Vintage Ventures, Buffalo Exchange Edition

By Z. Funston & K. DePillis

On bustling Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, adjacent to a few mainstream stores and hot dog stands, sits a secondhand store The Buffalo Exchange. The store is fairly crowded, with a wide variety of people of all different ages, genders and ethnicities, flicking quickly through the various racks that occupy the store. Indie and electronic music plays throughout the store, creating a chill vibe derived from both new and old tunes. The big open space, getting more cluttered as it tapers into the back, houses a faint smell of well … used clothing.

Making our way to an organized rack of clothes, we devise a game plan after a few minutes of conversing. We decide that by picking out items which we think might fit and what we find appealing should be a sufficient method of shopping. Vintage is a bit an overstatement as most of the clothes are just secondhand items in current styles. The shoes were in extremely poor condition and the sale rack was set aside for formalwear. You could sense that there was a system of organizing the racks, classified by item and then by size.

Although their clothing styles and options were very flexible and catered to many different tastes and aesthetics, the accessories we saw were solely loud and bright. Grazing through the glass case of kitschy rings we were confused to see multiples of the same item, even in different sizes and color options. After doing some research we discovered that along with vintage and used donations, Buffalo Exchange also receives shipments of bulk items.

The staff was very nice and helpful although we had a small hiccup regarding a piece of clothing set aside for later purchasing. A dress was tried on, put on hold, and then lost. The girl we confronted about the situation played it off like she had never met us and did not recall anything of the sort. Overall, the experience was a pleasant one; the merchandise was kept clean and preserved. We highly recommend this store for unique, youthful finds. This is also a great place to find inexpensive clothing that you can cut or fold to fit today’s trends or to experiment with your style.