Plato’s Closet recently opened in Edmonton, just south of Whyte Avenue and it is a welcomed addition to our preloved shopping community. The store is part of a company but I love it because they buy clothing and take men’s, which are two factors that were very much needed in Edmonton.
I brought two items with me to sell as I wanted to capture the full experience and see what sort of return they give. I brought a J Crew cardigan in good condition and a Polo Ralph Lauren shirt in excellent condition which they offered me $7 for both. To calculate their rates of return, they enter everything into a database that tracks brands, condition and demand. Although the rate of return seemed low, I like this strategy as it ensures consistent fair pricing as well it gives you cash right there instead of taking up valuable space in your home or waiting for the item to sell through other means of preloved retail.
While I was at the store there was a constant stream of customers bringing in clothes or collecting their cash, many customers brought a lot of items which on average paid $50 for 20 items. Some items were not accepted due to condition and labels being ripped off, since the store tracks everything in their database this is a crucial piece. I was able to have my items looked at right there because I only had two shirts but be prepared to leave your items for about an hour to give the staff time to go through everything. Signage on their counter captures the suggested steps as 1. Drop off items 2. Look around the store 3. Receive cash or trade for what you want to purchase.
For the content of the store, I found it impressive, the selection is very wide and the prices are somewhat comparable to thrift but less than consignment boutique. I found the average price of most items to be $10-$14 and many items are 50% off the tag (look for star or heart hole punches in the price tag)! Since in demand brands are a key selling point of the store, they have the best selection of preloved Lululemon I have ever seen! About four rows were allocated just for Lululemon and the styles range from new to old with an average price of $20-$24 per item. If I had a highly sought after Lululemon item to sell, I personally think the best return would be to sell on eBay but this is a great resource for more common styles.
Things I didn’t love about the store were that they have so much stuff that it was almost too much; some rows were a little too packed which made it hard to browse. They also write the price on the sole of one shoe (I’m assuming to keep pairs/pricing together) but I feel this damages the item. Winners/Home Sense also follows this strategy for their items but they are a bit more discreet about it by writing ‘016’ as in $16. At Plato’s Closet they physically write $16 on the sole of the shoe… this means you could never resell for more and perhaps may not be able to resell to Plato’s Closet.
No matter what the brand, I found their prices to be amazing. Very few items were priced for over $30 and if they were there was a strong possibility that the item was on clearance. For men, the selection was also really impressive though I found less on sale in that section, average price was $14. I checked the men’s dress shirt section and found a fulfilling selection of Ben Sherman dress shirts all priced at $14.
Although the store is very new, there was a good amount of customers shopping in the store including men and many customers seemed very fashion conscious. They cater towards a younger demographic of the items they intake but I still think something can be found for everyone here. The store is very packed with selection and they have bins upon bins of clothing stored to bring out hence I would really like to get the word out as not only a great resource to take your preloved items but also to buy brands you love at very, very reasonable prices!
I bought an Obey sweater for $5 and Zara slip on runners for $8. My boyfriend bought a Ben Sherman shirt for $14. We also received a stamp card, with every $10 purchase you get a stamp. Once the card is full, you receive 20% off.
You can find Plato’s Closet at 10339 – 80 Avenue, Edmonton
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/platosclosetstrathcona/
Instagram – @platos_closet_strathcona