TUCSON, AZ (Arizona Cat’s Eye) – Shopping at second hand clothing stores is on the rise among Tucson shoppers.
Buffalo Exchange has 47 stores nationwide and three stores in Tucson. Here at second hand stores shoppers can find a wide variety of inexpensive, trendy, vintage and one of a kind clothing.
“We are a buy, sell, trade resale store,” Rachel Redondo, a manager at Buffalo Exchange, said. “It’s a great way for people to recycle clothing, which is really what we are trying to do.”
The Buffalo Exchange on Speedway Boulevard near the U of A just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Many customers that shop here keep coming back for more.
“I’ve been shopping at Buffalo Exchange for about four years,” Elise Davis said. “I bring in clothes pretty regularly that I either don’t wear anymore or don’t fit me. I can sell them back and then exchange them for new clothes that I will wear.”
While shopping at second hand clothing stores may be popular, there are some health risks to be aware of. The Pima County Health Department gets a few complaints a month from shoppers about bed bugs – the most common health concern in second hand clothing stores.
“If you do purchase any clothing at a second hand store keep the purchase in a tightly sealed plastic bag until you are able to wash it and dry it,” Nora Atondo said. Atondo is a Sanitarian Assistant for Pima County.
Even though it is recommended to wash the item what really kills the bed bugs is the high heat in the dryer.
Redondo also says that many people started shopping at Buffalo Exchange after the economic crisis in 2008.
“The economic downturn served us really well. People were looking for ways to make extra money, and for ways to shop for less.” Redondo said.
The store staff say shopping for second hand clothing is good for the environment, offers a variety of choices and is a chance to save money.