A Phoenix native, Caelyn has been in love with fashion for as long as she can remember. As a little kid, she recalls, she was always very expressive with what she wore and very insistent upon choosing her outfit – even if it didn’t match. From the age of 4 or 5, she’d go to thrift stores with her mom every week. Early on, she developed a knack for finding unique things with bright colors and patterns and figuring out how to put them together. She loved seeing what other people were wearing, but her ultimate goal? To do something different than the norm. It’s little surprise that, to this day, her favorite hobby is shopping. “I just love to shop,” she says, whether it’s online, the mall or little random places.
In my tenure as a Buffalo Exchange employee, I’ve spent many hours behind the buy counter, and I’ve seen it all: the good, the not-as-good and the totally unexpected. To those new to the world of resale fashion, the process of selling at Buffalo can feel shrouded in mystery. But fear not: here are my tips on how to get the most out of your closet cleanout and have the most successful selling trip!
In case you’re in a hurry, here’s the TLDR for selling clothes at Buffalo:
- Launder your items first & check for spots, rips, missing buttons, broken zippers, etc
- Bring in a variety of items (t-shirts, sweaters, shorts, jackets, pants, dresses — you name it!)
- Get familiar with your store and ask your Buyer what they’re looking for
- Take the trade!
Coming Clean: Before Selling Clothes, Throw Them In the Laundry!
Even with the coolest, most stylish clothing, Buffalo can’t buy anything with spots, tears, rips or broken zippers — unless, of course, it’s purposely distressed denim or a vintage tee so amazing that a little spot doesn’t matter. As you sort your laundry, take a look to make sure everything you plan on selling is in the best possible condition. A little detergent (or even dish soap, if you’ve got a grease stain!) will go a long way in keeping your clothes from the dreaded “give back” stack. If needed, try your hand at mending any small rips or reattaching loose buttons. The same goes for shoes and accessories: do a double take for any loose or chipped heels, lifting soles, excessive wear or dirt. If you can clean it up, awesome. If it seems a little too worn, you may want to plan to donate it to your favorite local non-profit.
Originally hailing from Mexico, Felix moved to the U.S. over 20 years ago. He tried his hand at a variety of different career paths – from restaurants and hotels to massage therapy – but he never found a job he loved until he started working at the Buffalo Outlet. The story goes a little something like this – one day, Felix was shopping for some great deals at the Buffalo Outlet and he was asked to apply. “Ding, ding, ding,” he says. “I got lucky.” Four years later and he still loves going to work every day. “Working here is like my favorite place,” he says. “When I’m here, I’m so happy.”
Beyond working with an amazing team, Felix’s favorite part of the job is helping regulars shop the store. For many of them, he knows their style super well. “When you’re tagging and see a nice piece for a customer that comes in regularly,” he says, “their face is priceless. You see how much they love it.”
Felix loves watching movies, listening to pop music – Madonna, Cher, Adele, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, to name a few – and, of course, styling up a storm. He has loved fashion all his life. He grew up with sisters and loved helping his grandmother copy popular styles for them with her sewing machine. These days, Felix takes style inspiration from pretty much everywhere – TV, magazines, coworkers – and loves to try out all kinds of different trends. “It all depends how I feel in the morning,” he says. “I have a lot of stuff. I’m country some days, rocker other days. I like to mix it up.” Since recently downsizing his house, this is more true than ever. His current strategy? Every couple weeks, he takes a few random boxes out of storage and, whatever’s in them, that’s what he’s wearing!
To get dressed each morning, Felix starts by picking a pair of shoes and building the outfit from there. Go figure that his current shoe collection clocks in around 300 pairs – from sneakers to boots to Louis Vuitton and Gucci. “Shoes are always there for you,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how big or thin you get.” Ultimately, Felix goes for looks that are unexpected and that make him feel special. “Life is so short,” he says, “and in the morning, you have an opportunity to reinvent yourself. If you bought a dress you like and you don’t have the courage to wear it, just go for it. Life is fun. It doesn’t have to be boring.”