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Uptown Cheapskate in Carlsbad: Like-New Fashions at Cheapskate Prices

uptown cheapskate in carlsbad california

The first time you visit Uptown Cheapskate in Carlsbad you’ll wonder if you’re in the right place, ‘cause Uptown Cheapskate doesn’t look like any resale or thrift store you’ve ever seen. You’ll think you’re in a traditional clothing store at a mall—Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, perhaps Lululemon or Nordstrom. Music from current artists playing in the background, wide faux wood plank flooring, industrial chic lighting and graphics, and rows and rows of clothing from the aforementioned retailers as well as H&M, J. Crew, Under Armour, Nike, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and a slew of other well-known brands—but everything’s up to 70% off mall prices.

With over sixty stores around the country (currently three in California) Uptown Cheapskate gives franchise owners leeway as far as how they want their own store to look, so when owner Ashley McAtee held the Carlsbad store’s grand opening on January 4, customer’s were delighted to discover that besides getting unbelievable prices on current trendy fashions, finding what they wanted was a breeze. “I wanted to make it easy for customers to shop,” McAtee says. “So I arranged the clothing not only by size but by color and style.” Looking for a white sleeveless blouse in a medium? Easy-peasy…all the size medium white sleeveless blouses are hanging side-by-side, no sorting through dozens and dozens of blouses hung together whose only similarity is size. Ever seen jeans arranged on racks by color—from light denim to black? Probably not, but you will at Uptown Cheapskate.

“We don’t sell or buy vintage clothing,” McAtee explains, but that doesn’t mean that they limit their customer base. “There’s something for everyone here, we even have men’s clothing. We also carry accessories like jewelry and purses, and lots of athletic wear. You know how serious people are in North County about working out.” (And how serious they are about getting a great deal—for instance, $29 for a pair of Lululemon tights that retail for $70 or more!) Besides amazing prices Uptown Cheapskate has a buyer loyalty program called Uptown Insider, they sell gift cards and even offer layaway.

That’s the skinny on shopping at Uptown Cheapskate but what about selling? If you’ve ever sold anything to a consignment store, you know what the process is like: you take your items in, you’re told how much they’ll be priced for and what percentage of that amount you’ll receive and if they don’t sell, you not only never hear from the store again, you don’t know what happened to those items. Not so at Uptown Cheapskate.

“Selling is as uncomplicated and comfortable as shopping,” McAtee says. “We have a terrific software program that immediately gives us the selling price, and tells us the amount we should offer our customers. There’s no guesswork. We print out the price, attach it to each item and once the items are tallied, we offer the customer either cash on the spot or a store credit of 25% more.” Easy-peasy…right?

Another non-traditional and convenient aspect of selling to Uptown Cheapskate is that, unlike most resale shops or consignment stores, you don’t need an appointment. Bring in your clothing, shoes, and accessories anytime during regular business hours (up to one hour before closing); there’s always a staff member waiting to help. Buy times range from 20-30 minutes, although it might take a little longer if buyers are helping several customers—but so much the better—you’ve got time to browse!

uptown cheapskate carlsbad ca

When you’re choosing items you want to sell, keep these tips in mind. Clothing must be clean (just washed or dry-cleaned), in excellent condition (no fraying, fading and rips unless it’s the style!), no missing buttons, no broken zippers, no stains and in current fashion.

But what if, for whatever reason, some of your items aren’t accepted? Do you have to take them home, even if you don’t wear them and want them anymore? Nope. Uptown Cheapskate donates items they don’t buy to two charities: Operation Hope and Bridge of Hope; or if you’d prefer they’ll donate your cash payout to one of their participating charities.

Uptown Cheapskate is located in the Plaza Paseo Real shopping center, on the upper level above Vons.

They’re open seven days a week, shopping hours are from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM except for Sunday, when they’re open until 6:00. Buying hours are from 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM Monday through Saturday and from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Sunday.

So give in to your inner cheapskate. Go to your closet, bag up everything you don’t wear or want and head over to Uptown Cheapskate. The friendly staff is waiting to buy the stuff you don’t need: like that sweater your Aunt Grace gave on you Christmas Eve that you wore once…on Christmas Day, and that dress that looked so cute on in the dressing room mirror but never quite fit right. And then, when you’re finished selling…it’s time to shop!


Claudia Piepenburg: Claudia spent the majority of her career as a copywriter and editor. Her articles have been published in Runner's World and Running Times; since 1992 she has been a contributing writer for Road Race Management, a monthly trade publication; and for the past year, she has written for Carlsbad Lifestyle. While employed as a senior copywriter and managing editor at Road Runner Sports from 1999-2004, she wrote seven books; one titled Running for the Soul, is still available on Amazon.