Working at Buffalo Exchange | Glassdoor

Buffalo Exchange Overview

Tucson, AZ
501 to 1000 employees
1974
Company - Private
Retail
$50 to $100 million (USD) per year
New and recycled fashion at bargain prices. Buy, sell, trade. 80% of our clothing and accessories are bought from local customers. Bring in your former favorites for trade or cash on the spot! Inventory changes daily, including designer wear, vintage, jeans and one-of-a-kind ... Read more

Mission: It is the purpose of Buffalo Exchange to lead the resale fashion industry, provide a livelihood for its employees, a fair return to its owners and achieve sustainable profitability by: Being the most beneficial place for its customers to buy, sell and trade new and recycled ... Read more

Company Updates

  • Day in the Life of a Buffalo Exchange Buyer | Buffalo Exchange New & Recycled Fashion®

    By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ Being a buyer for Buffalo Exchange is the most fun, rewarding job I've ever had. It's also the hardest. I've come to see this as a winning combination. In fact, I credit my four plus years as a Buyer and Associate Manager for immense personal growth and lifelong friendships.

  • http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQPbF

    Attn Earthlings! Do you love playing dress-up? ...

    Attn Earthlings! Do you love playing dress-up? We have the job for you! Buffalo Exchange Portland (Hawthorne and Downtown) is hiring for FT and PT buyers. Apply in-store or online today for a fashion job where you can have fun while working hard!

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Buffalo Exchange – Why Work For Us?


We want to meet you!

If you love clothes and love people, come into a store and apply! You could even get an on the spot interview.  We have a speedy overall hiring process. 

We're looking for fashion loving employees.

Applicants should be excited, inspired, motivated, and should show a sincere love of fashion and clothing of all kinds.

We have fun and work hard.

Our employees work in a fun, fashion-oriented atmosphere where we  work hard and have fun with our customers. We may even coerce them to sing impromptu karaoke or spend an afternoon bedazzling a new pair of old jeans. (This is all true.)

We have great benefits.

Employees working 20+ hrs per week get health benefits.  All employees are eligible for profit sharing and store discounts. There is plenty of room for promotion. Our staff is proud of our regular contributions to local (meaning your city) social good programs and conservation efforts.

This isn't your regular retail job.

We are looking for people who truly enjoy the company of customers. If you love to shop, love clothes and love people, this may be just the place for you!

What they are saying.

Checkout this awesome article! Brokelyn Job alert: Get health, vision and dental insurance as a Buffalo Exchange buyer


Buffalo lore.

The first Buffalo Exchange opened in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona by Kerstin and Spencer Block. To our knowledge, this was the very first store that bought, sold, traded and took clothing items and accessories on consignment. Kerstin, being Swedish, thought the word 'Buffalo' was very American. And since the store was going to be an 'Exchange,' the store's name was born.

The store was in a 450 square foot space that had been an old union office on a side street near the University of Arizona. Kerstin's love of fashion and thrill in finding a bargain combined to create the company that now has 48 stores (including 3 franchises) in 18 states, with $81.6 million a year in revenue (as of Dec 2012).

Buffalo Exchange is an independent and privately held company and the founders manage the day-to-day business. Kerstin and her daughter Rebecca still own and run Buffalo Exchange out of Tucson.

Helping our environment.

Buffalo Exchange is a sustainable business that works to protect the environment by reusing and recycling clothing. Because we deal in local resale, emissions from production or distribution are eliminated. The E.P.A. estimates 13.1 million tons of textiles were generated in 2010, or 5.3% of total U.S. municipal solid waste. An estimated 14.0% of textiles in clothing and footwear was recovered for export or reprocessing in 2010. So trading used clothing has a positive environmental impact. undefined

Through our Tokens for Bags® program, Buffalo Exchange has raised nearly $656,798 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations since 1994, saving 13.1 million bags from polluting the environment. Shoppers are encouraged to accept a token instead of a bag for purchases, and Buffalo Exchange donates five cents to a charity of the customer's choice.

Since 1997, Buffalo Exchange has raised $561,236 through our annual Earth Day $1 Sale. Buffalo Exchange has supported numerous charities and environmental causes, including protecting the last Galapagos Island tortoise (George), funding pollination programs and research, increasing awareness about cruelty-free makeup, and most recently raising over $47,718 for the Center for Biological Diversity.  

Coats for Cubs.undefined

Buffalo Exchange's Coats for Cubs annual used fur drive is recommended by The HSUS. Furs collected provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife. Since 2006, with the help of our customers, Buffalo Exchange has collected a total of 12,190 used furs on behalf of wildlife rehabilitators nationwide.

Buffalo Exchange, along with other retailers, designers and The HSUS, officially endorsed closing a fur labeling loophole that took effect as the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-313) on March 10, 2011. On behalf of The HSUS, Buffalo Exchange collected approximately 2,458 Truth in Fur Labeling Act petition signatures. The legislation closes a loophole in the six-decade-old federal fur labeling law that previously allowed many animal fur garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur was $150 or less, leaving consumers in the dark as to whether they were buying faux or animal fur.

Buffalo Exchange Arts Award.

In 1994, Buffalo Exchange founders Kerstin and Spencer Block created an arts fund through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. This fund, the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award, annually honors emerging artists in the performing arts, visual arts, and those who have made outstanding contributions to the arts through education, organization, or advocacy. Since its inception, $190,000 has been awarded to the inspirational artists of southern Arizona.

Share a vision & make it happen.  

Because the chances of success are greater working for a company whose values you share, we offer a glimpse of some of ours:

• We believe what Buffalo Exchange does—the recycling and re-using of fashion—contributes to making the world better.

• We believe in hard work, integrity, respect for individuals and the necessity of individuals taking full responsibility for their actions and decisions.

• Buffalo Exchange believes that work should be a joyous part of living—an extension of the person—and a path toward self-exploration and self-realization. 

 Matthew Rada, Buyer Solo

In a time of online shopping, Buffalo Exchange continues to provide something that the internet will never give us, real people who create genuine connections. There are many super stars out there in Buffalo-land, employees who go out of their way to make the customer's day. Matthew Rada at the Phoenix Buffalo Exchange is one of those special employees who sets the example of true customer engagement. 
It has become clear that Matthew has a certain talent. So we thought we would ask him some questions:

BE: One of your compliments comes from a woman who was shopping with her daughter for a video shoot. What techniques do you use to connect with customers who have styles different than your own?

MR: Ask lots of questions. Not only what vibe they’re going for, but also what they feel comfortable in. Give options- sometimes things that they wouldn’t pick out for themselves end up being what they buy!

BE: What key concepts of Buffalo Exchange stood out to you during your initial training that you use every day?

MR: Focusing on what makes us unique. We try to buy the best of the best for the customer, so we don’t have to be pushy to sell things.

BE: What tips can you offer to others who may be less outgoing than you are?

MR: Treat everyone like a guest in your home! Make people feel welcome, like they can hang out and be our friends and Buffalo family. If it is a 5 minute interaction, or if they are a long time regular, you have time to make genuine and authentic relationships with everyone

 

Justin Berry, Associate Manager

 Justin Berry started working at the Ventura location as a temporary employee in the summer of 2014, at the invitation of the Store Manager. In August of 2014, he became a full-time Buyer and began his Buffalo journey.

As a buyer at Buffalo Exchange, Justin says he found a home for his boundless enthusiasm for clothes, something his friends had not always shared.  In the Herd, he says you can share your passion with customers and co-workers alike, hearing the stories they have behind their own clothes, and feel a sense of belonging.  He realized that his string of retail jobs was over – that this was what he wanted to do, for as long as he could. 

When a promotion became available at one of our San Diego stores to Associate Manager in May, Justin jumped at the chance to move.  He says not often in life will you have an opportunity to experience the child-like wonder of being in a city new-to-you, getting as far outside your comfort zone as you can.   Justin consults his Kerouac when making life decisions, relying on this one most recently: "There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars."

 

 

 

Cara Ramos, Store Manager

“I have a tattoo on my arm that says ‘without struggle, there is no progress’. You have to take on the things that look hard to prepare you for the bigger things.” She said she is most impressed by how fast she was able to reach her goal of becoming a Store Manager; that the opportunities are there in Buffalo Exchange if you really put in the work, and pay attention to the people that are willing to put their time in you.

Jen Williams, Store Manager

Jen Williams started with Buffalo Exchange in May 2013 and a little more than a year later became an Associate Manager at the Tucson campus location.  She has only been the Store Manager there since April 2016, but her reputation for creating a store with a consistently upbeat, customer-centric atmosphere is quickly spreading. 

The Tucson Campus store team loves to have Dress Up Days as part of the joy of celebrating fashion.  Every Saturday in June they dressed up with different themes: Southwestern, Athleisure, and Punk, ending with a Luau theme.

Up next for Jen is the Store Manager position at our new store in Nashville! 

 

“My employees make fun of me because I use the word FUN probably 100 times a day!  ‘Are we having fun with the customers?’ ‘Are these displays fun?’ ‘Let’s have some fun with these clothes.’  I get comments all the time from customers on how cheery our atmosphere is and we get that right back in return from them.” ~ Jen Williams


Daniella Bermudez, Store Manager

 I really fell in love with the way Buffalo made me feel. I believe what makes customers’ and employees’ experiences at Buffalo unlike any other are how they feel connected to something bigger. At the end of the day, we keep it simple and stick to “our main thing” – to buy, sell, and trade fashionable clothing in a beautiful, mutually beneficial environment!



undefinedAnna Weldon, Area Manager

I am very lucky that Buffalo Exchange developed a management training program designed to quickly develop employees who are motivated to manage a store. This is an opportunity to transition from an entry-level employee into a strong candidate for a Store Manager position in the space of a few months.
Applying to the program is easily one of the best decisions in my life. It was an amazing experience, in part because we are fortunate to have insightful and dedicated managers as resources at our company. A few months into the program, I got the phone call: they had a Store Manager position for me. I found that I was fully prepared to take on the challenge. In a relatively short period of time, and a ton of learning experiences, I took on the joy and challenge of being an Area Manager. I strongly believe in doing what you love for a living, and for me, this is it.


undefinedJade DeGrio, Store Manager

I wasn’t sure that I should go for a position in management as someone applying from outside the company, but I was familiar with Buffalo,and I was in a positionthat was unfulfillingat my current job. The environment was challenging, engaging, and FUN. The training process was hands-on and the training itself was interestingand educational. It was wonderful to be in an environment that placed such high importance on recognizing the abilities of people and giving them what they needed to progress. It also provided the ability to move forward by offeringnew positions,which was something that had been missing in my other retail jobs. I’m grateful to Buffalofor fostering an environment that empowers us to believe in ourselves.I encourage everyone to trust in their own abilities and take the next step!


undefined Joe Carrel, Internal Marketing Coordinator

For the last 2 ½ years I’ve worked as the Internal Marketing Coordinator. I get to do a little of everything: meeting presentations, HR and job postings, company games, training videos, zine layout, blog writing – whew! The variety and creativity keep the job fun – and my artistic side happy.






Kelly Diemer, Store Manager

After graduating college, I held a series of jobs which failed to capture my heart or attention. I was always looking for something more. One day, I was selling to the Buffalo Exchange in Hillcrest and I couldn’t help but ask the buyer how she got such a dream job: looking at clothes all day and talking to different people. She encouraged me to apply and the next thing I knew, I was a Buyer! I felt lucky to work with a diverse staff that was able to express their unique styles, personalities, and talents. I truly value that you never stop learning at Buffalo Exchange; there is no finish line, and it keeps me engaged and excited to come to work every day.



undefinedAshley Lloyd, Store Manager

Like many of us, I was a long time shopper before I started working for Buffalo Exchange. I didn’t have any previous retail experience, but I knew I loved people and I loved dressing up. It was a match! I am so lucky to get to work with fashion and interact with people every day and work for a place like Buffalo Exchange that is willing to invest in my development and career goals as I figure them out along the way.




Buffalo Exchange Reviews

3.2
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Kerstin Block
95 Ratings
  • "Fun, interesting job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Buyer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Buffalo Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    wonderful bosses
    fun and exciting days

    Cons

    long hours
    difficult and angry customers

See All 168 Reviews

Buffalo Exchange Photos

Buffalo Exchange photo of: At the Buy Counter
Buffalo Exchange photo of: Behind the scenes in Santa Monica
Buffalo Exchange photo of: Aarian
Buffalo Exchange photo of: Dakota
Buffalo Exchange photo of: Company Meeting 2016
Buffalo Exchange photo of: More California managers!
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Buffalo Exchange Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
52%
29%
17%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
52%
44%
2%

Interview Difficulty

2.9
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    Buyer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Eugene, OR
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Buffalo Exchange (Eugene, OR).

    Interview

    There were three interviews: phone call, in the store floor, with store manager. In the phone call interview, it was very relaxed. I was asked a couple questions such as: why do you want to work for Buffalo? Why do you think you're a good fit for the store? The second phase was they have you go to their store and have you pick out 3 items you would buy for them and 3 you would pass on. After, they gave me a questionnaire on attributes I think I have. The third phase was a formal interview with the store manager and assistant manager.

    What I hadn't realized was how serious this company takes fashion. They expect you to learn it outside of work. Know the trends, dress accordingly, breathe/eat/absorb fashion and at the end of the day for me, I just needed a job.

    Interview Questions

    • According to the items you chose/passed, you had to explain why you made your decisions.   Answer Question
    • What trends do you see going on currently?   Answer Question
    • What were last year's trends?   Answer Question
    • Who are your fashion inspirations? Where do you draw your inspiration from?   Answer Question
See All 73 Interviews

Buffalo Exchange Awards & Accolades

  • Top Innovator - Fashion's Winning Formula: Innovation + Technology, Apparel Magazine, 2015
  • Progress & Leadership in Worksite Health Promotion, Wellness Council of Arizona, 2015
  • Lumies Arts and Business Award, Tucson Pima Arts Council, 2012
  • Most Effective Population Health Management Award, Healthcare Consumerism Magazine, 2012
  • Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ernst & Young LLP, 2009
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