropping off your items?
If you are fortunate enough to live near a location that has a Plato’s Closet you can do just that. I have always seen the commercials and it never occurred to me to stop into one. They clearly seem to market towards teenage girls and I don’t wear much women’s clothing. Even their website mentions teen fashion, so for years I had no inclination to stop there.
This weekend my wife and I were out shopping and I noticed one of these stores right next to where we parked. I figured why not, let’s go take a look. Initially I thought my previous assumptions were correct, it looked like a teen girl’s paradise. But when I reached the back of the store I saw the male section. It was quite a bit smaller than the female racks, but they had quite an assortment.
The thing that stood out was that a lot of the clothes were not just things a teenager would wear. There were hundreds of just basic polo and button-down shirts, in like-new condition for a fraction of what they cost in the store. There was also quite an assortment of jeans, pants, sweaters and outerwear, most of which even someone in their 30’s could wear. I did not purchase anything, but my wife found a pair of black dress pants that would typically cost $35-$45 in the store for only $6 and they appeared brand new.
Not only do they sell quality clothing for very little money they take your used clothing and will give you money on the spot. Unlike donations to one of the other organizations Plato’s Closet is a bit more selective in what they will buy. Generally the item has to be a name brand and in good condition. That being said, from the list it looks like there is quite a variety of styles that could allow those who aren’t teenagers to still have acceptable items. When we were there I noticed a few people with garbage bags full of clothing they were dropping off to be sold. I overheard that one young lady received upwards of $125 for the items she brought in.
Some people may still wish to donate their clothing as opposed to selling them and that is fine. But this weekend I will be going through my boxes of clothes that no longer fit or I no longer wear and attempt to see how much is accepted and what kind of money I can receive. Then the stuff that does not sell I can still donate. It is really a win-win situation. Get cash for some of your better items and donate anything else. Not only that, but you can probably find a few things to buy and save a ton of money over retail prices.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.