Ah, the saga continues. Remember about 3 weeks ago, I wrote out why I hated my clothes and what I was going to do about it? It was my one perpetual frugal fail where I mentioned my guilt of pursuing fast fashion over quality and utility?
I’ve tried to correct that and it has not gone how I wanted it to go in my head. I cleared out my closet of the things that I knew I could upgrade and not likely wear again. I took good photos of all the things I wanted to clear out and put them on eBay. So far though…not very many things of mine have sold. It’s almost been a month and I’ve made 17 sales. I have 50 items still up, ready to be cleared. The items I put on eBay from Hubby has sold. He sold his belt buckle and a fuji-film camera. Puppy sweaters and jackets that Grace outgrew sold. Household items we don’t need anymore like couch covers and coloring books, all sold. A few of the items I thrifted in passing, sold as well.
Most of the things I sold were unrelated to me.
See, it is hard to unload fast fashion especially if there’s no brand behind it for visibility (in eBay searches), baseline (expectation of quality) or trust (brand awareness).
I cleared a total of 2 pieces from my closet but one piece was returned because the buyer didn’t know his wife’s size and begged for a return. So really, I just sold off one thing. Counting the money I wasted shipping the misinformed buyer his package, I’m in the red.
An adorable sunny yellow top of mine with a lace peter pan collar for just $2.99 and no takers, for weeks! It’s freakin’ cute and looks like something out of Anthropologie (if you ignore the lackluster workmanship.) I think my big problem is visibility. My listings are lucky to produce 10 views for the weeks they’ve been on. Without a name, they’re lost in the eBay sea of death piles & merchandise.
My clothes goes to cover the shipping cost and eBay fees. Trust me when I say there’s hardly any profit. I just want to declutter. But when your closet is full of Forever 21s & Wet Seals, it’s hard to stand out. There’s currently over 100,000 Forever 21 items under women’s clothing. I’m not hopeful of any of it selling as fast as I thought it would.
Anyway, this isn’t even the frugal fail part.
I promised myself I was going to clear and sell off all of my old clothes before I get new clothes.
Well, that didn’t happen.
I don’t know what happened actually. Usually I’m very good with things like this. I have good self-control, usually. But I kept going out to thrift stores – one after another – to get clothes for myself. Being the curious cat that I am, I went to the thrift store on the good side of town. That’s usually the standard advice for thrifting nice clothes. If you want nice things then go to the wealthier neighbors. The thrift store in the wealthier part of town tends to have better donations sourced from people who can spare to donate higher-end things.
Curiosity took the better part of my judgement and I took the bus to the bourgeoisie part of town where there’s a fancy consignment store. I know it sounds like an oxymoron to put consignment and high-end together but it’s actually really cool. Unlike other thrift stores, they don’t host any types of sales, random bins or even a rack for clearance.
They’re not typical ‘thrift store cheap’ but the prices are reasonable because the inventory is better. It is not hard to see why this place has a 4 stars on Yelp. It’s clean. It’s not good for flipping (prices are simply too high) but it’s a frugal way to buy quality clothes. They have their own tags and bags. I went in expecting nothing. I didn’t even grab a shopping basket.
Everything went fuzzy from there.
Apparently the people on the bourgeois side of town love pink and being size 2s – just like me! The women’s section was huge. I mean the store itself was huge but ⅗ of it was dedicated to just teen & women’s clothing. I was there for almost 4 hours and I only browsed through ½ of the women’s inventory.
Time lost itself in there. There were a lot of things that were all so cute. I wanted everything.
I found some things worth flipping so I couldn’t resist. But the vast majority of my shopping cart, I noticed, just happened to be clothes…in my size and my taste.
Gee, Lily, how convenient…
It was too late. The store was closing in less than an hour. My basket has now disappeared under all the clothes I’ve piled into it. It is spilling over and I’m in love with my new clothes mountain.
The sales attendant person came over and said “um, do you need a cart? I can bring you the cart over there…”
“No…no…it’s OK. I’m almost done-” I lied.
It was getting late and I couldn’t put all the clothes back.
I don’t know what happened. Check out totaled around $160 – including the store credit I had transferred over. Most of the things in the thrift store averaged $5-6 a piece. I came home with 30+ pieces of clothing that were almost all blouses, sweaters and pullovers for me. That’s all the sections I was able to get through from the giant women’s section.
I’m not crazy. I know we can afford, but I was just shocked at my own lack of self-control. I went home and looked through my pile and you know what I said?
I said “this is still really cute stuff. What an amazing store. When can I go back?”
D’oh! I’m…afraid of stepping into that store again to be honest. I’m proud with most of my haul but there’s some guilt there.
I failed to get rid of any old clothes that I had.
I now believe my clothes aren’t even good enough for eBay. If I donate them to the thrift store, they’re not likely make the cut either, so they’ll end up in a landfill somewhere by the holidays.
Which leads me back to…then why am I trying to get rid of these clothes? Why not start wearing them until they wear out. No one is going to look at me anyways when I’m hanging out in house 90% of the day. It’s not frugal to get rid of clothes that provide basic utility. It would be more responsible for me if I just kept & wore them if no one wants it or have use for it. But I already spent money on new clothes. I knew that if I didn’t clear my closet first then I would have literally piled on more clothes. So now what I’m left with is a batch of older, semi-wearable clothes that no one wants, that l’m not sure if I even want to get rid of…and a mini mountain of new clothes that I don’t really need.
I can’t return thrift store items because, well it’s still a thrift store. They work for charity. All sales are final. If you have to, you can return it for store credit, but honestly that comes off petty. The house is even more cluttered than a month ago. It definitely looks like it’s going to explode now. It’s hard to make room and do inventory when you have even more inventory.
Alright, that was my frugal fail rant. It’s not so bad, just a gloomy update because I pictured it so well in my head.
On a brighter note, I’m happy that I found a really cool local thrift store nearby that I can picture doing all my family’s clothes shopping from now on.
For now, I’m going to continue selling my old clothes on eBay since it’s all up anyways. When October officially rolls around, I’m picking them apart again for the ones I really “don’t want” vs the ones “I’ll wear until they bore holes.” I’ll sack the “don’t wants” on a one way trip to the donation bins.
Lastly, I am not going back to that store until I’ve cleared some room first.
Whoop, I lied. I went back and spent some more money yesterday. I told my husband that store is dangerous to me but he didn’t want to come with me. In fact, he said he needs new clothes so we’re going back again this week. Sort of happy – sort of scared. But the saving grace is, during my second trip, I found a Jason Wu leather blouse for $6 when the last sold online price was…get this…$537. That officially beats my Prada shoe find which was also a one-in-a-thousand stroke of luck! Yay!
The blouse is one size too big for me unfortunately or else I would keep it because…Wu is boss. Even hubby agrees. I also found an old leather jacket by Preston & Knight for $8 that may be worth a few hundred dollars according to Wikipedia *excitable giggles* but there are no comps yet. If there are no comps, it’s worthless until I find some. This turned out to be a very polarizing post…not sure if this was a frugal win or fail. =_=;
What do you guys think?
Just tracked down a main thrift outlet in the city that has bins of merchandise sold by the pound. Hello, new weekend plans and the thrill of it all. Bringing my gloves and adorable baby seal mask for the hunt. Hubby think I’ve lost my mind but it’s fun.
– Trash Panda Lily