Buyer Chrissy Giles explains Buffalo Exchange's purchase (or pass) policy on your resale fashion
|Courtesy of buffaloexchange.com|
Obviously, the store wants to be discriminating, because there has to be a balance of clothing coming in and going out.
Sure. Basically, we keep anything in the store for two months. After that, it gets marked half off, no matter what. We are always circulating our inventory for that reason -- nothing really sits too long. We also look at those items as a reference, too; it's a learning tool. We can say, "Did men's polos sell really well last month? No? Well, maybe we should look for good short-sleeved button-ups instead." We keep a very close eye on what is selling at Buffalo Exchange.
I think that's the number-one difference between our store and other consignment shops; we constantly rotate inventory. We also see up to 200 people a day selling to Buffalo Exchange. I was just in the store, and there were probably twenty people waiting to sell. So that's literally hundreds and thousands of garments a week that we pick from for just our store. Even though it may seem like we're picky, we take a lot in volume into inventory every day.
That's a great point, about being "picky." People seem to take it very personally when the store won't buy their clothes. What, do you think, is the biggest misconception about Buffalo Exchange's buying policy?
I honestly think that it comes down to, yes, people taking it personally. Every single garment has a memory for someone. That makes it very personal. When we pass or reject an item, it doesn't mean that we're saying something about that person. For us, most of the time, it comes down to the condition of the garment. Or maybe we have something similar on the floor already -- we only have so many racks and so much room.
It's a much different experience for us behind the counter; we start to see the same things over and over again. But I want to say that we like to say "yes" more than we like to say "no." More often than not, in most of the buys I do, I'm going to take something. Our philosophy? Everyone has something in their wardrobe that we want. We want our inventory to look good, so that people will trade out their own personal inventory to shop here. We want that constant flow -- we want people to use their store credit to buy from us. We want to make it worthwhile for the customer.
Does Buffalo Exchange accept higher-end items? Is there a cap on the store's price point?
It depends on how much someone wants for that item. We do have consignment in our store that we save for higher-end things. For example, we have a couple of Balenciaga bags that are priced at $400 to $500 in the store. Granted, that person (who sold the bags to Buffalo Exchange) probably spent $2,000 on those bags and will only be getting $250 back. But resale price-wise, that is a pretty good deal.
We always leave it up to the customer; we are upfront about our pricing. When taking items in, we tell the customer the price [it will be marked] in the store, and if they choose to sell, they get 30 percent back in cash, or 50 percent in store credit. Sometimes we'll negotiate a consignment price [for higher-end pieces] where the customer can get half of what the item sells for.
So there's clarity around pricing -- it's not like a customer will be quoted a price and then see it on the sales floor marked way above that.
Oh, no -- that would never, ever happen. When [Kerstin Block], the president of Buffalo Exchange, started the store in the '70s, there was no other store like it. She wanted the traditional "grey areas" of consignment to be clear. It seems to work out. (Laughs.) We understand that there are many reasons why people are selling their clothes, and we take great care when handling those items.
Buffalo Exchange is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. For more information on how to sell or trade items, visit the store's website or call 303-866-0165.