Selling and Shopping at Uptown Cheapskate Lake Forest
I hadn't gone into Uptown Cheapskate in Lake Forest for a couple years now, and my first experience there was great. I brought in a large bag of clothing and walked away with $75 in cash and just a small handful of items that didn't sell. This time, I was invited to come in to check out the store, and I decided to document my experience to show the variety of merchandise that is in the store as well as the ease of the selling process.
WHAT IS IT
Uptown Cheapskate is categorized in searches as a second-hand, consignment, thrift type of store, but I wouldn't classify it strictly as a consignment store because you don't leave your clothes there and then get paid a percentage of the sale once the items are sold. And it's not necessarily a thrift store because thrift stores are usually the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other non-profit or charity operated companies that accept your clothing as donation (so they don't purchase the clothing from you) and then it is in turn sold in their retail spaces at an affordable cost, and therefore the sales benefit the programs that they offer through their organizations. I definitely would lean more towards Uptown Cheapskate being a retail space that sells second-hand, gently used items as well as new merchandise.
Like a Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading Co, you bring in gently worn to new clothing, shoes and accessories and Uptown's buyer will sort through your items and offer a lump sum in store credit or cash for you to accept. The store credit will always slightly be more as it is an incentive for you to have a higher monetary value to shop in their store. Something to remember is they are going to offer you a lower amount than if you try to sell your items privately because they are going to resell your items in their store and need to make a profit off what they sell. You aren't going to get a breakdown of how much they are giving you for each item that they want to buy from you.
You can check out the straight forward selling process here, but essentially you bring in items that are in good condition or gently worn, and they need to be on trend typically for the upcoming season (like the items that they are looking for here) or items that are classic, versatile pieces like basic tops, jeans and jackets. For example, if you're coming in late summer to sell very trendy swimsuit cover ups and dresses, you may not be able to sell those items because the buyers are looking for fall/winter pieces. When you arrive, you are greeted and if you have a bag with you, the associate will typically ask if you want to sell, and if you've sold with them before. Regardless, you will fill out a form and you can leave your items and come back or you can shop around during the process. The buying period depends on how much stuff you bring in, and if there are other people ahead of you that are having their stuff looked at. The entire process for me was 1 hour because I had one person with a small bag of items ahead of me, then I had brought in an Ikea sized bag of items and an additional medium size shopper bag. During this time, I was able to scour the racks, try on selects and also film tidbits around the store. If you're in the store when the buyer is finished with your items, he/she will call your name and hand you your form back with the store credit and cash option, once you select what you'd like to proceed with you sign and date the form. If you don't want to take the items that didn't sell with you, you have the option to leave those items at the store to then later be donated. I was offered $225 in store credit or $180 in cash for about 95% of the items that I had brought in to sell. I figured that I would come back to Uptown Cheapskate to get my shop on when I'm looking for something new to add to my closet, so I went for the store credit option. I came in this week, so mid-August, and brought in many basic thermal tops, tanks, jeans, maxi dresses (dark to light floral), a duster, light sweaters, off the shoulder and blouse-y tops and boho-style bags. What wasn't sold was a pair of red denim jeans, a couple white tops that most likely looked too worn, a few bags (in bright neon colors) and a chambray top.
I was really surprised at the variety of used and new merchandise available in the store. This is definitely a great spot to find new pieces to add into your wardrobe, or go on a shopping spree for an entirely new wardrobe (great for the back to school shoppers). The racks are organized by categories: shorts, sweaters, jackets, maxi dresses, tanks to long sleeve tops and so on, and some of the racks are color coordinated. You'll find boutique brands to fast fashion labels like Forever 21, H&M and Urban Outfitter brands; as well as higher price point brands like Free People, Zara and Lululemon. There are also designer labels like Michael Kors and Coach - everyone of every type of style will be able to find something, from boho, beachy and feminine looks, to edgy, urban and skate wear looks.
WHAT I BOUGHT
I went home with a new F21 metallic faux leather jacket, originally $37.80 and Uptown's price was $25.99. For being a brand new jacket with tags attached, I felt that price was justified. I also got a Pam & Gela distressed tee for $11.99 and it is currently selling for $90 online. A few other oversized tops I got ranged from $5-7.99 each, and they would have typically been sold for at least double the price in retail stores. My last item I got was a pair of Matisse Sissy boots that currently retail online new for $48-98 (originally priced at $180), and my pair was $29.99. To check out all the items and my time in Uptown Cheapskate, view the video below.
Amanda of Feast.Fashion.Faves was not given monetary compensation to compose and publish this video and post. Amanda was gifted a $50 gift card with no obligations to create/publish content, therefore she willingly filmed and edited the video, and composed and published this post. All opinions expressed are of her own.