How To Sell Your Clothes at Crossroads Trading Co. or Buffalo Exchange

Crossroads Trading Co. on Melrose Avenue in Santa Monica

Crossroads Trading Co. on Melrose Avenue in Santa Monica

I’ve been selling my clothes at consignment stores roughly since about 2009 (in college, it was one of the ways I used to try and make some extra cash on the side haha). Since then, every time I go through and clean out my closet, which is probably 3-4 times a year, I usually try my luck at either Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange to sell a couple items before donating the rest at Goodwill.

I recently posted about going to Crossroads on my insta the other day and I had a ton of people ask me about the process or tell me how they haven’t had the best luck there, so I’m here to tell you all the tips that have worked for me. I’m by no means an expert but after going for a while, I’ve learned what they typically look for in terms of style, etc. And truuust me, when I first used to go, I didn’t always sell stuff. Sometimes I sold nothing, and I’d look around at all the other people in line and see them selling almost everything they brought in. I used to take it personally, but I’ve learned that a lot of it just had to do with not really understanding what buyers are looking for.

I’m proud to say that now I’ve had my pretty woman moment though because when I last went to Crossroads they took over $50 worth of items (in trade $100), and every time I go to sell now I never leave with less than $20.

So, here’s everything I know about selling your clothes at a consignment store in order to get some cash ASAP.

Bring Clothes In Style and In Season

This may seem obvious, but you have to bring clothes that are stylish. So often, I see people bring clothes that they’re just trying to get rid of. This isn’t a drop-off for clothes that you would normally donate. You have to choose items that know are fashionable (not old t-shirts and overworn jeans).

Also, it really depends on which store you go to, but most of the time, these stores are always buying for the upcoming season. This means, you’ll have better luck selling spring and summer items in February (before the season hits). Whenever I’ve gone towards the end of April or May, they’ll usually tell you that they’re ‘full’ when it comes to spring/summer items and they’ll be less likely to buy from you.

Call Ahead for Tips on What to Bring

It’s always a good idea to call the location you’re going to beforehand and ask what kind of styles they’re looking for. They may be looking for jeans and if all you bring are dresses to sell, you’ll be out of luck. They can also let you know which brands they’re interested in buying. Crossroads is a bit higher brow in terms of trading, they will only buy brands that are Zara equivalent or higher. I know for a fact that they usually never buy anything that isn’t name brand.

However, Buffalo Exchange buys almost everything. As long as the style’s cute and trendy (I feel like they favor vintage-looking pieces), they’ll take it regardless of the brand. Actually, fun fact: I have way better luck selling Zara pieces at Crossroads than Buffalo. But Buffalo will sometimes take my Forever 21 or Boohoo items, so you just never know!

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Don’t Bring Too Much At Once

I could be wrong, but in my experience I usually try never to bring more than 2 bags at a time. Just based on logistics, I’m pretty sure the buyers can only take so much from you. So, if you have 5 bags of clothing you want to sell, I’d recommend taking them in separate trips (1-2 bags per trip). You might sell $20 each time, but if you do that five times, you’ve made $100 bucks. If you bring it all at once, I guarantee they’ll only pick a few from that huge batch, and you’ll probably make half of what it’s really worth.

Organize Your Clothes Into Labeled Piles

Whenever I’m selling, I usually make three distinct piles: 1) Clothes I’m Over Wearing and Want to Sell, 2) Clothes I’m Willing to Sell for the Right Price, 3) Clothes To Donate.

  1. Clothes I’m Over Wearing and Want to Sell
    This category is meant for the clothes that you think will sell the best at these consignment stores. These are clothes that maybe I’ve worn a couple times but no longer have an interest in wearing. These are typically still in style and in good condition.

  2. Clothes I’m Willing to Sell for the Right Price
    These are clothes that I still kiiind of like but haven’t fully decided if I’m willing to part with yet. Basically, this is my “Maybe” pile. If they sell for a certain amount (maybe $20-40) then maybe it’s worth it for me to get rid of it. But if I paid a lot for that item or if it’s a really nice brand, and it’s selling for really cheap, the value-driven side of me will just end up keeping it.

  3. Clothes to Donate

    These are the clothes that are either out of style, really worn out, or are unsuitable to sell. These might have holes, stains, or look very washed out. The first thing any consignment store looks for is how “worn” the item looks. If it looks really faded, I wouldn’t even try to sell it.

Keep In Mind Cash Value vs. Trade

Have you guys ever watched Broad City? I feel like that episode where Abbi sells her clothes and the cash value is sooo significantly less than the trade value is super accurate. For Crossroads, you’ll get 30% of what you sell in cash and 50% of what you sell in trade. Depending on what your goals are, you can decide what’s the better route. Usually I just take the cash, but if you find something you really like at the stores, I’d recommend trading as you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Other Need-To-Knows

  • Be prepared to wait.
    Every time I go, there’s usually a little wait (sometimes 15-30 minutes). It’s usually faster for me to go after work than on the weekends.

  • Some stores will take donations also.
    Buffalo Exchange will typically donate the rest of your clothes for you after you’re done selling. So let’s say you bring a bag of 10 items and they take 3, then you can let them know you want to donate the rest and they’ll do that for you. But note that you will not get the donation slip like you would at Goodwill. I’m pretty sure Crossroads doesn’t take donations, but you can always call ahead and ask to make sure.

  • You can check-in early and even drop off to sell.
    At Crossroads, they have an app now so you can check-in when you’re on your way (to avoid more of a wait time). They also have a drop-off service for selling, so you can drop it and pick up your cash the next day no hassle.

  • Dress the part.
    This sounds dumb, but if you dress stylish when going in - I swear it helps. You’ll have better luck than if you just go in your after work or gym clothes.

Hope these tips were helpful and happy selling! Feel free to reach out to me in the comments or in an email for any other selling tips.