On a recent episode of Broad City, Abbi and Ilana reenact one of the most famous shopping scenes ever filmed: when Julia Roberts confronts a haughty Rodeo Drive saleswoman in Pretty Woman. In the updated Brooklyn version, the duo tries their luck selling used clothes at Beacon’s Closet, where they go head-to-head with a buyer who has clearly seen it all.
The Cut traveled from the Garment District to Astoria to visit the city’s nine Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange locations, the two chains with a choke hold over the city’s secondhand goods. We spoke strictly to buyers — the ultimate arbiters who yea and nay the merch — about their own personal style (inspirations include everyone from Rihanna to Stevie Nicks) and their craziest stories on the job. Click ahead for tales of incredible vintage coats, behind the scenes with the Broad City girls, and someone who “once found a vibrator in a tennis shoe.”