• michaelakzee

Being a Buffalo

My summer experience working at Buffalo Exchange

For those who enjoy thrift shopping for clothes, you are probably misusing that term. In actuality, shopping at stores such as Buffalo Exchange or Beacon's Closet is not defined as "thrifting," but rather just purchasing re-sold clothing. I coined myself as a thrift shopper until working at Buffalo Exchange, and received an abundant amount of lessons while working there this summer in New York City.

First off, I commend those whose work involves customer service because I am now able to voice from personal anecdotes...it really fucking sucks. I am appalled as to how many grotesque attitudes there are in society, and that people believe they are completely justified to use that behavior because they feel entitled. If you are not satisfied with an item, do not just toss it at the employee like they're a coat rack. Human decency– it's common sense. If an employee kindly states that you are in a restricted area, don't shoo them away and remain in that space. I was in awe at the various interactions you must handle during work hours. I should've brought Vaseline to smother across my teeth and maintain that "service with a smile" appeal. However, my timid personality slightly cracked since social skills are a requirement for this job. That is a benefit.

My co-workers were my saviors. The relationships I built with them made customer interactions endurable, and I was utterly saddened to leave them. There is an importance in working somewhere with individuals you adore. There is no point in remaining at a job that makes you doleful. Of course the salary is a necessity, but not if it means fabricating a heavy burden on yourself.

As a buyer, my primary task was to select clothing from sellers and price them for the store. I curated an array of pieces from multiple strangers, and listened to bizarre stories from several of them. My managers taught me that we must buy-in items that appeal to a broader audience. This required more practice because I cringed at many of the clothes we inspected and disagreed with accepting them. The buyers, however, must put aside their personal tastes. Surprisingly, customers did purchase those clothes. To those who treat themselves with luxury items, try a resale store. Sellers bring in designer items almost daily and stores such as Buffalo Exchange set them at frugal prices. I purchased the Marc Jacobs tourist shorts above for approximately $25, as well as a few other pieces. The hunt is the best part.

My time at Buffalo Exchange was short-termed and has now ended (for now), but working somewhere that veers toward the fashion industry augmented my appreciation for it.

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