Plato's Closet & Once Upon a Child

 

Plato’s Closet is a franchise which also owns a store called Once Upon A Child. Once Upon A Child sells very gently name brand clothing from infant to size 14/16. Both Boys and Girls clothing. They also have gently used toys and baby furniture. They are an upgraded Goodwill, but in thrift, which means you take your stuff there for them to buy it outright from you.

 

Plato’s Closet is Teen size zero to adult size XL. Once again, things need to be trendy and ‘in style’ for them to buy from you.

 They sell clothing, name brand bags and purses, gym bags,school bags, DVD’s and books. Everything needs to be current and no more then two years old. Basically an affordable mall.  They also sell jewelery and watches.

 Stuff you would find at Guess, BeBe, Aeropostale, Forever 21, Hollister, Abercombie,True Religion,Charlotte Russe,Gap and Old Navy, to name a few.

 

If you buy a bag at Guess from the mall, you would spend around $80 dollars. At Plato’s you would spend around $25 dollars. Same goes for blue jeans. True Religion jeans run for $200-$300 dollars at the mall.  *fainting*

You can find them ‘like new’ at Plato’s for $40-$60. Still too much for my budget, but you get the point. :o)

 

Last night I went to Plato’s Closet ‘sister store,  ‘Once Upon  a Child’  to try to find one of my little ones a winter coat. I could have went to Walmart or Target and bought one for $20 bucks, but I did last year and it ripped after 3 months wear. Cheaper does not mean better. And if possible, I would rather buy good quality.

 

 I decided to get a name brand one this year. One that will withstand a ‘beating’ sort of speak. I ran in and  found one within 3 minutes. It’s from The Gap, and was pretty and furry, and only 8 bucks. Yay!

 

I bought it up to the cashier, and while I was paying, the sales girl asked me if I was familiar with selling clothing to them. I told her that I am, as I have taken things next store to Plato’s Closet before.

 She encouraged me to give them a try, and bring some things in, that they were always looking to buy…. and that it was the Holiday Season, and we could all use an extra few bucks. I told her OK, and that I would be back in tomorrow.

 I then went next store to Plato’s, in search of a coat for yet, another daughter. I had her old coat that I had bought last year in the van. I also had two pair of tennis shoes that were like new that I was hoping to sell.  A pink pair of ladies Gazelle Adidas, and a men’s pair of Nike’s.

 

I entered the store and was greeted right away by three employees.
Hopeful, I told one of them that I had a few things to sell to them.
They were all bubbly and excited, or so it seemed. Yay!

 

I walked over to the counter and they told me that I should leave for an hour and come back. I looked around, it was 8pm, not busy, and asked if they had a bunch of people in front of me, (already knowing the answer to that one!)

They said, no, so I told them that I would browse while I waited, as I did need to find my daughter a coat.

 

I know that a lot of ladies LOVE…. customer service with a smile, and enjoy all the greetings that Plato’s always gives them, but I am not one of them. It’s nothing personal, it’s just when I’m on a mission, ‘in the shopping zone’ I don’t like to be bothered, or talked too.
I know what I’m looking for BEFORE I even enter the store, and don’t mind browsing other things along the way, but basically, I don’t want any help finding XYZ. If I ever did find that I needed help, I would ask! I’ve been doing this since I was eleven years old! I’m a professional! :o)

 

Sooooooo, needless to say, after having 3 different girl’s come up to me and ask me how I was doing, and if I needed any help…ONE that was suppose to be looking over my bag of items..I got aggravated, so decided to take their bait, and tell them what I was looking for.

 

 I already know the marketing game, after working in retail before, I know how it works, and I know that it is their job to lure you over to the most expensive items to get more money out of you. Convincing you that you need stuff that you actually don’t.

 

I told one of the sales girls that I was looking for two things. A coat for my daughter and a cowl neck cable knit sweater for another daughter. She asked me what style coat was I looking for, I told her a green mid thigh trench coat. She pointed over to the coat rack and told me that I would be able to possibly find one there.

 

I  then asked her when Tracy would be working again, THAT is the manager, and told her that Tracy knows me, given I’m a regular.

 

That must have made her think that I needed even MORE attention, because then she started to be even more friendly, asking me what type of sweater I  was looking for again….I figured that she would realize that I knew my way around good enough, and that she could move unto someone else. But…..

 

 I told her that I was looking for a cable knit cowl neck sweater that was not bulky.

 

 She then pointed to the sweater wall. I told her thanks for her help, and began to walk along, noticing that she was following me. I turned around and told her Thanks again! That I’ll go take a look, and she asked me what color was I looking for.  I told her brown or dark green. She then told me that all the colors were mixed in, that they were not suppose to be that way, and they had to fix that…I said, alright, thanks again. Then she asked what size my daughter was…..I told her medium, and she said that the mediums were all the way down to the left, but they are pretty mixed up right now too. I told her thanks, ((AGAIN)))while silently thinking to myself that I would have already found what I needed, had she not had me in so much conversation. *Grin*

She must have  finally got the hint, and mosied back up front. Yay!

 

I found not one, but 2 cowl neck cable-knit sweaters. They were ten dollars each. Both were name brands, and very well made. A steal!

 I then walked over to the coats, but  literately had to go through at least two-hundred before finding the exact one I was looking for. A dark green Old Navy Trench coat. It was $20… I was in Old Navy last month and they were selling retail for $49.99.  It was like new so I grabbed it, along with the two sweaters, and went to cash out.

 BEFORE I cashed out, one of the sales girls handed me back the tennis shoes. Both pairs! I asked her if she would mind telling me why they did not want them, after all, there was no signs of wear at all on either pair.

 ***DRUM ROLL***

 

 ….. She told me that they already EXPIRED!!!!!! YES, you read that right. Both pair of shoes had an expiration date on them. Who Knew!

 

Well, I felt rather stupid that I didn’t know, truth be told! 
 

I usually try to stay abreast of these things. I honestly did not know that under the tongue part of  name brand sneakers there is a date. Two dates in some cases. One says when they were manufactured. In this case it was 3/02, and next to it was another date that read 6/04. THAT was the months that they were sold, then retired…or in this case, EXPIRED. Isn’t marketing GREAT! THIS means that they know how long they will be selling things. Companies, I mean. They also are so smart to know that they can convince people to always buy retail and fresh by placing these dates on their items. Amazing!

 She told me that shoes,bags and clothing can not be more then 2 years old. That it didn’t matter whether they were like new…If they were old, then people will see the date and not want to buy it. Being LAST season and all…

 

 I asked her why won’t they buy it, and she replied….. because they will see that it’s not in fashion anymore! Woh!!

What have we turned into? *Sigh*

I had just bought both pairs of shoes a few months ago from another thrift store called, ‘Uptown Cheapskate’ I paid $12 for the pink ones but found they hurt my feet, and the same went for my husbands Nike’s.

 

Now the Nike’s, which were also like new were from 2008, and they expired just this past Summer she clued me in on. Darnnit!!!

Guess gray and navy blue Nike’s are just not in fashion anymore, and God knows that the Fashion Police will be out checking.

 

Really, I don’t know why I am so surprised by all this, but I am!

As for the Coat, which was a Abercombie & Fitch jacket, that runs for nearly $200 bucks at the mall…I had bought that for $30 last Christmas, from this exact Plato’s Closet. Not that she knew this, but had she asked, I would have told her…

 

That said–

It didn’t have an expiration date on it, but I played along and asked her if it too, Expired? 

 

She very seriously said, NO, they do not place expiration dates on their clothing because they are ALWAYS in fashion…..lol

 

So here’s too Abercombie!!! ALWAYS & 4-Ever in fashion! Gotta Love it!

 They offered me $15 bucks for it, which I took. I put that towards the other coat, and felt real good about it. :o)

I left the store a bit smarter, and that is always a good thing….

 

Lesson for today:

 

NOT only food expires, but clothing and shoes do too!

I came home and checked all my other name brand shoes, and sure enough, they have expiration dates on them.

 

 Same goes for designer clothes..Some of the brands that label their expiration dates are Gap, Old Navy,Gymboree ,Guess,and Avenue. I am sure there is more, but the brands that I have, mostly current (ha-ha) but many have expired years and years ago…..Poor me!

 

That said, TODAY I went back to Once Upon A Child with 6 little girls dresses (LIKE NEW) A cute unique 2 piece set from India, 3 pairs of girls boots, and a little boys pair of Reebok’s. The Reebok’s do not expire till this coming April! Yay!

 

 As stated, I’ve never sold to OUAC, but was hopeful, having made sure that all the dresses were washed and pressed, the shoes were clean, with barely any wear at all. Hopeful!

 

 I walked in, and the manager greeted me at the door, asking if I would like to sell the things in my hand.  I cheerfully said yes! She then asked me if I have ever sold before, I said no, but I was just in last night, bought a coat, and that I’m familiar with how Plato’s worked, if that helps.

 

She told me that they handle things differently, and I would need to show my ID and fill out the paper work, and have a seat. She told me that it would be about an hour before they would even be able to look at what I had.

 

 I looked around, noticed that it was pretty busy, and said OK.

 She was not at all friendly by now, and I was kind of feeling as if she was trying to discourage me from selling to them.

I was already warned months ago by a friend that both, Plato’s, AND OUAC will judge you by your appearance(what else is new?) Doesn’t everyone? Still bothers me to no end, but….

I made sure I was dressed extra nice today and looked the part. Whatever ‘the part’ was exactly.

 I mean, I wouldn’t be trying to sell them stuff if I didn’t need the extra cash!

 

Soooo, she handed me the paper work, and told me that next time the items need to be off the hangers and placed in a Rubbermaid BRAND bin. Preferable blue!

 

 Rubbermaid bin? $7.88 at Walmart—–Generic Bin at Walmart, or Dollar Store? $4.88

 

 Hmmm, so they want me to SPEND 8 bucks to bring them my stuff to sell.(Red Flag)
 

Then she told me that nothing can be over a year old.

 I should have left then, because the cute dresses that I had were all Vintage. But together retailed for $100 dollars! They looked impeccable! But none the less, they were Vintage. *sigh*

 

 I said alright, because secretly, I wanted to know how smart they actually were, regarding fashion. *Grin*

Weird part was, I  have shopped there for years, and always see Vintage clothing. I could have easily pulled her a side and picked out a dozen Vintage clothing items in less then 5 minutes! But Whatever!

 Vintage in actually VERY stylish right now! Don’t they know anything??

 

 **My point came to pass last night when I was in Plato’s and  over heard a mother and daughter chatting next to me. The mother had picked up a top, and asked her daughter if she liked it, or did it look to grannyish?

 

The daughter told her mom that NO, she didn’t really like me, but ‘Teen Vogue’ says that old fashion Vintage is hip right now…so she asked her mom to pass it over to her! See?

 

Vintage is in!

 But maybe for teens, not Toddlers? Crazy huh?

 The girl didn’t ‘really’ like it, But…..Teen Vogue says it’s Hip! So she wanted to take a closer look…

 

I think it’s funny, but I would be fooling myself if I said that I don’t ‘play the game’ every once in a while.

 

I KNOW that whether you are 4,14, or 40..You get judged by your looks in today’s world.

 You need to look a certain way, smell a certain way, and in some cases, ACT a certain way.

 The four year old at the play ground in the dirty ripped blue jeans and stained up over sized T-shirt, will not be having the other little girls coming over to her, asking  to play, as much as the pretty little girl with the frilly sparkle dress on.  :o(   I see it all the time!

 Same goes for the 14 year old. My daughter sees THIS first hand at church each week.  She tells me all about it, in discust!

 And as for me, I get it at every angle, and I’ll leave it at that.

So I filled out the paper work, apologized for not having the bin, Ahem…the BLUE Rubber Maid bin…and went to place my stuff on the metal shelf that she pointed too.

 I reached down to lay my stuff down, and BANG-A-BING!!  I whacked my head so hard, I nearly fainted. I seriously saw stars!  I now have an ugly egg on my forehead. Not very pretty!

 Holding back my tears, I told her that, THAT really hurt…Her reply? Oh, I do that all the time! !SHRUG!

 

 She then told me to go browse, and they will give me a store credit, and make me an offer in about an hour.

 I told her that I may not wait, as I had my husband in the car, and he has been waiting as it was. I went out to the car and told Dh, and he said that it’s not worth it and to never mind and go back and get the stuff.

 

 I told him that I wanted to give them a hafe hour, and that I was really hoping to get about $20 bucks for the stuff.

  THAT is not much, but I know they sell stuff cheap, and unless I want their prices to go wayyyy up, I would be happy with the $20! That is how it works.

 

They don’t give you much, but if they did, they would need to raise their prices, and if that were to happen, then you might as well shop at the mall.

 

I waited the hafe hour, and then went back inside, still seeing my pile. I walked over to the manager and told her that I would take my things back, and I had to leave.

 

She said that they actually did take 2 pair of shoes, and for me to get in line, and the cashier would show me their offer. I asked her why I had to get in line, not trying to be mean, but it was a very long line…

 

She told me that I would need to stand in line like everyone else that brings things in.

I thought that was handled horribly! The Manager should have handled it herself. Had it been me…Ugh!

But…..I went over to the line, suddenly not having a good feeling about it. I waited 13 minutes.(I timed the wait!)

 

 I reached the cashier, and over heard the manager tell her that I was number 44. The cashier walked over to the back counter and picked up a slip of paper. She placed it down in front of me and told me that they could offer me that amount. I looked down and saw $2.77.

 

I asked her if the dresses and outfit from India was not in style any more. The manager over heard me, and walked over and told me that there were no expiration dates in the dresses, and her guess, was that they were long Expired!

 

That some of the brands she has never even heard of.

I told her that Lil’Dolly, is Dolly Partons line of ‘Southern Frill dresses’ that are currently used in Beauty Pageant’s..and Baby LuLu is a French Boutique, same goes for Mousefeathers..

 

She then said, OH! Well maybe that is too ‘high end’ for us! LOL

 

She then excused herself and grabbed all the dresses. She put them on the counter in front of me, and turned the 2 into a 3. She then asked me if $3.77 sounded good to me for everything?

I picked up everything and told her thank you so much for HER time and have a nice day. Very politely, because as much as I hated it, I knew it was nothing personal….Just Business!

 

If this was not a franchise, I might have been even more understanding..But when there is a huge franchise, any franchise..my patience tends to runs thin. I really would love it if I could only buy locally. I have really been trying to do better, and back home, I was able to only buy local, because everything was at my beckon…As for today’s experience…..

I would much rather give my stuff away for FREE, then to take $3.77. But then again…That’s just me!

 

 

 

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