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Teens recycle style at Plato’s Closet

Plato's Closet


Teens recycle style at Plato’s Closet. A walk into Plato's Closet can be overwhelming for some at first. It's a little different from most stores because it has items from most popular brands for teens and young adults and all at a discount.

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Plato's Closet

"The store has everything," said Rita Cortese, owner of Plato's Closet in Deptford. "If you need a pair of jeans, you've got jeans from every store you can think of in there."

How is this possible? The store buys gently-used clothing, accessories and other items from customers and resells them to customers looking for deals on current fashions.

"The draw is there is literally new stuff every single day," Manager Jennifer Lynch explained. The turnaround to get new items sold to the store on the floor is within the day, so a customer could shop in the morning, and come back at night to find items that weren't there in the morning.

And, just because the store's target customer is teens and twenty-somethings, they aren't the only ones happy with the store.

"Parents are thanking me because their kids can wear the same clothes other kids are wearing," Cortese said.

While the store buys gently-used items from anyone, there are some rules corporate sets. The clothing must be in good condition and in current style (no more than 1-2 1/2 years old). It must also be freshly laundered and folded neatly in boxes or bags. Nothing should be on hangers. If any items brought in to be sold will not fit the store's inventory needs, there is a chance the store will not buy it.

Customers who sell clothing to the store get cash on the spot, thanks to help from a computer system which prices items according to exact item and quality. The buyer, the sales associate who evaluates items for the store to purchase, first types in the type of item is being sold, then the style and brand. The computer generates a price, which in most cases is about a third of the value.

Most people earn $15-20 on items the store purchased, but Lynch once saw someone who ended up earning about $300 in one trip.

The average drop-off wait time is about a half hour, but most don't mind because they use that time to shop in the store.

Visit Plato's Closet's Columbia website, Facebook page or Twitter page to learn about style tips and upcoming sales. Plato's Closet is located at 1150 Bower Parkway in Columbia.

As always, maximize your style and minimize your spending~

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