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Platos Closet: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

To me it seems, Plato's Closet gets a lot more hype than it should. For anyone who doesn't know what Plato's closet is, it's a consignment shop where people can buy or sell clothing. In the words of Platos Closet themselves: a place where you can "buy or sell gently used name brand clothing." The prices are supposed to be a lot cheaper and the you can earn some extra cash by selling old clothes you no longer wear.

In general this all sounds good. Name brand clothing for cheap. I can turn in my old clothes and get some cash. Two deals that sound hard to be displeased with, right?

The Good

What I can say about Platos Closet is that they do have a generally good selection of merchandise. There's a lot to choose from and the quality is usually pretty decent. I've also found that the prices are reasonable as well. For example let's say a pair of American Eagle jeans will run you on average maybe $30-$40 dollars, at Platos Closet you can probably buy them for half the price around $20-$25.

They don't just sell clothing. They have shoes, jewelry, purses and even some book and movies.There's a variety of things to pick from. I also like the way the clothing is arranged in the store. Everything seems neat and easy to find. It's pretty much based on color and then rather the item is a top (regular t-shirt, sweater) or bottom (jeans, skirt). It's doesn't seem overwhelming to search through when you're shopping.

The Bad

Can't have the good without having a few setbacks. One of Platos Closet's setbacks is their selection of name brands. They're very particular about the type of name brand clothing they accept. For instance, if you're looking for American Eagle, Areopostale or Abercrombie more than likely Platos Closet will have it. And LOTS of it. Those kinds of brands tend to be very popular.

However, if you were looking for a brand like Roca Wear, Akademics, Coogi, Enyce they probably don't have it. You may happen to come across Sean John, and maybe Roca Wear (on a good day), but it seems rare. Platos Closet doesn't always seem to cater to the more urban audience so to speak.

The Ugly

Platos Closet is probably the most popular consignment shop in my home city of Jacksonville, fl. I'm sure there may be a few other ones, but Platos Closet is the most well known one.

In saying that, I've tried selling my clothing to Platos Closet on several occasions. Most of the time, I leave with 90% of the clothes I walked in with and either with little money or no money. I mentioned earlier, that Platos Closet seems particular about what they're willing to buy from you.

I've sold to them a variety of clothing items and the name brands have varied. To be honest with you, I'm not particular about where I shop, as long as the clothing fits my general style. What I have noticed in selling to them is that 1. They only take the name brands they want. Whenever I have items from American Eagle, Areopostle or Forever 21 most of the time they'll take the items. HOWEVER.....

2. I feel like the money they give you for the item is WAY LESS than you deserve. If I originally paid $25 for an item, I don't want $5 in return. I feel cheated every time! They really don't give you your money's worth.

Sometimes it's so bad, I end up taking my clothes back just because they weren't offering enough. I mean if I go in the store with 10-15 good pieces of clothing, I'm expecting to make at least $15 maybe $20. Most of the time, I'll be lucky if I leave with $10. And if this is the case, I could make more money selling the item myself.

At first I thought maybe it was just me, but I had a friend of mine take an entire bin of name brand jeans (mainly black brands granted) half of which had never been worn, tag still attached. He had to have had about 30 pair of jeans and they didn't take ANY of his jeans. NOT ONE PAIR! Not even the ones that hadn't been worn.

Now tell me there's not some kind of bias there? I've yet to have any of my friends brag about making a pretty penny from Platos Closet. Every now and then I may hear someone got $20 or $30 dollars, but every once in a blue moon. Most of the time, I hear people complain just like me of how they felt cheated.

To sum everything up, what I'm trying to say is that Platos Closet is not for everyone. Some people shop there and love it. Some people sell their clothes there and love it. But from my personal experience, all I'm saying is that Platos Closet gets more hype than it should. It's not as great as some people make it sound at times.But know that everyone's experience with them may differ.


Helly on July 01, 2017:

The point of this article is Plato's doesn't cater to Urban Clothing and They are cheap when buying people stuff......I never take my expensive name brand stuff there I sell it online.

Krista on October 04, 2016:

Just stopped. I took in brand new items with tags.. they offered me $6 for a brand new big Kenneth Cole with a msrp of $99.. they offered me $4.40 for a brand new natori sweater with a tag of $168 (really... only $4?!) and $3 for a Jessica Simpson $45 wallet! You're kidding right?

Aside from that I took in many (60+) gently used brand name items, that I see in this very store frequently. They only took the 3 items previously mentioned out to offer anything for them.

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GG on August 13, 2015:


Some. New and used. Ann k, Jones of

N. York, Donna k, Nine West. about

12 Pier. They didn't. Won't.

brittney ellis on August 28, 2014:

yall so wrong .

M on August 17, 2014:

I've taken two bags of good quality clothes to Platos on numerous occasions: no holes, no stains, freshly washed. Some are not brand name, but the store here has a lot of off brand clothing. Every time I leave with almost every item.

What pisses me off is that I went in today looking for shoes, picked up a pair of boots and found a HUGE clump of dog shit. Another pair had tears in them.

Do these people wash their clothes?

But they won't accept my clothes because they're not a certain style. Wow.

Brooklyn Mayana on August 14, 2014:

Personally, I like the store. Yes, they might sell a "specific" style of clothing, but don't all stores really? They want what's in style for most people between the tages of 13-25 probably, since I would excpect those to be the top buyers. And yeah, they don't give you back as much money as the should, but that's ok. I mean, personally one day I brought 3 boxes of stuff, 2 of the boxes had about 10 pair s of shoes each (all designer top brand and barely worn because I was still growing haha) , and the other had about 5 pairs of pants and like 10 shirst (most were hollister and aeropostale and forever 21 ). I think they bought like 5 pairs of the clothing and like 2 shoes. Together, I only got 20 bucks. Was I mad? Heck no. Why? Because when you think about it, these are ALL clothes I would have just thrown away in the first place! I mean if you sell them, 90% of the time its because you don't wear them right? So what if they give you like 5$ for something that was like 40$, It beats getting nothing as it sits in a drawer or closet and collects dust.

Just remember to sell things you wouldn't mind just throwing away (of course keeping in mind it needs to be in amazing condition) If you have like a 400$ purse or a high fashion designer dress that costs like 300$, don't sell it there, that's something you should sell online unless you don't care for it.

Caroline on July 01, 2014:

Plato's Closet is a consignment store that is directed towards teenage to younger women. The clothes they sell are POPULAR NAME BRAND, gently used clothing. Now what I do not understand is to why people who say "clothes are clothes" and "brand names don't matter to me" are complaining on here about why Plato's Closet would not take their clothing. It doesn't matter how you feel about clothing or brand names. Plato's Closet wants popular brand name clothing and if you don't have it then don't be mad if they don't take it. Secondly, the reason they don't take certain brand names such as "urban brand names" is because that isn't what Plato's Closet wants or the type of clothing they want to sell. Again Those aren't popular and (sorry to say this) or even fashionable brand names that they want. I have noticed that many people think they are so fashionable and get so insulted when bringing unfashionable clothes in there then they get rejected. Sorry but it is true. Honestly if you don't agree with the types of clothes or brand names they buy then don't complain, don't shop or go there like any other store. Easy said. Here's some hints to sell your clothes to them. Call ahead and ask what they need. Just because you have a brand new urban outfitters skirt with tags doesn't mean they need that right now. If they are full on a certain type of clothes more than likely they are not going to take it. At my local platos closet I called and asked if they needed skirts. The cashier at the desk told me they are overstocked on skirts and will not be taking anymore. There is your reason why they don't always take your stuff even if it is in fashion at the time. So simply sell it somewhere else, donate it, or wait for a month or two and try to resell it to them maybe they will need it. If they need shorts or crop tops or purses or whatever type of clothing it is, if you bring it in more than likely they will buy it. I also understand that platos closet does not pay very well for clothing but think about it for a minute. $50 AE jeans, they sell them In the store less than half of that at $20 and gave you about $10 for them. If they were to be giving you $15 or more they are making barley any profit. If they increase the amount they give you the prices in the store will also go up. Believe it or not they do need to make money as a business. They sell their clothes cheap so you get low prices offered for your clothes as well. I do not or have never worked at a Plato's closet but I often sell a lot to them. I have asked what they needed, brought in those types of clothes they asked for, all clothes were fairly new popular brand names, and I ended up walking out of there with a decent amount of money. Please do not write bad reviews on a clothing consignment business just because they don't take certain clothes. Think of the other factors involved rather then just your bags of clothing that I guarantee were more than a year old. Sorry for being rather rude in this comment but it blows my mind how many people complain about this company when many of these people lack the ability to think WHY it may have happened before blaming it on the workers "snobby attitude".

Sb on June 23, 2014:

Platoes closet has its moments but most of the time I do end up brining 90% of my clothes back home. I have brands like nike, hollister etc! And most of them do have tags! One cashier tells me they don't except nike but when I brought the same item back the following week with other stuff to finish cleaning my closet, they took it! So to be honest it really depends on who's working and their opinion of style. Another girl tells me "all your stuff smells like smoke so we cannot accept it"...I lost it bc I don't smoke, I don't hang out in smokey bars and I don't live with anyone who smokes! Her reply was, "you could always wash them and bring them back" Newsflash! They were just washed and I sure as hell don't wash them in smoke!

Lauren on June 03, 2014:

I wholeheartedly agree with your complaints. I have never heard anything good from others who have sold merchandise to plato's and I also just had a terrible experience. As a fashion major and someone who works retail I completely understand the dynamic of cost, mark up, and profit. With that said though, Platos told me they would sell the merchandise for 1/3 of the original retail and then give me 1/3 of that and that sounded reasonable. I was perfectly fine with that. I brought in bags full of barely used and pretty new Guess, J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Bebe, all brands that are well above the price points of Aeropostale, Abercrombie, and American Eagle. When I went back to pick up the merchandise they didn't want as well as my money I was appalled to see their itemized price list of what they had selected. A 100% silk Banana Republic dress that I purchased for $125 two years ago they wanted to buy from me for $4. I did not expect to make a fortune but I should have made more than $4 for that dress based on their supposed system. I also had a pair of really nice printed J. Crew shorts that I bought last summer for $90 that look designer and are still in the factory outlet stores, they were going to give me $3 for those. Their computer system is clearly designed to give people absolutely nothing in return; a computer doesn't go shopping and it doesn't feel the quality of the merchandise it's pricing. Even if they had just given me $5 for each of the 13 pieces they had selected I would have walked away with $65 and been satisfied even though it was still below what I should have gotten according to their rules. Instead they wanted to give me $47 for 13 pieces of name brand merchandise that individually each cost anywhere from $50-125. Instead I took it all back and will just donate it to charity.

Dolly on May 01, 2014:

I'm sorry some of you had such a bad experience. I have seen a lot of people love the prices and brands platos closet has to offer. They are so quick to fill up their bags and walk out the door with a smile on their face but once you sell your clothes and don't get a great offer the store is horrible! I agree that customer service and organization has a lot to do with it. That's for sure! I'm just confused as to way you would sell your clothes again if you were so dissatisfied the first time. From what I can see its because nobody wants to take the time to sell them on their own. I do know that the store can't buy more inventory then they can sell. I too have worked in retail and had bad experiences but that's no reason to judge every store! Especially judging the young teenagers whom work their. Keep in mind they are teenagers and some adults shouldn't be so harsh on them.

Sweetly Pie on March 07, 2014:

What do you guys think about the smell in the store?

frosted cake on January 26, 2014:

I'm sorry you've had that experience, some buyers get really hooked on brands, which does get frustrating. As an employee, though, I try to pick styles that I think will sell. The label doesn't matter so much to me as the style does, and that's what I pay more attention to. As for pricing, I wish we could offer more but we just can't. The computer decides on how much we can offer the customer, we just enter the garment's details into the system and select what to charge for it in the store. Jeans from American Eagle, at my location, generally sell for $15-$17, and customers get about $5-$7 for them. Selling your clothes isn't really a way to make tons of money, but I have ended offering people upwards of $100 before. It all just depends on the styles you bring, the condition the garments are in, and what has been selling well at your location.

Once again I'm sorry for your experience, as a buyer it can be tough sometimes. I wish we could offer sellers more, but then we'd have to raise the prices in our store. Hopefully trying a different location will yield better results for you. Happy shopping!

Shawandieb on January 19, 2014:

Haha. I looked up Plato Closet and came across your post. HI ALEX!

MadHatterAid! on August 13, 2013:

one day i went to plato's closet and i brought in very little stuff .i bought in 1 shirt .it was a so shirt .i also ought in 13 pairs of pants And guess how much the gave me !i was VERY SURPRISED. they Gave Me $64.00.

Jake on June 26, 2013:

The part that really bugs me is that I went in to trade in some clothes and and a lot of it was turned down for not being the right "style" or having the most tiny minor imperfections or stains, barely perceptible... and almost everything I've ever bought there has had some small stain or damage that I didn't notice in the store but noticed later at home.

lex on June 18, 2013:

They are complete rip offs,don't waste your time selling.Therefore i don't even waste my time buying here.Platos trash.

-my opinion

Beaux on June 05, 2013:

I sell often there. I normally never leave without 30 bucks. They normally buy at least 50% 5-10 items. I sell them only mens clothing. I Work in retail myself and can get my clothes so cheap I can make a profit after I sell it to platos. Last i sold them 5 items. Most were brands like polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama , and Tallia. I made 33 bucks. These items were used and in good condition. My style (like most men) is between generic styles that don't really die out and a couple trendy things here and there. I try to bring them generic. It sells. To me I think $5 for something $25 is great... Only because I don't buy at full retail price. I buy something originally 50-100 for like 10 bucks. So when I sell it I get 5-20 bucks for it. Then i go and buy a new color or style. They do cater to a lot of terrible low end name brands. I don't think they do call outs (take advice from customers in their demographic area). Where I work if we get enough people saying they want an item, we send a call out for it to get that item. If you live in an area where urban trends are popular... I would be smart to grab that target customer.

Allison on May 12, 2013:

I'll stick with thrift stores. Much better bargains and way better prices! Not worth the hassle of Plato's for paying so little then charging so much for worn out clothing.

Heather on April 13, 2013:

I brought in a $75 purse with tags still on and received $5.25 back for it. I probably should have told them forget it, but it's just easier than trying to sell the item myself. I'll take the same items up there every few weeks and eventually they take everything. ;)

Concerned employee on February 16, 2013:

Hahahaha at palmettogal73! You have a college education but do you use it? Also if you don't mind me asking what is it? Associates in what or maybe bachelors? Some of those kids you are holding your nose up to just might be planning to own their own platos someday which pays really well. A lot better than the average bachelors degree. You also said you were a military wife...nice so you've never really had a stable job. But, whatever makes you feel better there palmetto.

Simon on February 16, 2013:

You also have to take into consideration that Platos Closet isn't going to buy anything that they think wouldn't sell or make good profit on. Why should they give you top dollar for your clothing just because you think it's good stuff? They are the ones who have to turn around and sell the stuff. They buy and sell clothes on a regular basis so I'm sure they have good reasoning behind their methods.

DesignerBuyer on January 29, 2013:

I'm one of those people that you would call a name brand fill-in-the-bleep. I used to pay $400 on average just for a pair of jeans until recently. I discovered Plato's Closet and they carried the same exact pair of jeans for $360 LESS than I paid for them and they were in perfect shape. Thanks to Plato's Closet I can buy a whole wardrobe for what I used to buy an outfit for. As far as them not catering to an Urban culture... while I agree with you for the most part I feel like you're judging the store based on an invalid category. It would be like me going into an Apple Bottoms store and complaining that they don't cater to really petite women who don't have a lot of "junk in their trunk." As far as selling your stuff there, perhaps you don't make gold for selling it there, but the reason they don't pay you as much is because they do all the work. You just drop off your clothes. If you want to make big money then you need to sell online which takes time, effort, and you have to be the one who ships it out. Will you make more? Of course. Am I someone who has time to do all that? No way. Most importantly Plato's Closet is a franchise business so all cannot be judged based off of the one. Each store is owned by an individual. All that said... to each their own. That's the beauty of life... there's enough choices for everyone. :)

ash marie from California on January 09, 2013:

Plato's closet just opened near my home in San Jose, CA. I have only been in there twice. First time was to shop. Nice variety, okay prices. It didn't woo me and I left w/o making a purchase. The second time was to bring in some items to sell. (clothing) Nothing had stains and the cheapest top I paid for cost me originally 43.50. All my other items were higher quality including a coach purse. That top they wanted to pay me $3.23 for and the coach purse was only $5.25. Like really? My vote....Don't waste your time selling but if your shopping give it a try.

Alex McClain (author) from Jacksonville, fla. on January 04, 2013:

my point exactly. lol.

Victoria Anne from Las Vegas on January 04, 2013:

I agree with you Alex. I'll shop at Plato's closet because they do have a decent selection, however I never sell there. If I'm going to make next to nothing I would rather sell it myself, donate it, or give it to friends.

palmettogal73 on January 03, 2013:

Been there, done that. I'll buy some clothing there. And it varies store by store. I'm a military wife and have been in the stores in Colorado Springs, Cheyenne, and near St. Louis in Fairview Heights, IL. The nicest employees where in Cheyenne. My favorite store is Fairview Heights....because I just like that store's size and selection me, not for the hospitality of the employees. The rudest employees were in Colorado Springs. One trip was enough for me to that one. Plus I have the "sale and clearance" gene. I do very well in retail stores. American Eagle has the nicest and most helpful staff in my experience. I don't sell at Plato's. I tried once and I felt shafted too. I've always been curious about the computer system they use for pricing. I know the whole RN and CA system and what it means. I buy nice clothes and take extra good care of them. I may sell to a higher class version of Plato's or just "Ebay it". And the Plato's staff that can be obnoxious (kind of like a lower class version of A&F in my mind)...I have no trouble reminding them which one is buying and which one is behind the counter..thanks to a college education. I can walk with my nose in the air also, and maybe just a tad bit higher.

Plato's Obssesed on November 09, 2012:

Personally I love that store, then again I am 15 years old and it matches my sytle pretty well. I've been to the one in Jacksonvile, by the Walmart and like it pretty well. Now that I live in central fl. I hav to drive at least 30 min. with my nutcase of a family and still love the store. And when your selling your clothes, its not just thebrands that matter, think about howits style would work for a teen girl, not just about your pocketbook.

Unsatisfied Seller/buyer on October 26, 2012:

I would completely agree with Alex! Maybe it's just the store closest to me but I experienced feeling very uneasy at Platos Closet surrounded by young girls who treated me like my clothes were ugly and snickered here and there about them. Now I know no one knows me on this post but I can assure you that I work in a bank and I'm not out of style at all. I'm 26 and keep up with the latest fashions. Not only this but I also bought some items from them and then went to sell them back again about two weeks later after I'd worn them a few times and they didn't want the items because they were too worn.....I guess it depends on who is looking through your clothing. I've entered Platos Closet 3 times with 3 separate garbage bags completely full of clothing I would still wear and they have NEVER bought any items from me. My bags were full of Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Old Navy, Sevens, and under armour and they haven't ever bought one item from me. I'm planning my next trip to be out of town so that I can see if it may be my snobby shop in town.

Rhonda on August 20, 2012:

I went to the store here in Pensacola, FL with a box of stuff, it was in good condition. Some of the items had tags on them. They told me the clothes had holes and the shoes were worn. Some shoes were new,and some had never been worn! They took five items,and I took the rest home!

Alex McClain (author) from Jacksonville, fla. on July 10, 2012:

Glad to know that someone else understands the fustration I have with Plato's closet. I mean it's not a bad store..but it caters to a certain style and it's not my style in particular. So, I def don't go there nearly as much as I used to it, I got over it very quickly. I'd rather shop at a thrift store than Plato's closet to be honest.

josephm8 on July 09, 2012:

I agree Alex, i recently went to our Local Plato's Closet, which we have about 5-6 locations in a 30-35 mile radius. I know it's a little ridiculous but Houston is a huge city! Well the first location I visited was so crammed, unorganized, and small.....I walked in and the lady said if you're here to sell something our wait is about an 1 hour and we require you stay in the store......No thanks, that's too long! I decided to visit another location the next day that was a lot bigger in size and was organized, I walked in and they stated my wait would be about 25 mins and i needed to stay in store, they would call my name once clothes we're done being looked at. I waited for about 45 mins to an hour only for them to say we decided to pass on all your clothing???? Really what a waste of time. The funny part was most of my clothes had only been worn once or twice and some I brought were brand new with tags still on them.....summer cleaning of my closet!

I think that the company itself should require it's employees to give an explanation on items rejected rather than giving a short answer to someone whose been waiting for an 1 hour. While they rejected my 2 bags of nice clothing looking on there racks while i waited...I noticed clothing, shoes, purses, etc...............that looked very worn-out especially shoes and purses. My stuff was practically brand I do think they're bias, in my opinion. For example, the brands I brought in which i got from there website were Forever 21, Arden B, pacsun/roxy, aero,........I had some brand new dereon stuff that they didn't look twice at since they don't seem to have any urban brands in store. Not sure if I would waste my time going there again, especially seeing the little cash they were giving people while i waited but they were making 5 times that on people checking out.

platosmanager on June 14, 2012:

Plato’s Closet also has a very delicate pricing system, and a tough balance to please everybody. I noticed you complimented the prices in the store, which is good, but then complain about the prices they pay out. Take American Eagle denim for example, which costs around $50 new, is sold at my store between $15 to $20 dollars. It is a bargain for the shopper, but we pay out $5.25 to $8.00 for that pair. I wish we could sell the pair for $40 and pay out $16 for it, but that would give no incentive for shoppers to purchase our used products when they could buy new for slightly more, and thus put us out of business probably within a week. As far as selectiveness goes, you are right on the money with taking back 90% of your clothing. That is right on track with the national average of any Plato's Closet. We purchase about 10% of what we see throughout any day every day. This is our control for taking only the top quality products, in the highest condition. If we were to take any more than that per day we would have no way of selling that amount of inventory. I know at my store (and this varies from store to store) we do about 100 - 200 buys a day and even if those buys were to contain only 20 items per buy (none of them do, most buys probably contain 50- 100 items) we are sorting through 2000 to 4000 articles! That is a lot of clothing. We would not be able to support buying any more than 10% of it per day, as we would have to sell more per day which is not within our control. I do hope this helps clarify some of your concerns with Plato’s Closet. As you said in your post, it is not for everyone, but it is convenient for a lot of people compared to craigslist, E-bay, and yard sales. I would recommend giving them another shot and stick around while they go through your clothes. I am always more than happy to explain item by item why we are not purchasing a customer’s clothing or what more specifically we are looking for. It is a great learning experience and it may provide insight or information that you never considered. Thank you for posting your concerns, it allows our franchise and brand to learn from our customers grievances and provide more opportunity for a pleasant experience at our stores!

Alex McClain (author) from Jacksonville, fla. on June 13, 2012:

Thanks Lauren. Learned something new, but it still doesn't change my mind about the store. Maybe I need to visit some outside of the Jacksonville area. Like you said, Im sure every store has something different to offer.

Lauren on June 11, 2012:

Hey Alex! Im sorry to see you don't care really for Platos. Actually Platos Closet doesn't do consignment. Consignment is when the store waits for the items to sell, then you get your cash/check or store credit. Platos pays cash, so they have to garuntee it will sell pretty much. If you want way more money then consignment is the way to go. Platos also looks at brands that sell well for that demographic. If that particular store tried to sell the " urban" brands before, then they probably won't spend money on somthibg they might end up clearancing out. Computers also generate the prices and they sell things 50-70% less then regular value and pay you about 30-40% of what they sell it for. Every Platos is different.

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