How Much does Plato’s Closet Pay for Clothes (My Experience)

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by John-Paul Cody

For years I wondered what all the fuss was about.

I heard stories about how to sell clothes to Plato’s Closet and earn good money, but always wondered how “good” it really was.

Over the weekend I took a large portion of my closet for consignment, and must say I was surprised at their offer.

Today, I’ll reveal how much Plato’s Closet pays for clothes, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

How much does Plato’s Closet pay for clothes?

In my experience, Plato’s Closet pays approximately $8 per item on average when consigning clothes and shoes.

This might seem low to some people, but you have to consider how Plato’s Closet works.

shopper-recycling-business

They are a clothing reseller that pays you on the spot, and might have to wait months before selling that item (or they might never sell it). Not to mention, they have business expenses, and need to turn a profit as well.

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I recently took about 20 items into my local Plato’s Closet and walked away with $168, after their 30 minute process of reviewing each item.

My consigned items included a few jackets, cowboy boots, running shoes, and a bunch of shirts, all of which are great items to resell.

Is Plato’s Closet worth selling to?

Due to their fair consignment rates and instant payouts, Plato’s Closet is definitely worth selling to.

Over the years, I’ve sold stuff, at yard sales, online marketplaces, and pawn shops, and enjoyed the experience with Plato’s Closet the most.

Reasons I enjoy selling to Plato’s:

  • No haggling – unlike pawn shops and yard sales, you won’t have to deal with haggling and negotiating, which makes the process a breeze.
  • Accepts a wide range of products – they accept clothing, belts, handbags, bracelets, hats, necklaces, sunglasses, boots, running shoes, jackets, scarves, tank tops, and sandals.
  • Makes fair offers – unlike my recent pawn shop experience (offered just $150 for brand new guitar, KitchenAid mixer, and vintage ham radio) the company makes fair offers in my experience.

How does Plato’s Closet work?

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Plato’s Closet is a recycling business that purchases second hand clothes for less than market value from consumers, and sells them for a profit.

It may sound simple, but second hand clothing is a big business.

According to Plato’s Closet, locations generate over a million dollars in revenue on average.

Trend on the Rise:

As an industry, the second hand market is driving over $36 billion dollars. As more people become focused on sustainable living and living frugally in the face of inflation, the second hand market will continue accelerating.

Most consignment shops determine market value by using sold listing data on platforms like eBay or past sales data from their actual stores.

Does Plato’s Closet always buy?

Even if you consign items in accepted categories, they might decline certain things due to seasonality, overstock of certain brands, brand doesn’t sell well, or condition is too rough.

Luckily, just because one Plato’s Closet doesn’t accept an item doesn’t mean another won’t.

During my recent trip to Plato’s they refused several items, saying the brand didn’t sell well at their store, but that it sells great at their other location about 15 minutes away.

So make sure you not only bring quality items, but also be prepared to visit a few stores if you want the most cash out of your items.

How to maximize your payout from Plato’s Closet?

One of the best ways to boost your payout from Plato’s Closet is to spend a few minutes improving the look of your stuff.

For example, make sure your clothes are free of pet hair, dust, and dirt. Rid your shoes of major issues like gum on the heel, red dirt on the midsole, and pet hair inside the shoe.

I use this same strategy when selling used shoes, and it can add hundreds of dollars to the sale price.

These quick wins make your items more presentable, and thus more valuable in the eyes of Plato’s Closet.

The next strategy involves a bit of market research.

Most areas have several Plato’s Closets within driving distance, and each store will be willing to pay slightly different amounts for your stuff.

This makes sense though, since some locations might have more young shoppers than others, which means certain brands sell better than others.

Reading customers reviews can help reveal what types of brand sell well at a particular store, and how happy customers are with their payouts.

plato's closet review

Other Great Way to Sell your Stuff

If you have items that Plato’s Closet does not accept, or you want to earn the most money possible for your items, there are other options.

In fact, there have never been more ways to sell stuff online.

I’ve personally been an online seller for years, and believe each of these methods has their pros and cons.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are fantastic websites to sell things. Not only can you get your products in front of millions of people when selling on Mercari and eBay, but you usually make more as well.

A few things to consider with online marketplaces is that you’ll need to set up an account, and process shipping (which is very simple these days).

Start an Online Boutique

It’s never been easier to start a clothing boutique, in the age of the internet. It’s a business model lots of people are pursuing with how plentiful inventory can be, and the high profit margins.

As with any business, there are challenges, but selling clothing online has proven to be a viable option for many.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops tend to get a bad reputation for low balling, but this is usually from people who haven’t done their due diligence before selling to a pawn shop.

selling-to-a-pawn-shop-pros-and-cons

Yes, pawn shops are usually great negotiators, but you can negotiate prices up as well, with a few strategies.

Plus, you can sell all kinds of stuff to pawn shops, while most consignment shops will be more picky.

Make sure to spend a few minutes researching the better pawn shops in your area with Google and Yelp customer reviews, so you can get a better payout.

Yard Sales

Garage sales date back to the early 1800s, and continue to be a go to strategy for quick cash. Setting up a yard sale can be as easy or complicated as you want.

Although yard sales are theoretically one of the easiest ways to unload large amounts of stuff (similar to estate sales), be prepared for lots of haggling and early birds (people who show up an hour before your sale starts).

Wrapping Up

I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my recent consignment trip at Plato’s Closet.

If you want to get rid of a bunch of clothes/shoes that are in great condition, I highly recommend giving it a try.

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About the Author

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John-Paul Cody is the creator of Trends & Tactics, with the mission of helping people demystify entrepreneurship and money so they can live life on their terms. John-Paul has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill, and currently works in data analytics and marketing.