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Fashion Stores

The Kind Exchange

Posted by Staff / Posted on January 28, 2012

Kind ExchangeThe Kind Exchange helps to solve one of the biggest problems you face when it comes time for that inevitable wardrobe clean out — where to dump the decent clothes that no longer make the cut. Never mind taking that horrid trip to Value Village, sometimes you have good stuff that you might be able to use to help finance some new items for the closet.

Kind Exchange TorontoMuch like Common Sort, the Kind Exchange is a buy, sell, trade, and donate retailer. You can bring in clothes, shoes, jewellery — no appointment needed, though you might want to ensure that they're in season — and sell them to the store for cash or a credit. This adds a little bit of fun to the shopping process, because it's like a clothing swap with strangers (as with any second hand shop, it's highly recommended you wash after you buy).

2012127-kind-exchange-shelvesSome of the clothes on offer qualify as real steals. My roommate, for instance, snagged a Jean Paul Gaulthier dress for $20. That's not going to happen every day, but that's a pretty tantalizing possibility. Naturally, good pieces move fast, so you'll need a little luck (or to be a return visitor) to if you hope to get your hands of the designer stuff.

2012127-kind-exchange-int2.jpgWhat sets the Kind Exchange apart from some other second-hand clothing stores is their charity and donation programs. The store works with three charities at a time, which switch on a quarterly basis. If you bring in a piece they are not interested in buying, you can choose to donate the sale value of your clothing to charity. There's also the "skip a bag" program, where, if you refuse a plastic bag they will make the five cent donation on your behalf. A token is handed to you, and can be placed in the donation box of the charity of your choice that they are currently partnering with.

That should take away any guilt you might have had for passing up on a trip to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

Kind ExchangeKind ExchangeKind ExchangeWriting by Lauren Morocco / Photos by Erin Jones

Discussion

26 Comments

Kelly / January 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
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I always find a great deal everytime I go in there. Just bought a lovely dress yesterday for cheap and there is always lots to choose from. The staff is friendly. The only thing I had a problem with was bringing in some clothes that they didn't need at the time - they should make that clear on their signs as to what they are looking for and when...
Steven / January 28, 2012 at 03:38 pm
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Is it only clothing for women, or are there mens pieces as well?
M'ish Manhattan / January 28, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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where exactly can I find this shop?!
M'ish Manhattan replying to a comment from M'ish Manhattan / January 28, 2012 at 04:35 pm
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never mind , see it!! any shops synced to this one in the ny area?!
michelle / January 28, 2012 at 06:51 pm
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has anybody sold any clothing to them and how much did you guys get?
Andrew / January 29, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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This is a good option for people who don't want to spend the time to sell their stuff directly themselves.

However, I imagine as with any consignment store, as a seller you are likely giving up a hefty % to the retailer (which is understandable - they've got rent and staff to pay). Typical consignment stores charge upward of 60%, will only keep items for a very limited time, and as many readers have commented, will only accept certain brands and seasonal items at a time.

For those put off by this or other drawbacks of the 'bricks and mortar approach', it's worth checking out www.ShopMyClothes.com. This web marketplace connects buyers and sellers directly (cutting out the middle man and their hefty charge!) and is easy to post as a seller, or to search for the best brands (whether in season or not)!

Anyways, we are big supporters of the sustainable fashion movement, so glad to see more individuals getting involved, one way or another.
elc replying to a comment from michelle / February 2, 2012 at 09:46 am
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i went last week and brought approx 10 items, all higher end labels (Ann Taylor, Anne Klein, Micheal Kors) and they bought 4 - the original cost was probably around $300 total. She offered me either $20 cash or $40 store credit, so of course I took the credit. They don't take items that have any kind of significant wear, or are totally out of season, or that she considers will not sell (apparently wide-leg trousers are not hip right now ;)
C. / March 5, 2012 at 03:59 pm
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Stopped in here for the first time today and found some really cute clothing for spring! I settled on three items but there were so many more that caught my eye. There's so many vintage/second-hand clothing stores in the city where it's near impossible to find wearable, good quality clothing so I'll definitely be returning here.
Laurka / September 14, 2012 at 09:34 pm
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Amazing store! The staff are super kind, and very helpful. I love the selection, especially the vintage items. I shop here often, and would recommend it to everyone.
Vintage / March 4, 2013 at 01:12 am
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This store is alright for buying, there are some finds if you dig. Ive sold many pieces to them when needing some extra cash or decluttering my closet. Just beware of selling high end designer merchandise here though, the cut is too low and the staff need more knowledge on designers. They re-sold one of my well known, 100% silk designer scarves that I paid 550$ for ... For 30$ because they "didn't think it was real". The girl told me she had her 'expert' check and he confirmed it wasnt real! What a waste! Somebody got an insane deal lol...The concept of charity is great just be wary of selling high end designer merch- don't expect to get what it's worth.
elaine / July 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm
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dropped off clothes. When I went to pick them up, they only wanted 4 out of 100 pieces and all were new. They then said I needed to show my ID to get the money for the items. I had no ID with a picture so they refused to pay me. I told the worker that I didn't understand why they needed my Id. He said it was the law. I said that I was unaware of such a law and the whole thing was weird. He acted childish and said I was the rudest customer he had ever had.

Well you figure this one out. I drove 20 miles for nothing, carried in 4 garbage bags and wasted two afternoons. Something fishy with that store.

P.S. when I asked to speak to the owner, the worker said he didn't know who that was?!!
Sarah / September 24, 2013 at 08:51 pm
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I went here once and I can't say I'm a fan, I went to sell my summer clothes and they told me "they weren't taking them", even though the sign outside on the sidewalk + website stated they were taking summer items.

I looked around and the brands were AT BEST high end retail (J Crew, Club Monaco, Banana Republic), there is pretty much no selection of contemporary brands at all.

I tried to sell them a pair of Steve Madden, BCBGeneration & Report Signature shoes and they didn't take any, reflecting the poor selection of shoe brands in the store.

The only item of mine the were interested was my Torn by Ronny Kobo dress, which they offered me $16 for - showing their ineducation on highly seeked out contemporary brands. I clearly didn't sell.

This was the new Queen St. location, I might consider going to the one further West.
Gwen / October 18, 2013 at 04:13 pm
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I brought in 3 leather jackets (Danier) and 1 suede jacket, all men's for sale. The store was to call me or email me the next day and I never heard from them.
cindy / December 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm
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I love these types of stores! I was recently introduced to the labels exchange at bathurst and wilson. same concept, but they only sell brand names. If you're looking more for brands as opposed to unique vintage pieces I reccomend you look them up. They dont advertise as much, but I did find a website www.labelsexchange.ca
Alice / January 20, 2014 at 01:00 pm
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Absolutely ridiculous!!! I dropped off my brand new in box Gucci Wallet for consignment early Sept and we agreed to let it go for $190. Anyhow long story short, three months gone by and I haven't heard from them. I stopped by the Yonge and Eglinton store early Dec and lady told me it was sold at $190 or $180 and I should be expecting my share (50%) in the next week of so. I stopped by few more times and was promised to get a call from their boss...another month has gone by and when I called today (Jan 20), the guy there said it was fold for $110!!!! A: I never agreed on this price; B: where's my cheque???!!!! I'm sharing my frustration so people can think twice before putting anything on consignment at this store!!!! Very dishonest people!!
Taliba / June 29, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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I'm with people who aren't fans of how this store handles their consignment process.

Two bags of clothes dropped off -- at least one was a never-worn Jacob dress that was a classic style. Not interested! Strange considering that when I shopped there I was not impressed with their selection. I found the whole experience really snooty.

Oh, and after I was told they were interested, they told me to come back and pick the items up. Not exactly pushing the 'charity' side of their brand, because I had to ask them what happened to the clothes if I didn't pick them up (why would I come back for clothes I don't want?) They said it would go to the Cancer Society and then asked yet again if I wanted to donate them. Um, Yes. Duh!
Taliba / June 29, 2014 at 03:23 pm
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I meant 'weren't interested.' Oops!
Kim / July 18, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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Staff at the recently opened Bloordale store are a bit rude-they should work on their customer service skills.
Julia / August 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm
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I've sold/bought clothes at Kind Exchange for a long time. So i have one thing or two to say about them:
1. Rude staff: they used to be very "kind" and nice. I used to leave a bag full of items and those items they did not purchase, they used to give me a very good explanation why they wouldn't buy as to help me out in selling my stuff in the future. They grew a lot in the last years and so did they service. The new stores hired staff that is rude and impolite. I dropped a bag full of new summer dresses and the girl (on the Bloor store) told me that they are not taking my items. When I asked why, she replied "they don't look nice". I was in shock. I had the same bad experience a few times in other stores.
2. They don't value your clothes. I sold a Calvin Klein leather jacket (original price $400) for $20 dollars or $40 store credit. They undervalue your items. It's such a frustrating experience, especially after I heard from a friend of mine (who lives in the US) that there is this amazing second-hand store (Crossroads) that pay great price for her stuff. The same item would be sold there for $70-80. They buy lots of things and are less "strict". Their concept is basically the more you buy from customers, they more they will spend on your store. A happy customer who sells their stuff means that they will return their money back to your store. Clearly, KE never heard of such a thing as a "happy buyer who turns out to be a happy shopper".
3. Horrible items. They don't have unique pieces to sell. As someone pointed out here, what you see there is Forever 21 sold for almost the sales price in the store. They don't have a good selection of interesting, one-of-a-kind pieces.
For those reasons, I stop selling and buying at their shop. I went back to donate (REALLY DONATE) my things to REAL charities e.g Salvation Army.
Jane replying to a comment from michelle / August 12, 2014 at 08:04 pm
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$1-2 per piece of clothing/shoe/accessory

It doesn't matter if it's old, new, or with tags. They buy it for $1-2. Most of the time, items go missing in their store, and they don't pay you for your items that they lost.
LOL bye. / September 11, 2014 at 03:12 pm
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As an internal from the company I will say this place is 100% scam. Your "donated" clothing doesn't go to charity. They choose which items will be donated to charity (which is practically none). It's easy to determine, try and find tags on them that say "charity". Most is profited by the three owners. It's hilarious actually, no one knows what they are doing here. They are trying to make it sound elaborate as if they are buying "exclusive" pieces, the people who run this place are all friends and no nothing about fashion trends. They DO indeed take your bags when you don't pick them up on time and then place your items on the sales floor. Don't make these people rich because nothing is going to charity ha ha ha.
Scarborough / November 7, 2014 at 05:19 pm
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The queen and peter location has the SNOBBIEST, RUDEST employees I've ever met at any store in my entire life, including high-end boutiques.

They look at you like you're such a burden on them the second you walk in the store, NEVER offer to help, and god forbid you ask them for anything. Shop here if you like a side of hipster know-it-all eyerolls with your used clothes.
Angel / March 22, 2015 at 11:02 am
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I went to the Kind Exchange on Bloor near Bathurst in downtown Toronto on Thursday, to donate a bunch of clothes. The 2 ladies that were working there picked out 2 items to buy from me, for resale and the rest I just left with them as a donation. They asked for my first and last name and phone number. I asked them why they needed that information, and they said it’s so that they can prove that they’re receiving the items from a real person. I have NEVER given out my number no anyone before, besides to close friends and family members. And only 3 people that have my phone number, actually have my first and last name. I am a very discreet and private person. By Saturday (less than 48 hours after giving my infos at Kind Exchange), I began having relentless and harassing calls from telemarketers. I have NEVER received calls from a telemarketer before. I have the service from my phone company, to NOT receive telemarketing calls. I have gone through great lengths to keep my phone number and first and last name from telemarketers, and now because I wanted to be generous and donate to Kind Exchange, that privacy has been broken. I WILL NEVER DONATE TO KIND EXCHANGE AGAIN AND SUGGEST TO EVERYONE TO DO THE SAME, OR TO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER TO THEM. BEWARE KIND EXCHANGE SELLS YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER TO TELEMARKETERS.
frugalfashionista / April 12, 2015 at 08:25 am
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The staff at many kx stores are rude with the exception of the queen and Bathurst location. Most of the time they ignore you and stand around chatting with each other ( I've been to 8 different stores). I often wonder if the staff aren't working there just to sell their stuff and get first dibs on designer items they gave someone $3 for, because I have seen some really tacky items like a really worn straw purse they probably sold at Walmart. I couldn't believe they took that but turned away my leather Coach purse in mint condition. Also when people say there isn't a lot of great stuff it's because the staff probably already took them. I've heard the staff tell each other what they are putting aside for themselves. So if you do see something good all the staff turned it down probably, and if you see Joe fresh they wouldn't take in from a customer it most likely belonged to the staff or someone they know. But if you go to a lot of different kx stores you may find the odd reasonably priced item that is actually worth it. If you want any service though go somewhere else. I love consignment stores, and one of my favorites is Extoggery on Brentcliffe. They sell high end items like Louis Vuitton, but you can still find Michael Kors and Lulu lemon too. Happy shopping!
kim / July 6, 2015 at 05:25 pm
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I also find their buying policy odd. I took in several of clothing into the Bloor Dufferin store and they wanted none of them- the clerk turned up her nose at Anne Klein, American Apparel and J Crew items among my stuff. I do think that this store's clothing skews young and fast fashion. Even when they do buy your clothes they pay next to nothing. If I want to sell good stuff I take it to higher end consignment stores like Ex-Toggery or Second Nature. Kind Exchange is ok for low end stuff but I generally find the clothes I buy there are not ones that I truly love and wear more like a cheap fix. I guess the mantra buy less and buy better applies here as well.
Frugalfashionista / July 21, 2015 at 11:25 am
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I have now been to 10 KX locations! The best staff are still at Queen and Bathurst and now Yonge and Eglinton ( they have new staff )! You can find some great things if you go to different stores, just be prepared for some staff to ignore you at best or look down at you if you date ask them something. I wouldn't give up on them yet. One of the owners Jeff would be surprised I'm sure if he knew how some of his staff acted. The staff at Bloor and Dufferin could get pointers from those at Yonge and Eglinton!

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