Buy-Sell-Trade Your Way into a Cheap Wardrobe

Ecofriendly and economical: With commodity prices climbing, buy-sell-trade used clothing shops are popping up all over.

By Leah Zerbe


Here’s how to find used clothing that wears less on the planet’s health:

• Find a buy-sell-trade clothing shop
Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet boutiques are scattered about the country, but many nonfranchised stores are popping up in communities all over. In’s home state of Pennsylvania, The Attic has expanded to three stores in the eastern part of the state. (Watch the video to see The Attic in Philadelphia.)

• Inquire about the target demographic
Different buy-sell-trade clothing shops cater to different age groups, which greatly influences the styles they choose to buy and offer back to shoppers. Check your local buy-sell-trade store in advance, or check the store’s website to see what styles it offers and what it’s likely to buy. The styles and amount of clothing a store will purchase vary with the seasons, inventory, and fashion trends. Don’t be disappointed if they turn some of your clothing away—just donate those pieces to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or some other nonprofit if you know you’re not going to wear them anytime in the near future. You can get a receipt to use for a tax deduction.

• Explore other options
If you’re having trouble finding a buy-sell-trade in your area, here’s another idea, particularly if you’re looking for kids’ clothing. offers boxes of clothing to choose from (sizes, brands, and descriptions are listed for each box), and the buyer only has to pay shipping and a $5 service charge. If you’re up to your ears in outgrown children’s clothes, you can also build a box of your kid’s clothing to sell on ThredUp. For more information on clothing swaps nationwide, or how to organize your own clothing swap, visit For more ideas on how to find used clothing easily, check out the Nickel Pincher’s Thrify Wardrobe Tips.