Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury... a woman scorned by Buffalo Exchange second hand clothing store.

Scorn: The feeling or belief that someone or something is worthless or despicable; contempt.

Today I was made to feel as though I was worthless. How did a second hand clothing store do this to me? The story started Friday afternoon. As I've been losing weight, I've been cleaning out my closet and putting all the things that are too big for me into large black trash bags. For weeks I've been trying to decide what to do with those clothes. The solution I came up with was to sell what I could to a second hand or consignment shop (I'm not foolish enough to think they would take everything), and the rest I would donate to a ministry at my church. So yesterday afternoon I looked online to find a consignment shop that would take plus size clothes. Not all stores sell plus size clothes, so I wanted to check before I took my stuff in somewhere. I tried one store that said it was a plus size boutique but the number was disconnected. My husband found Buffalo Exchange, but they didn't specify sizes, so we called to see what sizes they accept and what they are looking for as per their web site: "Call your local Buffalo Exchange before you go and ask what they're currently buying to get an idea of what we're looking for."

They said they DO sell plus size clothes, and that they were looking for spring and summer clothes in current styles. Now, to expand upon that let me share what their web site says they are looking for:

"Bring in your former favorites for trade or cash on the spot! Our ever-changing inventory includes designer labels, vintage, jeans, leather, current basics and one-of-a-kind items. You'll also find brand new merchandise and accessories."

Notice they say they take jeans...I had jeans from Lane Braynt, and a pair of great Levi's that I got lots of compliments on...didn't wear them much though before I was too small for them. And they said they take "current basics" I had black, navy blue and kaki slacks and capris. Coldwater Creek solid lace trimmed t-shirts. Lots of solid and print blouses in long, short, & 3/4 length sleeves, in blacks and whites, reds, pinks, oranges, you name it...a rainbow of colors and prints. I'll show you in a bit. Oh, and they say they take "brand new merchandise"...well I had a light weight jacket perfect for spring....tags still on it!!! There was also a dress I had worn twice and several denim skits in varying lengths. I also had shorts and capris in denim as well as athletic wear. There was even a really cute pink and black polkadot bathing suit.

So this is what happened when we went today, the day after I spoke to them on the phone:

I had sorted through the clothes, taking out things that were definitely fall/winter or that I had missed spots on. Even weeded out a couple of more worn looking graphic t-shirts. I weeded the 3 large black trash bags of clothes down to 2. (BTW...I asked if they needed them brought in in any special way, because some places require you to fold them and place them in a laundry basket or plastic bags, but they said bags were fine, no special instructions.)

So today I walked in with my two bags of clothes, and she had me dump the clothes out of the bags onto the counter. She began looking through the clothes, unfolding and refolding them. Some she put back down in the bag, some she stacked on the counter. (This was the first bag) Then after she looked at all of them, she picked up all of the clothes from the counter and put them back in the bag. Then she repeated this process with the second bag. By this time however, she wasn't even unfolding all of the items. Some she just moved from one pile to another without even looking at them. Then she put them all back in their bags and informed me she couldn't take any of them due "to excess wear and laundering."

That is bull!!! Let me show you why!

This dress was worn twice!

Colwater Creek

Coldwater Creek - Never Worn

My Levi's that I got compliments on all the time. Another plus size woman even asked me what brand they were and where I got them because she wanted a pair.

The back of my Levi's Cute pockets!

This blouse is from Lane Bryant. Very cute on, ties in the back...flattering to the figure with a high waist line and the way the top lays it accents the bust line.

The tags are not on this, but only because I was planning to wear it, but when I put it on, the blouse I had bought to go with it didn't match the way I expected. So...brand new!

Cute chemise from Lane Bryant....very cute under sweaters or low cut tops. The lace is even prettier in person. I think I wore it once or twice.

The bathing suit I mentioned...worn less than a handful of times.

This is the butt on the bathing you can see it wasn't even worn enough to cause the fabric to start to pill like they usually do!

These are Dockers from Dillard's.

This is a close up of the fabric, a mix of white and pale pink pin stripes.

Cute denim skirt...I had at least half a dozen denim skirts in different lengths and styles all from Lane Bryant and Avenue.

Wore this one twice! Bought it within the last six months.

Worn once or twice.

Less than a year old. Worn maybe half a dozen times. The stitching detail on the blouse is all still intact, no runs or pulls in it.

Nice 3/4 sleeve blouse in red, I had another one almost identical in pale pink...the pink one went well with the gray pin striped Dockers above.

These are a cross between slacks and capris. They are cut like a loose legged trouser, but only come down to just above he ankle and have a small slit on the outside seems.

This blouse got me compliments EVERY time I wore it! Beautiful blouse! And still in great shape!

Another solid black pair of long slack/capris, but this pair was cuffed at the bottom...very cute!

Wore this maybe 3 or 4 times. Beautiful, but a little too dressy for work, so I wore it to church. That means that when I did wear it, it was only for a couple of hours. Still looks brand new!

Very cute top. Looks better in person than in the picture. Has a cute ruffle at the bottom. Bought it to wear to the theater when we went to see Wicked...then wore it a few times to work. Still looks new.

This is the top I was wearing in one of my Vlogs the other day. I love this top! Cute, cool for summer, and still in great condition...not faded or worn out at all.

This would be the jacket that is brand new...notice the tags still hanging under the arm! It's light weight, so perfect for spring or fall.

This blouse is perfect for spring. Very light weight, actually a little see-through so you have to wear something under it. And I have a white one just like it! It was a little wrinkled from being in the bag, but otherwise in perfect condition.

This is another light weight jacket from Lane Bryant. I think I wore it once and took it off while we were out and never put it back on because I got warm. So basically brand new.

Now, I cold be catastrophically wrong on all of this. Maybe I over-value the quality of my clothes. But for those of you that buy plus size clothes, you know that Lane Bryant and Avenue are NOT cheap stores. And Coldwater Creek isn't either! (though they carry regular and plus size clothing) In fact, I can't afford Coldwater Creek. My mother-in-law is responsible for all my clothes from their store. So, you guys give me your opinion. Do these clothes look "worn", "over laundered", or "out of style"? Because from what I was told in the store and what I read on their website, those are the reasons they would turn down clothes. And don't forget...this is just a small sample of what I had for them...maybe 1/4 of it. And that's after I weeded out things that were definitely out of season or worn/stained.

Please, give me your input on this. I am furious with these people right now, because I honestly feel that after they told me they take plus size clothes, they discriminated against me because my clothes size. I could have accepted if they had only taken some of the clothes, or told me up front that they had a size limit. But don't tell me you take ALL sizes then turn away everything I bring in! Odds are in my favor that with all the clothes I took in, they would have accepted a few things...even one or two things...but none...that's a little bit more than suspicious to me! Especially given the state of some of the things we saw on display in their store.

Okay. Rant over, but please, if you agree with me, share this blog post with others. Spread it on Facebook, Tweet it on Twitter, link to it on your blog. Because this is a chain that is all over the US. And if they are treating me like this, I'm guessing there are others like me out there. And if I'm wrong, if you disagree with me, please comment and let me know how you see this. Because I know my experience is tainted by my own feelings. So I want to be fair, I want to get your opinions. I'm a big girl, and I can handle if you disagree with me. But please comment here on the blog and let me know how you feel about this.


Michelle Jackson said...

PS....don't judge these clothes on their size. Judge them on style and condition. Even if it's not a style that you happen to like, ask yourself if it's a style that others would wear and feel "current" in.

Kittina said...

I do beleive that lady was too picky, these clothes are pretty damn current ! ( but was she being snobby over the clothes, or being sizist, i'm not sure)

Oh well, their loss on profit.
and anyway most 2nd hand stores almost never have the best pickings but i felt like your stuff was fine.
Maybe you can request to speak to the manager and ask his opinion.

Over-Protective Hubby said...

I was there. I helped you sort out these clothes. I didn't expect the store to take all the items. But I knew that they would take the Levi's at a minimum. It's as if we had inconvenienced the girl there.

BTW, the girl who went through your clothes...she was fugly...and her clothes were NOT trendy or current or vintage.

michelle202 said...

That is ridiculous and unreasonable. Furthermore the person there was rather rude.

All that being said, I have found that clothing exchanges have been WONDERFUL ways of swapping out over size clothes for smaller items. The Georgia OH board encourages people to bring friends who are wanting to donate their clothing too, so there is always a wide variety of sizes.

If you can find a clothing swap, it works well all around, as you don't spend money, and you get a new to me wardrobe.

LuLu Kellogg said...

Michelle....I am just as irate as you are. Your clothes are beautiful. This is just ridiculous that they didn't take them. This is a HUGE loss to this shop as someone would have been glad to have such nice things.

It sounds like this woman was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

I did have a good giggle over your husband saying she was "fugly"....I spit my water all over my screen! Tee hee!

I will tell you what I did with all mine...I took everything I had to a women's shelter and they were SO appreciative and wanted everything.


Miss Breanna said...

I think that they should have taken some of what you brought in, I mean as you said some still have tags or only worn one. I think that it could have been the girl being pick. If they take plus size clothes these should have been great I would have been shocked to see them in a 2nd hand store and would have snatched them up!

Kelly Provencio said...

Your clothes are extremely cute...hell, I saw a few things if they were my size I would sure as hell take em off your

Over-Protective Hubby said...

This is awesome! I love all the feedback and the fact that I made someone spit water on their computer!



Michelle Jackson said...

Thanks for all the input everyone! I've calmed down a lot since I posted. But I still think there was something fishy about her not taking anything of mine. I mean, she didn't even unfold some of it...including the Levi' look at it properly. I understand that plus size trends are a little different than regular sized trends, but if they were expecting plus size stuff to be the same as regular stuff, then they need to train their staff on what is realistically current with plus size clothes. I just hate that I was told they were currently taking plus size clothes in current styles, then they refused all of my stuff!! Sounds a little off to me.

What kills me is that as I was standing there one of the other girls working there picked up a sweater out of the bin of things they had accepted today. Now it was a regular size sweater, not plus size. But it was faded, stretched out, and long in season like they told me they needed, and definitely showing signs of wear and laundering. Hello?! EVERYTHING in my bags fit their qualifications better!! So why did they accept that and not mine? You want to know what I think? Well, since the girl that picked it up was holding it up to herself and saying how "cute" it was, I'm going to guess that these girls were looking for things they liked personally rather than things that might actually sell in the store. When she did that I even commented that I wouldn't be able to work in a store like that because I'd constantly be wanting to buy things...the girls kinda laughed and said that they do have that issue.

Anyway, it's their loss. Even if I walked in there tomorrow and talked to a manager and complained and got them to take some of my clothes, I still wouldn't want to give them my business. My original plan was to sell what I could so I would have a few dollars to buy some things for myself as I continue to shrink, and anything still left was going to either go to a ministry at church or to a women's shelter. I guess the church and/or shelter get first dibs!! I can live without the few extra bucks I would have made today.

Oh, I almost forgot....the woman beside me getting her items looked at for consideration....she was a much older woman with some "old lady" polyester clothes and they bought some of explain that to me! And Ryan was looking at some of their shoes while he waited...saw really scuffed up shoes that he was shocked were even on display. Oh well. As I said....their loss.

Lori said...

In my experience with ladies clothing "consignment" shops--which is only from the People's Court lol and by going in to one or two, so doesn't count for much---they care a lot about labels, and are made for "label" people, and when I say "label", I mean Louis Vuitton and Versace, and other overpriced "Designer" crap. They make money by selling Designer crap to people who really can't afford Designer crap, by taking other people's Designer crap which they buy for a couple dollars and then sell it for more than a used piece of clothing is worth. (In case it isn't obvious, I'm expressing my opinion with an obvious prejudice against consignment shops and people who care about labels... sorry my label-loving friends.)

Your clothes are lovely. I especially LOVE that beautiful orange blouse, and heck, Levi's is my favorite jean.

But as to why they would reject your very nice clothing--My guess is they are label snobs. Which honestly could also be a size thing, since you don't see a lot of plus size fancy-shmancy ooby doobie high class Label with a capital L clothing out there. Designers don't have much use for fat people (although they may want to change that view with the rising obesity rates).

Normal people buy clothing that looks nice because it looks nice, and that's our main objective: to look nice. Label people would wear a turd if it had the right Label. And I have a feeling that's the kind of people to which consignment shops like the Buffalo Exchange cater.

Did you happen to get a look at any of the labels of the craptastic stuff that you were seeing? I bet the old lady polyester jackets were Liz Claiborne or something. (I don't even know if Liz is considered Label with a capital L anymore... but you get my meaning :) )

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