I had three bins of baby clothes in Nora’s closet that had been lent out to friends and returned. My toddler had discovered them was attempting to wedge herself into very small clothing on a very regular basis. Time to clean out the closet.
I separated the wheat from the chaff by making a “sell” pile of the good stuff and a “donate” pile of the rest, then started doing research of where to sell.
When it came to selling, I was unwilling to go back to Sweet Pea. Their website had no useful information about how or when to sell to them, and a few months ago I hauled in a box of stuff only to be turned away due to lack of appointment. Why bother to have a website if you’re not going to tell people what they need to know about your business? And don’t you rely on people bringing you high quality items to stock your store? Why make it tough on them by accepting items by appointment only?
We Love Kids does not have a website. So I picked up the phone. The owner was very nice. She let me know that she wasn’t making any appointments until March and implied that she had enough people signed up to sell already. She also let me know that she worked on a consignment basis only and sent out checks only every 3 months. This was not pushing my instant gratification button.
Next, I checked online. Bella Stella had a website. It was informative and professional! Everything I needed to know was right there on one page. Best of all, they were actually welcoming me to bring in my items any time during business hours, without an appointment. Bella Stella gives you store credit (no cash) for your items the same day you bring them in. You get half the value of what they believe will be the final selling price of the item. I threw my goods in the car and headed for the Hollywood District.
The store was easy to find (right on Broadway). It was clean and well organized. I was warmly greeted right away by a lovely store employee. I left my stuff with her and browsed while she went through my items. They have a great selection of high-end, gently used clothes. They also have a great selection of brand new, high quality toys from manufacturers like HABA and Melissa and Doug and some new clothes that are locally sourced. You can use your credit for any item in the store. Wheels started turning, when Nora’s birthday comes around, I can cash in her old clothes for a great present!
I had no idea what to expect for the value of my items. I also didn’t really care, I needed to get rid of the stuff and something was better than nothing. The lovely young Bella Stella employee came back and told me that I would get $87.00 in store credit for my items! My jaw almost hit the floor. I may have told her to “shut up,” or “get out.” I walked out with two pairs of high end shoes, a shirt, a pair of tights, a pair of jeans (all used), a brand new sweater (a splurge at $25) and a gift card for my $30 store credit. I fairly floated to the car.
My closets are clean, and my $30 gift card is tucked safely away, waiting for a trip in May for Nora’s 3rd birthday. I am Portland’s happiest cheapskate.
Please feel free to share your stories of experiences with other local resale shops in the comments. I’d love to know how the other local shops measure up. Please note, Bella Stella did not pay me to say nice things. They didn’t have to.