Avalon Exchange: The Morning After

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she must clean out her closet and decide what to do with all of her clothes from days gone by. The struggle can be daunting, but for many young women of a certain age and socioeconomic status, we choose to take our old clothes to Avalon Exchange for one simple reason – cold hard cash. While walking out of a store with cash in your hand can be quite exhilarating, newbie Exchangers should take some warning before they head on over to Avalon.

If you haven’t done an exhange at Avalon before, here’s the set-up – you bring in your clothes, they evaluate your goods, and pick out what they think will sell. Then, you receive a certain percentage of the value of your total sale either as store credit or cash. If you’re like me, once you get to the purge point, you are pretty dedicated to your new life as an owner of a clean closet and you don’t want to risk taking store credit only to fill it up with more clothes. Or you just need the cash darnit.

It’s a perfect set-up, if it weren’t for the soul-crushing experience of having your clothes examined by a crew of the hipper than thou. Watching a bunch of nineteen-year old waifs in skinny jeans pick through your clothes can be a little humiliating. I don’t consider myself a fashionista really but I do believe that I have good taste when it comes to clothes, bags, and accessories. It’s always a little uncomfortable, then, when the trendy clerk and his/her perfectly sideswept bangs hands you back the clothes that didn’t make the cut. I can’t help but go through them later, wondering why they were discarded – was that green track hoodie really that out of style? Why didn’t they take the khaki pencil skirt? And throwing that vintage plaid blazer to the curb -what were they thinking? Yeah, I know that they are looking for season-appropriate garb and things that will definitely move, but it’s always hard to think that somebody has judged an article of your clothing as not being worthy of resale.

Still, the temporary post-exchange self-doubt and style-paranoia is well worth the $30 or so odd dollars you stand to earn. So I say, mentally prepare yourself for the worst, take in your bags and let the hipster clerks go to town. Oh, and one more thing in the way of tips – when I went in this week, I noticed that they took all the H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21 stuff I had, so if you have a lot of that sort of thing, you may have found your place.

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