If you’re new to the store Plato’s Closet, you’re probably wondering, how does Plato’s Closet work? Plato’s Closet is a buy-sell-trade store that purchases items from its customers and resells them in the store.
This business promotes circular fashion by supporting consumers in reusing and repurposing perfectly good items. Plus, the consumers can rest easy knowing that all of the inventory in the store has been evaluated by trained employees.
Between the rising prices in thrift stores and racks filled with fast fashion, Plato’s Closet is the place to shop! Plus, if you have items you no longer wear or use hanging around your closet, you can trade them in for cash on the spot.
As someone who previously worked for Plato’s Closet for four years, I know all the ins and outs and can confidently answer how Plato’s Closet works with my insider details. So let’s get started!
How Does Plato's Closet Work: Selling Process
As mentioned above, the Plato’s Closet business model involves gaining inventory from its customers. So when it comes to how Plato’s Closet works, we will start here!
The first step is to gather items from around your closet and house. In general, Plato’s Closet accepts men’s and women’s clothing items, shoes, purses, accessories, and some beauty items.
However, be sure to read our complete guide on what Plato’s Closet accepts for more details.
Once you find the items that you want to sell, evaluate them for quality. Plato’s Closet only accepts items in good to excellent condition.
That means items must be free of rips, stains, or odors. That is because Plato’s Closet does not wash the items that come into the store.
If the item needs to be washed, repaired, or needs a stain removed, do this before bringing the item into the store.
Packing Up Your Items
Next, gather up all of your items and place them into a basket, bin, or sturdy reusable bag.
If you have clothing items, remove them from their hanger and place them in your basket, bin, or bag. If possible, try to avoid using a trash bag because it can easily rip and cause a headache for the employee.
Plus, if a bag rips, your items could scatter and get mixed up with other items. There is typically no limit to the amount of items that you can bring in.
However, some stores have begun to enforce a one-bag max, so be sure to call your local store ahead of time to see their rules and regulations.
Bringing Your Items Into The Store
Now that you have your items packed up and ready to go, it’s time to venture out to your local Plato’s Closet. But first, check in on your local Plato's Closet hours to be sure.
Once you arrive, you will see a counter that is marked for customers bringing in clothes.
You will have to fill out an informational form outlining your personal information like your name, address, contact information, and driver’s license number. You will need to present your driver’s license to the store associate, so be sure to bring your ID with you.
From there, the employee will let you know the approximate wait time for your items to be processed. This can range from 30 minutes to hours, depending on the number of buys before you and depending on the amount of items that you have brought in.
Some stores require you to wait in the store while others allow you to leave and come back before closing time that same day.
I should also mention that Plato’s Closet buying hours differ from store hours. Typically the buying process ends a couple hours before the store closes.
Because of that, check online or call your local store to inquire about their buying hours. Also, you can ask how long the current wait is for buys to be processed.
Selling Process Explained
Now that you’ve dropped off your items, it is in the hands of the employees. The employees processing the buys, also known as Keyholders, evaluate each item one by one.
They evaluate items based on condition, style, and brand. Each store has its own accepting criteria, so items that are accepted may vary from store to store and even employee to employee.
If an item is accepted, the employee enters it into the automated computer system. The worker inputs the type of item, brand, size, and condition, and the computer populates a price.
When it comes to exactly how much Plato’s Closet pays, be sure to read our in-depth guide.
After all of the items are entered, the store associate will write down the number of items and price. Your name will be called out in the store to notify you that your items are complete.
If you leave and return, just go to the main desk and inform them you have returned after dropping off clothing. From there, the associate will tell you the price they can offer you for your items.
You are able to inquire about reasons that items weren’t accepted and ask what was accepted. You can accept, decline, or do a combination of both. If there are one or multiple items that you do not wish to sell, you can remove those from the buy.
If you accept, you will get cash on the spot. Alternatively, you can opt for store credit. Although, you get the same value by choosing cash or store credit.
If you decline, you have to take all of your items with you as you leave the store.
And that is it on the selling process! However, be sure to read our complete guide of tips on selling at Plato’s Closet.
How Does Plato’s Closet Work: Shopping Process
Next, we’ll discuss how Plato’s Closet works when it comes to shopping at the store.
At Plato’s Closet, the store is first sorted by the type of item. There will be areas for dresses, jeans, athleticwear, coats, and more.
Within each type of clothing item, it is further sorted by both size and color. You will also notice shoe racks above all of the clothing racks. Shoes are also sorted by size.
However, you will find sandals and heels mixed in with athletic shoes. To go even further, accessories are scattered around the store.
Many stores have endcaps where purses, scarves, and other items are hung. Typically wallets, jewelry, and beauty items are located near the cash register.
Plato’s Closet offers dressing rooms to its customers in order to try on items. Most locations have a 5-item max in the dressing room at one time.
Once you finish your 5 items, you can trade them out for more. If you decide you don’t want any of the items that you have tried on, there will either be a rack or a table for you to place those items.
If you find something you want but need to wait until payday, you can ask the store to hold items for you. Typically stores allow 24-48 hours before they return the items to their rightful place in the store.
This also applies to items that you may see on your local Plato’s Closet social media page. You can either comment or call the store to inform them you would like that item held until you can make it into the store.
Alternatively, some stores allow you to shop their Plato's Closet online! That's right, you can have deeply discounted brand-name merchandise shipped right to your house.
The last step in the Plato’s Closet shopping process involves checking out. Make your way to the cash register, and wait for the next available sales associate to assist you.
If you’re not already, be sure to join your local Plato’s Closet discount program, hosted by Fivestars. You can earn points which you can turn into discounts at the store.
This is also where you can be notified of special occasions and sales at your local store.
Also, be sure to bring your own reusable bag. Most stores have ditched plastic bags and do not offer them anymore in an effort to promote a more eco-friendly shopping experience.
Plato’s Closet Return Policy
Your Plato’s Closet associate should notify you of the return policy, and it should be printed at the end of your receipt.
But in general, clothing items with the tags attached can be returned within 7 days from purchase. Yes, the tags do still need to be attached!
Sometimes Plato's Closet will offer store credit for items without tags, however, this will vary by store.
Unfortunately, shoes, purses, jewelry, and other accessories are final sale. These items are not returnable under any circumstance. Because of that, be sure to evaluate the items closely to make sure it’s a good fit!
And with that, we’ve gone over every detail to answer the question, how does Plato’s Closet work? Now you know that you can both sell and buy items from this savvy secondhand store.
What other questions do you have about Plato’s Closet? Comment below!