Used clothing stores can provide back-to-school savingsBack-to-school season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be costly. Kids can still rock the latest fashions and trends in clothes that look new without paying department-store prices. Families can score big savings on everything from shirts to accessories at used clothing shops.
By: Heidi Bounphithack, Grand Forks Herald
Back-to-school season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be costly. Kids can still rock the latest fashions and trends in clothes that look new without paying department-store prices. Families can score big savings on everything from shirts to accessories at used clothing shops.
Plato’s Closet at 2500 S. Columbia Road in Grand Forks is a franchise store that specializes in buying and selling, new and gently used name-brand clothing.
Store manager Walker Waage has eagerly anticipated the increased foot traffic of the back-to-school season all summer long.
“August is our Christmas season,” he said because “it is our busiest time of year, by far.”
Amber Skadsem and her son, CJ Lara, 14, were at Plato’s Closet, browsing in preparation for school. Skadsem usually spends a few hundred dollars on school clothes. And they were both finding that despite being used, the store was stocked with apparel that fit their needs.
“I like Plato’s because it has a lot of name brands,” said Skadsem.
Lara is into button-down shirts, American Eagle and Aeropostale clothing. Having been to Plato’s Closet before, they decided to stop in and see what they could find.
He still shops at department stores, but doesn’t mind buying used as long as it meets his needs.
“It depends on what it is and the condition it is in,” he said.
All items at Plato’s Closet are inspected before hitting the racks. And they will purchase any unwanted and gently used clothing that meets their buying criteria. Keep in mind, clothing should still be examined for holes, broken zippers and stretching before purchase.
Jodi Hodny, assistant manager at Goodwill, said this too is an especially busy time of year for the store. And the majority of clothing sales during the summer months are for ages 6 and older.
Goodwill has set prices on all clothing, and Hodny said, it is not uncommon to find brands such as American Eagle, Aeropostale, Miss Me and Silver.
“We have really high standards on what we put out here,” she added.
Used clothing stores are more like a one-stop shop, offering a wider selection of brand name clothing than some department stores. Just beware that clothes are usually separated by type rather than brand, so shopping may require a bit more time.
Hodny has three children of her own and understands how expensive school shopping is. Not to mention, seeing how much people save when buying used reinforces her reason for doing it too.
“I could not pay full price knowing I could get it cheaper,” she said.
Waage’s response is similar.
“If you cannot tell the difference, why pay the price?”