Buffalo Exchange Offers New Yorkers Clean Closets + Cash

This past Sunday I set out on a mission to kill jumpstart two resolutions with one stone: de-clutter my closets and be a master budgeter.  My day went a little something like this:

Step 1: Throw everything I own out of the closets.  Seriously, I wish I would have snapped a photo of this catastrophe to share with you, but considering I was up to my knees in loafers, polos, and chihuahua attire (yes, my little man has his own wardrobe, too!), the iPhone wasn’t exactly accessible.  Apologies.  But use your imagination, and whatever disaster your envision, multiply times ten.  That was my apartment.

Step 2: Make the keep and giveaway piles.  I know lots of people recommend that third pile of “maybe”, but let’s be honest…how many times have you actually gone back into your closet and chosen a “maybe” to wear?  If it’s iffy, it’s time to let go.  Return all the “keeps” to your closet, and proceed to step three.

Step 3:  Sort by season.  Seeing as how we’re in the middle of winter, I folded and boxed up all my sundresses and snappy summer whites and stuck them on the top shelf of my closet.  They will be making a trip to the thrift store come April, but for now, I focused just on the current season’s attire, bagged it all up, and voila!  Here’s my winter wardrobe clutter:



Step 4: Recruit a friend to help carry, hop on the train, and head to Buffalo Exchange.  Sure, you’re going to be that annoying girl with all the bags, but considering the second goal of all this is budgeting, a cab just might not make sense.  Unless you can’t recruit a friend, in which case hail a cab and avoid being that annoying bag lady.  (Side note: trading lines can get lengthy on the weekends, so if possible, go during the weekdays before 5pm.)

Step 5: Trade clothes for cash or gift cards.  Buffalo Exchange accepts clothes that fit the current season, and also looks for certain items at certain times.  (Boots, chunky sweaters, and anything layerable are currently all the rage.)  They will give you 50% of whatever they will sell your item for back as store credit, or 30% for cash.  On my particular trip I scored $39.50.



Step 6: Take the rest of the clothes to Goodwill.  If you hit up the Chelsea Buffalo Exchange, there is a Goodwill a block away at 103 West 25th Street where you can drop the rest of your bags and get a tax slip in under a minute.



Step 7: With your hard earned cash, head to Trader Joe’s Wine Shop and pick up a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck.  Sure, it may be $3 in NYC, but you earned it for all your hard work!  Raise your glass in a toast to cleaning out your closet and being a rockstar budgeter in 2013!  Cheers!

What are your tips and tricks for keeping the closet clean and your wallet full of green?


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen



  • Wish I knew about Buffalo Exchange sooner. I could have gotten some $$$!

  • we having nothing like that here, I send my stuff to British Heart Foundation charity shop because they collect so I am NEVER that bag lady! Mind you, it sits on the stairs for months before I get round to calling them!!!

    • Used York City says:

      That’s fantastic that they come pick it up though, sure beats hauling bags on the train!;-)

  • Stevie says:

    we love buffalo exchange.. and whatever they don’t take, I donate or I garage sale.

  • Cari Lorine says:

    Nice! I’d never heard of Buffalo Exchange. It sounds like a great way to get organized and regain a little spending cash (or credit). :) Good for you for getting a jump start on the new year. I’m sorry to say that my resolutions are moving a bit slower.

    • Used York City says:

      Can’t wait to hop over to your blog to see what your resolutions are! Best of luck, you’re gonna do just great:-)

  • I love Buffalo Exchange! And good call on the organizing. I so need to be doing this right now!!

    I’ve also sold a lot of higher end stuff to Tokyo Joe next door. Their store is small, but they usually have a lot of hidden gems. My favorite consignment store of all time (to shop!) is just around the corner – Cadillac’s Castle. The owners are amazing and they always have a fantastic selection of brand new high end items!

    • Used York City says:

      Great to know! Definitely going to have to stop by Tokyo Joe next time I’m down there and go treasure hunting!:-)

  • Great way too unclutter, pick up cash, and help others. I do see what you man about the cab ride though.

  • I love this post!! What could be more cleansing for the new year than de-cluttering? And we all know that getting rid of the crap relieves us of unnecessary mental stress caused by looking for every day essentials like the iPhone. That’s great that you were able to get rid of everything you don’t want/need. It sounds like a fun adventure, too.

    I can’t imagine the pooch swag taking up to much room, however…

    I’m with you on the budget tip. I overspent during the holidays (sorry Leo Babauta of Zen Habits…). To my credit (or rationalization) I bought several sale items of good quality that I can mix and match. And yes, I succumbed and traded in the CrackBerry ($20.00!!) for the iPhone 5.

    Cheers to a lean, mean, efficient and productive 2013 :).

    • Used York City says:

      YAY! You and I both converted to the iPhone in the last remaining days of 2012! Don’t you just love it?:-)

      All of your Zen posts were very inspirational in kicking off 2013 on a clutter free, budget-minded food! Thank you!

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