Frugal Friday: Uptown Cheapskate

Uptown Cheapskate is a ‘clothes for cash’ style retail store where budget conscious style seekers can go and sell their gently worn clothing, in exchange for cash or a credit to shop within the store. They recently opened a location on York Road in Timonium so I stopped by to take a gander at the merchandise.

My very first observation was that I am not the target audience. There are really cute pieces, but they are very young, trendy sorts of pieces. In my opinion the ideal consumers for Uptown Cheapskate are teens, and would range from middle school to college freshman and perhaps sophomores. This makes it a potentially ideal place for moms with teens or pre-teens to shop, as they carry both men’s and women’s sized clothing, shoes and accessories.

The store is organized like a typical retail store, with the hottest items in the front, as well as accessories. Shoes are on racks above the clothing throughout the store, arranged by size. Clothing items are further organized by type: tops, dresses, jeans, shorts and skirts. While the majority of the store is dedicated to women’s clothing, the decent sized men’s section lives in about an aisle and a half close to the dressing rooms.

Notable labels include: Ann Taylor Loft, BCBGirls, Betsey Johnson, Madden Girl, Nine West, Old Navy, Wet Seal and Xhilaration for women; as well as American Eagle, Diesel, Eddie Bauer, Express Men, Joe’s Jeans, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and True Religion for men.

The items at Uptown Cheapskate are priced according to what the name would suggest. Women’s clothing falls within $4 – 80 range (depending on the item), jewelry and accessories are priced moderately between $6 – 12, handbags fall in the $20-30 range and outerwear starts around $30. Men’s clothing is similarly priced, with shirts falling in the $9 – 20 range and jeans in the $40 – 80 range.

The great thing about shopping at Uptown Cheapskate is that you can get rid of items in your (or your child’s) closet that no longer get worn, and get money back in the process with which to replace those missing items. According to the manager on-site when I visited, they’re more concerned with style than label, which keeps the door open for anyone to sell, regardless of what their label preferences are. The seller gets the cash or store credit up front, which generally falls between 25-30% of the selling price of the item.

T has just started wearing men’s sizes within the past year so we wouldn’t have much to sell, but you don’t have to sell items in order to shop the store. I’ll likely take him in one day to see if he finds items he likes.

Have you ever sold or shopped clothing at a ‘clothes-for-cash’ style retail store? What was your experience like?

Photos via store website