I’ve gotten lots of questions over the years on where to buy and sell pre-owned designer items – I’ve recommended using The Real Real before to readers in email, so when the company asked me to share more about their services I was happy to do so! Their website offers an outlet for both buying and consigning clothing, accessories, and now fine art from a list of specified designers. They have brand experts who carefully authenticate each item coming through their warehouse, alleviating a big part of the worry associated with buying pre-owned designer goods. And each morning at 10AM EST, a new selection of these items goes up for sale on their website. I initially heard about The Real Real through fellow bloggers who consign there, and have personally had a good experience buying (and subsequently returning shoes that didn’t fit) through them in the past.
Living in a small city space, I try to keep an edited closet but it’s definitely hard to part with things. As you guys can see, my wardrobe has already spilled out of my closet onto a hallway garment rack! We all have changes in taste and lifestyle (or if you’re like me in the past, guilty of buying items that don’t fit perfectly in hopes of “making them work”) so it’s important to do regular clean-outs of pieces not getting any wear. I’m lucky I have a similar-sized cousin who is happy to take items off my hands, and I usually donate the rest to local thrift stores. For higher-value luxury items though, consignment is a great option if you want to recoup a portion of what you paid.
Years ago, I used to sell my designer items directly myself but the time and effort spent doing so just wasn’t worth it to me in the end. Writing a listing, taking and editing photos, answering questions (especially those who challenge the authenticity of the items!), packaging and shipping, and then dealing with post-transaction issues and returns took up a huge chunk of time. Plus there’s usually selling and Paypal fees on top of the work. I looked into various consigning options both locally and online – at each shop the consignor’s revenue share ranged from 40% to 70% of the final selling price, where the shop takes the remainder in exchange for admin tasks and providing a marketplace.
The Real Real stood out to me because it gives the consignor one of the higher revenue shares (60 to 70% of the selling price based on your annual sales), and also made the process extremely easy. Instead of having to wait for appointments and schlep items to a physical store, consignors get free shipping labels to mail in items, or can use the “White Glove” service where a Luxury Manager comes to your house to pick up items (must have 10 or more items for this service). Their team then photographs, lists, collects payment and ships each item on your behalf, and items sell on average in just 3 days. I thought this was an amazing timeframe, especially compared to brick & mortar consignment stores where things can take months to sell or just end up unsold. Some other info that I found helpful while going through this process:
– qualifying list of designers and item types
– resale value pricing guide for items consigned on their site. I’d highly recommend reviewing this before consigning so that there’s no surprises.
My local Luxury Manager came by earlier this month and the process was quick and efficient. It took minutes for her to look over and log each qualifying item into her iPad, and I got an e-receipt in my inbox of items that were taken. A few days later I got an email notification on the processing of those items, and could log into my account at any time to track status and sales. Any items sent in that don’t pass the authenticity and brand/condition inspection process by their warehouse would be shipped back and track-able in your account. For any readers interested in consigning as well, you can start the process here.
Amongst the items I consigned (now available for sale!) are these brand new in box Tory Burch mid heels and classic Prada pumps which were gathering dust in my closet. I bought them a while ago and they were both small on me, but somehow forgot to return within the window
From the shopping side, I love popping in every so often and filtering the sales just for my size – I snagged these Valentino beauties when they popped up and have been mulling over which to keep. I love both styles and actually purchased the bow pumps last year at full price before returning. I thought they were darling shoes, but not quite versatile enough at the full price point. Valentino classics almost never go on sale, but are notably more affordable if you’re OK with buying pre-owned. These flats were over 35% off, and the bow pumps were 60% off retail!
Thank you to The Real Real for partnering on this post! Below are a few of my picks from today’s sales – such a big selection of DVF silk dresses at a good price. I’d love to hear any of your experiences and tips for consigning or re-selling your designer goods.