Local businesses encourage the exchange of clothes

Local businesses encourage the exchange of clothes

by Melissa Artobello

As college students, we’re always looking for ways to make money. For the fashionably-inclined, most of us want to spend that money on new clothes. There’s no better way to switch out your old clothes for new ones than to sell them to local clothing exchange companies around San Diego. Flashbacks, Buffalo Exchange and Cash Closet Exchange are all stores that pay cash or store credit for clothes you don’t want anymore .

Flashbacks

Located in Hillcrest and Encinitas, Flashbacks sells contemporary, vintage and designer clothes from the 1950s to today.

“We look for vintage and retro clothing spanning from all decades,” buyer Mark Allen said.

The style of clothing sold there is funky and old-school, making it the perfect place to go costume shopping. Flashbacks buys designer items, current styles and vintage clothes that are in season.

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“Vintage items in immaculate conditions get the most money,” Allen said.

Flashbacks gives either 35 percent of the clothings’ value in cash or 50 percent in trade. Flashbacks buys at any time during open hours, seven days a week. A valid ID is required to make a sale to the store.

Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange found success in customer-supplied merchandise and is a national chain. In the store, clothing and accessories for men and women can be found, 80 percent of which is provided by customers. Purchase prices depend on the label, condition and style, but clothing items average around $15, according to the Buffalo Exchange website. Buffalo Exchange will give 35 percent of the clothing’s value in cash or 50 percent in store credit.

Buffalo Exchange in Hillcrest is seeking winter clothing. For men, this includes warm sweaters and corduroy pants. For women, it’s buying dress pants sizes 7 and above, and fall boots.

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Buffalo Exchange currently has a program called Tokens for Bags, where customers are encouraged to accept a token instead of a bag for their purchases. The tokens are worth five cents each and are donated to a local charity of the customer’s choice. At the Hillcrest location, you can choose from three different charities to donate to. Passion for Pitties helps save pitbulls and find them homes, Dreams for Change helps families in financial crisis and San Diego Coastkeeper helps keep our water clean for swimming, fishing and drinking.

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From Nov. 29 to Dec. 24, Buffalo Exchange is helping local charities through its coat and blankets drive. Items can be brought to any location as donations.

Cash Closet Exchange

Cash Closet Exchange, located on Linda Vista Road, is a clothing exchange company for top brand-name fashion where customers can save 60 to 80 percent off favorite designer brands. It sells seasonal items from brands such as Coach, Guess, Louis Vuitton and Steve Madden. Cash Closet Exchange gives cash for high-end items, but only gives store credit for lesser brands.

“We accept anything in decent shape. We prefer name brands, but it’s not necessary,” owner Tara Kern said.

The store only buys back on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and no appointment is needed. It’s currently overstocked, however, so all purchases have been suspended until further notice.

Kern is keen on helping others and Cash Closet Exchange will give away an item to someone in need for every item purchases by customers. Items that the store doesn’t want to purchase but the customer wants to get rid of are donated to San Diego Home Start for single mothers. Kern is a single mother as well, which is why she dedicates her store to helping others.

“Everything I owned fit in the back of a pickup truck. I have crawled my way to being able to open this store. I want to be able to help others as well,” Kern said.

Currently, there’s a coupon in the San Diego Reader for a free item with no purchase necessary, so it’s the perfect time to stop by and look around.

 

All Buffalo Exchange photos by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor. All Flashbacks photos by  Jenna Mackey, staff photographer. All Cash Closet Exchange photos by Wesley Beights, staff photographer.

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