Buffalo Exchange

A Buffalo exchange seller trades in her gently used clothing. Photo: Courtesy of Buffalo Exchange.

Washington, D.C. just got a bit cooler.

In the coming months, the district will be blessed with its own, Buffalo Exchange, the famous vintage retailer that have stores across the nation, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

For those of you unfamiliar with Buffalo Exchange, it is likely that you are:

A) Not a hipster.

B) Seriously missing out.

C) Probably spending too much money on clothing.

D) All of the above.

The 37 year-old consignment chain—which was the first of its kind—is a step above the average thrift shop, and works differently from the typical consignment store. “Our model is a bit different,” marketing director, Michelle Livingston, clarifies.

“Buffalo Exchange’s business model is actually Buy-Sell-Trade: We purchase directly from the seller and offer cash or trade on the spot. There’s no waiting for a check, and the seller doesn’t wait for the item to be sold to someone else.”

However, each store is staffed with well-trained employees who are trained to be highly selective and only purchase the “most desirable items from the public that can be resold,” Buffalo Exchange’s president, Kerstin Block told Meets Obsession.

So for those you thinking of selling those bunny ear muffs you got from grandma last Christmas, think again.

Because most of the stores’ merchandise averages $15 an item, it’s a safe bet for a last minute shopping-crisis. “You can find clothing from many places in one location – from Forever 21 to Versace. It’s one-stop shopping!” exclaims Block. The stores in San Francisco and Manhattan are always well stocked with merchandise and shoppers, and it is definitely a staple of fashion culture that D.C. has lacked over the years.

So what finally got Buffalo Exchange to the district?

“People kept asking for it, more and more,” says Block. “And we found a space in an area that would be conducive to our business.”

Eighty percent of Buffalo’s inventory comes directly from customers. “Each Buffalo Exchange store is a different shopping experience with local inventory,” explains Block, “By the community, for the community.”

The first Buffalo Exchange opened in Tucson in 1974, the D.C. location will be the “42nd company-owned” store in the country, not including their two franchises, says Livingston. The opening of Buffalo Exchange may be a positive step forward in D.C. Fashion.

Buffalo exchange will be located at 1314 14th St., NW between the Logan 14 Spa and the restaurant, The Pig.