Need new clothes but haven't gotten that economic stimulus check yet? We've divined the mysterious tastes of buyers at Brooklyn's top resale shops, so you can update your wardrobe on the cheap. We can't guarantee that they'll buy every last shirt, but our advice will help you weed out items you should just donate.
Trusty Basics: Buffalo Exchange
504 Driggs Ave., 718-384-6901
When to go: Not on a weekend afternoon, when the line to sell stretches down the stairs, or right before closing.
What they're buying: From women, the kinds of spring items (longer-fitting tees, silk tops) on sale at Urban Outfitters or H&M right now. From men, tailored or close-fitting pieces for all seasons, like straight legged jeans.
What you'll get back: 30 percent of the value in cash, or 50 percent in trade.
What recently sold: Cotton halter tunic, striped, peep-toe wedges, tank tops and colored flats.
Way to get rejected: Vintage, current, and designer clothes have to follow a current retail trend. And if it's a Gap or Banana item from years back, chances are they've "seen it, sold it, and it won't sell anymore," says manager Viki Stevenson. But bring it in anyway, she says, "because it's also our bread and butter."
Tip: Don't bother to bring in anything with a broken zipper or missing buttons, though exceptions may be made for Marc Jacobs clothes, even out of season. --Chrysanthe Tenentes
Hipster Chic: Beacon's Closet
88 N. 11th St., 718-486-0816
220 5th Ave., 718-230-1630
When to go: As early during weekdays as possible.
What they're buying: From women, spring shoes, bags and clothes like vintage blouses and cotton floral dresses, and current fashions like khaki trench coats. From men, long, lean spring and summer items -- nothing boxy.
What you'll get back: 35 percent cash and 55 percent in trade.
What recently sold: Leather riding boots, striped 3/4 length tee, vintage polka dot shoes and checked button-up shirt (both pictured above).
Way to get rejected: Buyer Brookes Terry warns against the "gray area" between 80s vintage and supermodern clothes, like a 90s business suit. Other no-nos: underwear, pointy shoes, and spots. Items are held under a light to detect stains.
Tip: The smaller Park Slope store buys with moms and moms-to-be in mind, but both generally carry the same styles. And to unload unsellable clothes, both shops have a donation box. --C.T.
Designer: Eva Gentry Consignment
371 Atlantic Ave., 718-522-3522
When to go: Call first to make an appointment. Drop-ins are accepted during weekday hours, but may require a wait.
What they're buying: From women only, spring clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories in the pages of the glossiest fashion magazines. Designer names like Marni, Ric Owens and Marc Jacobs fill the racks.
What you'll get back: 40 percent of the sale price. A check will be in the mail the first week of the month after your item sells.
What recently sold: A Fendi Spy Bag was put on consignment and sold in "about one minute." (Neiman Marcus price: $2,250.00. At Eva Gentry Consignment: $998.00.)
Way to get rejected: The goal is to keep consignment articles on par with past-season merchandise from sister store Butter, so think high fashion, and only slightly used. "Things that have holes or stains in the armpits will get rejected," says owner Eva Gentry. "And design-wise we're not looking for Club Monaco, Gap or Banana Republic."
Tip: The store prices merchandise at approximately 50 to 60 percent of the original value, so find out the worth of your stock via online research. It can help you to better negotiate selling prices. --Lisa Santandrea
Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.