Which is Better: Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading? It depends on the neighborhood…

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Buffalo Exchange vs. Crossroads

The major thrift stores in many cities, including both San Francisco and New York (Manhattan) are Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads — where “major” means that both companies have stores throughout the city.
But which company is better in terms of finding what you want?

I thought about this question and came to conclusion that because they’re both stores that rely on used, vintage and consignment clothes, you can’t really judge them on their inventory. By the nature of their business, their inventory is inconsistent; what they had last week is hardly representative of what they’ll have today.

For selling clothes, both thrift stores pay out the same about the same — for clothes they’re willing to buy, you’ll receive 50% of the selling price for in-store trade. If you want cold hard cash, Crossroads pays out 35% vs. Buffalo Exchange who pays 30% of the selling price.

Which is better?  It’s not that easy — and looking on Yelp isn’t much help.

Buffalo Exchange vs. Crossroads Trading? Depends On You.

In the summer, Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads will have more shorts and tank tops on their racks. Similarly, they’ll be looking to buy more skimpy clothing during the hot months. In that vein, individual style is the best way to compare these stores. Even with their rotating and seemingly similar inventory, you’ll have the most success buying and selling used clothes by being aware of the style of the clothes you want (or want to get rid of).

Best Place to Buy Sell Used Clothes

You’ll be most happy walking out of a Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads location that’s best suited to your fashion tastes. Each Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange serves a specific area — meaning that the styles that are popular in that location’s neighborhood is the type of clothing you’ll find on their racks and the style of clothes they’re most likely to buy.

Whether you get $7 in cash or $2.50 in cash is another question.

Overall, both thrift stores try to position themselves in younger neighborhoods. In my experience, Buffalo Exchange shops tend to be in hipper areas than Crossroads can be found.

For example, if you’re buying/selling a lot of street wear, vintage t-shirts, and ironic sweatshirts, you’ll do much better in Buffalo Exchanges in the East Village or The Mission where they cater to a younger, hipster style. If you’re looking to buy or sell a Calvin Klein dress shirt, then you might want to go to the Crossroads in the Castro or Flatiron.

You can’t walk into a Buffalo Exchange or a Crossroads like you do a GAP — there’s too much variation between each store. If you’re specific about what you want to buy/sell — the best decision is to pick a location that best fits your style.

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  1. avatar
    Mike M says:

    Thanks for doing the research and taking the time to write this up Stuart’s! Great info.
    Happy to say when I did a Google search for this, it was near the top of the results

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