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Racked's reviews are penned by Aaron Bernstein, a.k.a. The Shophound. Today, he hits thrift store Beacon's Closet.
Beacon's smaller outpost in Park Slope. Photos Krieger, 09/18/2007
Let’s start by saying we can count on zero hands the number of times we have found something fabulous enough to buy at a thrift shop or used clothing store. We do, however have a bloated wardrobe that needs a little thinning out. Since were going to visit Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn, we figured that we could leave with less than we came in with since they buy as well as sell used clothing. We immediately went to the buying counter, filled out a form and left our stuff to be evaluated. We were told to come back in a half an hour, which gave us plenty of time to check out the store.
Williamsburg's Beacon’s Closet is a busy, warehouse-sized used clothing superstore where things are arranged not by size or style, but, apparently, by color. Shopping for used clothing is a hit-or-miss endeavor, and we can report that a huge selection doesn’t necessarily improve the odds. The merchandise ranges from the relatively recent and even the odd never-worn item with its original tags to the downright decrepit-looking. Shoes are displayed atop the many circular racks, and designer label items did not appear to be priced much higher than non-designer goods. We saw few items priced above $29 with most things falling in the $10 to $20 range. There is a lot off stuff to slog through to find anything, and there is vastly more women’s product than men’s.
We returned to find out what we would be paid for our clothes. They chose to buy some of what we brought in but not all. What they picked would be sold in the store for a total of around $92 of which we had the option of taking $32 in cash or $50 in store credit. We picked the cash and took off. We’re not entirely sure if it was worth the trip to Brooklyn, but since we were ready to give the stuff away anyway, we felt we came out ahead.
What we loved: The efficient buying system, and if you like used clothing, there’s plenty to choose from at low prices.
What it lacked: Anything we wanted to buy.
Décor: Campy with brightly painted walls and a retro soundtrack.
Best time to shop: On a weekday afternoon it was easy to navigate the store and a fairly quick process to sell your own things.
Service: Efficient, but it’s not a boutique. What you see is what you get.