How can I get rid of some nice men's clothes non-wastefully?
April 5, 2011 9:52 AM   Subscribe

How can I get rid of some nice men's clothes quickly and non-wastefully?

I have a few items of clothing that I can't use. For example, a pair of expensive hand-made shoes that are too small for me, a leather jacket I'm not into, and a vintage overcoat.

I tried advertising the shoes on Craigslist, but got no messages. There is a small cult associated with the brand, but there just aren't enough guys out there who are interested for someone to see my ad. I would have to keep the ad up for months to sell them.

I haven't tried advertising the other items, but I suspect it would be the same deal.

The thing is, I really want to get these things out of my apartment. Just having them hanging around bugs me.

There's eBay, but I don't know the eBay process, so I'd have to go through that learning curve and then spend hours hassling with posting ads, answering questions, and packing the things up and mailing them. I don't want to mess around with finding suitable shipping containers and inner packing materials and multiple trips to the post office. It wouldn't be worth it for the amount of money I'd get.

So here's the problem that has lead me to post this question here: on one hand I want to get these items out of my apartment quickly and with the absolute minimum of hassle. On the other hand, they are nice and have some value so it doesn't feel right to just give them to Goodwill or throw them away. I don't need to get a ton of money for them. I just need to feel like they didn't go completely to waste.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Is there a shop in the San Francisco Bay Area (preferably East Bay) that takes men's clothes?

Is there some other option aside from taking them to a shop?

posted by eeby to Home & Garden (19 answers total)
Lots of thrift stores buy used clothes- that's where they get their stock. If it's more upscale and the clothes are good, you'll get decent money.

In L.A., Crossroads is a popular one. I suspect they have at least one Bay Area location.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:55 AM on April 5, 2011

Maybe do a consignment store. They'll take your goods, sell them for you and both walk away with a profit.
posted by Sweetmag at 9:56 AM on April 5, 2011

Try a consignment shop. Otherwise I would suggest eBay. If its not worth the effort to post a listing and ship it, cut your losses and donate.
posted by halseyaa at 9:57 AM on April 5, 2011

Style Forum is a menswear forum with an active buying and selling section, focused mostly on vintage and nicer brands like the kind you're describing. I've not used that particular side of the forum myself, but from what I've seen it would be a good place for what you're trying to do.
posted by Schismatic at 10:02 AM on April 5, 2011

StyleForum has a subforum dedicated to buying and selling men's clothes. If this small cult you speak of regarding the shoes is gathered in large numbers anywhere, it's probably there. They're very brand-conscious there, but overcoats often get a lot of attention. I don't know about the leather jacket, but it's worth a shot. I suppose the general rules about joining a forum would apply here, that as a noob you might be ignored or given the standard rough treatment, so YMMV.
posted by dnesan at 10:03 AM on April 5, 2011

In SF, La Rosa buys better-quality vintage clothing. The store is in the Haight but the warehouse where the buyer works is at 24th and Potrero. They're fairly picky, so call before you shlep your stuff over.
posted by Quietgal at 10:03 AM on April 5, 2011

On the other hand, they are nice and have some value so it doesn't feel right to just give them to Goodwill or throw them away... I just need to feel like they didn't go completely to waste.

I have to say that I absolutely do not understand this mindset. Something's too nice to give away? There's no such thing. There are people who are literally freezing to death because they don't have overcoats. Donate them and do some good in the world! The people you help clothe certainly won't think they went to waste.
posted by runningwithscissors at 10:25 AM on April 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Do you have Freecycle in your area? All you'd have to do is sign up, send an email out listing your items (and you could say that you prefer to give them to someone who would appreciate this particular item), and then someone would come pick them up. Less anonymous than giving to Goodwill, since it's someone in your community who has actively expressed interest in the items and bothered to come get them.
posted by chickenmagazine at 10:30 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another option, which I used when getting rid of old suits that don't fit me anymore, was to locate and befriend a local artisan making purses, cuffs, bags, etc. out of old suiting. She was delighted with the windfall, and the clothes are being re-made into neat, fun items and being enjoyed by far more than just me!
posted by LN at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2011

I would drop a note to Put This On, maybe also Die Workwear - for nice stuff of a particular brand, that would be who I'd get in touch with.
posted by mrs. taters at 11:24 AM on April 5, 2011

Seconding Put This On, which I believe is based in SF, and Jesse Thorn is a nice guy.
posted by staggernation at 11:28 AM on April 5, 2011

(And AskMe advertises on his radio show!)
posted by staggernation at 11:28 AM on April 5, 2011

"I have to say that I absolutely do not understand this mindset."

I've donated plenty of clothes.

These pieces are hand-crafted or unique. I don't feel like stuffing them in a bag and giving them to the mean-eyed guy in the alley behind Goodwill.

I feel like I owe it to myself to at least get something for them, if not their full value.

And now that I think about it, I would like them to go to someone who will actually appreciates them. It would be great if the shoes could go to a guy who knows that brand and is into it.
posted by eeby at 12:27 PM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Would you consider They help lower income men and women in the Bay area by providing donated clothing for job interviews and that difficult time when you've got the job and have to look presentable before your first paychecks.

Here's a list of dropoff points - I think your shoes and clothing would be much appreciated there.
posted by humph at 1:00 PM on April 5, 2011

runningwithscissors' take is nice but it is more likely that they would go to somebody like me who would pick them up just to eBay them. If they are something with meaningful eBay value you could look for a "trading assistant" -- somebody who'll eBay them for you.
posted by kmennie at 1:05 PM on April 5, 2011

About the "something's too nice to give away" mindset - it's not so much that it's too nice to give away, but that all the items he mentioned are designed for looks not warmth, tailored for style not comfort, materials may be durable but may just be flashy. Vintage overcoats are designed to be somewhat water-resistant, a lightweight layer that a fashionable man wears over his wool suitcoat, wool vest, long-sleeved shirt buttoned up with a tie, and undershirt, water resistant enough that it won't immediately soak through teh sleeves, but not so waterproof that he doesn't need to carry his fashionable umbrella. Is that really what you want to give to a guy who's trying to keep warm in any weather? It's like feeding lettuce to hamsters.
posted by aimedwander at 8:52 AM on April 6, 2011

Oh, and I hit "post" too soon, meant to add that thrift stores really vary depending on the neighborhood. There's often the hipster-Goodwill and the practical-Goodwill in different parts of a city, so if you're looking to just donate, you can choose your store so as to funnel those uncomfortable leather shoes toward the natty dressers rather than people who might try to actually hike the city in them.
posted by aimedwander at 8:56 AM on April 6, 2011

Thanks for the answers everyone.

To my surprise, I actually was able to sell the shoes on Craigslist.

Maybe I'll try it for the other items.
posted by eeby at 7:45 PM on April 11, 2011

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