My trendy 16-year-old niece introduced me to Plato’s Closet one afternoon while we were shopping in the city, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite go-to stores for fabulous, bargain-priced apparel and accessories. This not-your-typical-consignment store allows shoppers to clean their closets and get instant cash for things they don’t wear while also selling on-trend merchandise at affordable prices for both men and women.

If you are interested in trying a Plato’s Closet, here’s what the inside of a typical store looks like. So if this is your kind of place, here’s what you need to know to make the most of it.

How Does It Work?

Plato’s Closet is a consignment shop that buys a collection of clothes and accessories from a consignor on the spot for cash. The technique is similar to book buying techniques at Half-Price Books. Bring in new or gently-used clothes, get a quote, and decide if you want to sell all or some of your merchandise. Price per item varies, but you can expect a couple of dollars for a T-shirt or shorts, several dollars for blouses, jeans and skirts.

More expensive shoes and jewelry can net higher returns. The store will mark up your merchandise and sell it to make a profit, but they strive to offer up to 70 percent off mall prices. Learn more about how the process works here.

How Do I Get the Most for My Stuff?

  • Plato’s Closet is most interested in buying current fashions, especially brands which cater to a young audience like A&F, Forever 21, Hollister, Miss Me, and Pink by Victoria’s Secret. If you have some of these or others on the list in your collection, you are likely to earn a bigger payout for your merchandise.
  • Make sure all merchandise is in immediately sellable condition. Carefully launder and press clothes, making sure there are no stains or tears. Clean and polish shoes. Make sure jewelry has no loose beads or broken clasps.
  • Bring in apparel in season (or slightly before the season starts). Some Plato’s Closets won’t buy sweaters in summer or tank tops in winter—no matter how great the condition of these pieces. Their company Facebook page offers buying reminders.
  • Make sure all sizes are within their buying parameters. Most Plato’s Closets only buy female sizes up to 16 and male sizes up to 40.
  • Try a different location. If one location is saturated with, for instance, jeans, your merchandise might be turned away, even if its condition is stellar. Try an alternate location before giving up; another location might need what you have.
  • Stay on trend. Remember, KCLs: no mom jeans, no baggy velvet sweats. Make sure your merchandise is what teens/young adults want: think maxi dresses, tight-fitting tops, ballet flats, and anything in a striped pattern. Need more specific ideas? Plato’s Closet keeps an online style report to help you see what’s hot.
  • Opt for a store credit. Some locations offer a 10 percent increase of the “price” paid if you take it in store credit as opposed to cash.

Does Plato’s Closet Offer Sales?

Absolutely! They wouldn’t be a clothing store without sales, right? Here’s a sampling of some popular sales:

  • Grab Bag Sale: Go in, grab a bag, and fill it for one base price. Since locations are franchised, there are some differences in time and price. Most Grab Bag Sales are fill-for-$10, fill-for-$15 or fill-for-$25 (depending on the region). The bags are given in-store, and most can hold between eight and 10 items.
  • Clearance Racks: Like in many apparel stores, merchandise at Plato’s Closet also gets clearanced. So even those $15 Lucky brand jeans you saw last week that you weren’t certain about might be more attractive at $7.50. Find the clearance section in store, and check it often.
  • Clearance-for-a-Buck Sale: When clearance items don’t move fast enough, some locations offer a special promotion where any clearance item is only $1. Can’t go wrong with a price like that!

Call your Closest store to learn exact dates of sales and any restrictions, and you can also ask about other available promotions (like a grand-opening sale, a BOGO sale, etc.).

What Do Others Think About Plato’s Closet?

Teens’ and 20-somethings’ responses to shopping at Plato’s Closet are overwhelmingly positive. They love the variety and affordability and are also quick to share shopping tips, like this one from a shopper named Shannon who posted, “The day I went I got $5 off for spending at least $30 dollars by sending a text to Plato’s Closet.” Advance notice of promotions like this can be discovered in store or by tracking Facebook.

KCL shoppers also love Plato’s Closet for some of the same reasons. Here’s what one shopper shared in our own Brag Lounge back in May:

“If any of you live near a Plato’s Closet, their Grab Bag sales are absolutely fantastic. You pay $10 to fill a bag full of BRAND NAME CLOTHES! The woman at the register told me, before the epic grab bag discount, my total would’ve been about $190. I paid 21 dollars and got 4 pairs of Hollister Jeans, 2 American Eagle, 6 dresses, 3 jumpers, and 9 shirts; I seriously only bought two bags, so LOOK FOR A PLATO’S NEAR YOU!”

Are There Any Other Opportunities?

In addition to selling your personal merchandise to a Plato’s Closet, you can independently own a franchise location. But if that’s not in the realm of possibility, how about a part-time job, complete with an employee discount?

Have you scored an incredible Plato’s Closet find? Brag about it in the “Comments” section below.

Leave a Reply

16 thoughts on “How to Sell and Save at Plato’s Closet”

  1. Katie says:

    I’ve been to both of the Madison WI locations (East and West side) and both of them were great. Friendly people and got store credit for my BKE jeans. They didn’t take all of the clothes I brought in but I didn’t expect them to take all of it. Great stores!

  2. Angeline Olsen says:

    The last time I went to sell clothes, it was an hour or so before close (I thought they were open later), they wanted to keep my clothes overnight and call me in the morning with a quote! Since I’d already driven an hour (and I’ve heard of consignment stores who buy on the spot picking through boxes overnight, taking what they want, and then returning what’s left with an attached “sorry, we didn’t find anything.”), I told them no and politely asked if they would at least glance through the 3-4 boxes. I’d just broken up with a guy, and most of it was store bought Army logo/military styled apparel. The snotty girl behind the counter huffed through my stuff in about 5 minutes flat, then told me all they would take was a tin sign and a t-shirt and give me $1.70!!! The sign I’d bought for around $18, and the shirt was from Walmart! Needless to say, everything got dropped off at Goodwill that night, and I’ve never gone back. Maybe they’ve gotten better, that was like 7 years ago. But after driving by and seeing racks of, yes, hooker-in-training apparel adorning the windows, I seriously doubt they will want my gently used American Eagle jeans.

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m a former PC employee and I’m sorry you guys have some snobby jerks working at your stores :( Don’t give up on all of us! Try another location! And for the grab bag sales, try rolling up the clothes and getting creative when you stuff things in…I had a woman buy 10 bags for $100 dollars, and by using this method, she walked away with almost $1000 dollars worth of clothes! She nearly had a heart attack when I told her!!

    • daciathibodeaux says:

      I was hoping a PC employee would reply. Thanks for the encouragement. I too feel the employees are condescending in our Lafayette, LA store. In their defense, I know a lot of the clientele are teens looking to buy something for nothing. But when a mature adult comes through the store with a checkbook I expect to be treated as an adult, with respect, and not like a college kid. I have been happy with the bargains for my young son. I ignore the girls’ fashions and frankly I’m relieved not to have a girl to clothe…I can only imagine the challenge. Anyway, glad to hear not all PC employees are “snobby”!

  4. Mariatell says:

    I tried their store once and was severely disappointed. The cashiers were snobs and the clothes tacky. They turned down brand name jeans in good condition, but apparently had considered a pair of worn-out neon yellow rain boots as “stylish.” I think I’ll stick to getting tax credits from Goodwill. They have a better selection to boot!

  5. jaimelescoupons says:

    personally i dislike that place. all the employee are snooty and turned down all my brand name clothes, then when i looked around..all they sell is super worn out..what gives? they can keep their garbage!

  6. Jessica Santos says:

    I don’t enjoy the bag sale, but my husband and I are smaller people (in our late 20s) and we both have found clothes we love here. My most recent purchase was a pair of AE khaki shorts for $6!

  7. dawn wagner says:

    I am not impressed with the store here in Columbia SC, they did not take clothes from my daughter that was well within style and the name brands, I did figure out why though most of the clothes they were selling I had never heard of and they looked like hooker I’m training clothes they had little pills all over them. I am not impressed in any way shape or form with this store.

  8. Lee Ann says:

    I was very disappointed with their “fill a bag sale”. The bags were the size of a gallon sized zip lock baggie. Could squeeze maybe two shirts in it. The next time I take clothes, I plan to go during a quiet non-busy time of the day. I felt my items were quickly glanced thru and were turned down. Most of the items were purchased from the store just a couple months before. My daughter just outgrew them.

  9. Anne Marie says:

    They take all of your weird items and leave the good stuff. They are overpriced and have odd clothing. The workers at the one where I live are all snooty. Awkward clothing, high prices, and never take the good clothing. I wouldn’t recommend! Have a yard sale. You will make more money.

  10. nadia says:

    i am going to try this plato place out… i love once apon a child there awsome

  11. Katherine Weaver says:

    If I could catch a sale that would be cool, I use Once Upon A Child for my kids clothes, I buy them there then sell them back to them after I’m done. Not to mention the grandma likes to shop at expensive places for the kids, so whenever they grow out of the clothes they get sold to buy new clothes. They buy and sell toys and baby gear too, which has been a huge savings.

  12. Daisy Garner says:

    when do the typically do stuff a bag sale?

  13. Jeffy Walker says:

    They can be over priced at times!