Consigning + buying designer items at The Real Real

therealreal consignment3

garment rack built by Nick : ) Gap sweater + jeans, Sole Society pumps c/o

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.
therealreal consignment1Living 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.
therealreal consignment2
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.

therealreal consignment
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
valentino bow heels rockstud flats
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.

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    From a satisfied consignor's perspective, your items can actually be price approved, meaning it will not sell at a discount and is protected from sales and coupons. If a technical error occurred in the system, Consignor Relations will assist in having you paid out at the correct amount.

    I can't understand your logic when you state, "…you do not get paid if the item is returned." If your item is returned, it's equivalent to no sale being made. No sale, no commission. The returned item is placed on sale again. When the item sells, you get paid.

    If you're items are not selling, either it's priced too high from what a consumer would value it at or the item is not in demand, which is likely why your prices were dropped. Simple economics. Sounds like you over valued your own inventory.

    Posted 7.31.16 Reply
  2. Can you tell me the brand of the black pumps with wood heel? I must have those!

    Posted 7.30.16 Reply
  3. Thank you for your comment, it was very helpful.
    I have a gorgeous red DELPOZO gown that I wanted to sell on TRR but not anymore.
    Thank you for your honesty & Good luck selling your items.

    Posted 1.20.16 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I finally gave the TRR a try after seeing bloggers recommending them, and I would strongly recommend AGAINST consigning items with them.

    First of all, you have ABSOLUTELY no control over how they price and sell their items. First, everything will be listed at a VERY discounted rate, and they constantly run 20%, 30%, and even 70% off sales on some of their items. As a consigner, you may only get 20 or 30 bucks for a 300+ dollar dress after their many sales. If the item gets returned, you have no idea whether the item is damaged in whatever way and you do not get paid if the item is returned. Pretty much all the liability is on the consignor, not TRR.

    After my items did not move for 2 months and the price keeps getting dropped lower and lower, I pulled all of my items (none of it sold by the way, only 1 got purchased and returned), TRR charged me a $30 something fee to return all of my items to me. What the heck?! If you are unhappy with the pricing, pretty much the only way you can get your items back is to pay them. To me, that screams scam because you have no idea how much they will price it to begin with!

    If you are considering consigning with the TRR, please save your time and energy! I wish the blogger reviews delved into these details. What a crappy company! Taking my items and my business to eBay.

    Posted 10.17.15 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Please check them out before you buy/consign with them. There are also complaints listed on Yelp (consumer created page), along with the BBB of California (San Francisco).

    Posted 4.20.15 Reply
  6. This post was very helpful. I've heard of TRR but didn't know anyone who shopped/consigned there. But sounds like they offer wonderful services!

    Posted 4.8.15 Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing Jean! I always wondered how it worked. Also glad I found your blog because I'm a petite gal too!


    Posted 4.8.15 Reply
  8. Rose wrote:

    Hi Jean, thanks so much for your response. I'm looking for places in Taiwan to shop. We'll actually be living in Chiayi, but I'm sure we'll visit Taipei, too. I'm hopeful that small clothes will be easier to find–I just don't know where to look yet! 🙂

    Posted 4.1.15 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    Thank you for the suggestion! I used to do that but it was a lot of work making the posts per item and then answering questions, then preparing shipments and accepting returns. I think it's a great avenue for fellow bloggers who might want to parse down their closets every so often but due to my job I don't have the time to do so anymore.

    Posted 3.29.15 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    Hi Rose – congratulations on your new job! What an exciting change. I'm a little confused about your question – are you looking for places in Taiwan to shop? Or here in the US? And what types of clothes are you looking for? A little more detail will help me give better suggestions…thanks!

    Posted 3.29.15 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    Hi Amanda! I'm so glad to hear they are going to a good home! Hope they fit well for you : )

    Posted 3.29.15 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

    Thank you! To be honest the rest of my home is still a mess with some projects that have dragged on, but I'd love to do more posts whenever those are over with : )

    Posted 3.29.15 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Can you sell your stuff to your readers? Like in a blog post or in a page linked from EP? Just a thought.

    Posted 3.28.15 Reply
  14. Rose wrote:

    Hello Jean,
    I am so sorry to go off-topic, but I have a kind of clothing emergency that I hope you or your other readers can help with: I am moving to Taiwan in about a week and starting a new job as soon as I arrive. I will need some new clothes, and I have no idea where to start looking. Do you have any suggestions of where to go, or perhaps have another blogger friend who could help? I am already abroad, so suggestions to shop before I leave won't help, unfortunately.
    I am 4'11", ~93 lbs, 4.5-5 shoe size, Caucasian, and 30 years old. Again sorry to interrupt and thank you for any advice!

    Posted 3.28.15 Reply
  15. sari105 wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 3.28.15 Reply
  16. Alice wrote:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing The Real Real, never heard of it until now!

    Alice / Blog Inconnue / House Inconnue

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  17. Adrienne wrote:

    I love The Real Real. Shop Hers is awesome. Such a great concept and keeps me budget friendly…well sorta. 😉

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  18. This is such an informative post! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  19. Amanda Li wrote:

    Hi Jean, I'm a big fan of you and we are about same size plus we are Chinese. I just bought your TORY BURCH PUMPS. They will be here in two days. I'm so happy about that.

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  20. Jeanne wrote:

    Stunning studded shoes!

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  21. It's really great to have a place to resell designer items for ladies who are cleaning up their wardrobe! Thanks for sharing!


    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  22. Liana wrote:

    I'm glad you've had good experiences with them, and thanks for the review.

    I'm not sure what to think. I've read poor reviews on the Purseblog forum and on Yelp.

    Posted 3.27.15 Reply
  23. Wow, I had no idea this existed! I've been hesitant to buy more pricey items, worried that if I didn't want to keep them after a few wears that I would be stuck with them… but this is opening up a world of possibilities! Thanks for sharing!

    xx Nichole @

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  24. Jean wrote:

    I love 9to5 chic and I enjoyed reading her post! I mentioned in the first sentence above that The Real Real asked me to share my experiences with them for this particular post, so I wouldn't be surprised if they asked a few other bloggers at the same time who might be interested in their services. My opinions shared are my own and I've used TRR several times in the past. I mentioned an alternative is creating listings yourself (ie. on eBay, Bonanza, Craigslist) or consigning at local shops, which I personally didn't choose for the few reasons listed above.

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  25. Jean wrote:

    Hi SH – see the price list I linked to above which I got from their site. I recommended anyone interested in consigning to check that out first.

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    I love your home posts. Could you please do more home furnishing posts? (I'm really more interested to see your closet space)

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  27. May Yang wrote:

    I read 9to5chic too and I did see that. I actually prefer Jean's more thorough review and experience with them. It was more informative which is helpful if and when I decide to sell some of my designer items/products.

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote: also did the review for 'The Real Real' as well and at the same time. And she also used the phrase 'edited/editing the closet'!

    It is more helpful to give options of other some services out there when doing a review.

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  29. Thanks Jean, sorry I must have missed that comment in your post.

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  30. SH wrote:

    Does TRR tell you how much they will list the item (or how much I will receive from the consignment) before I ship the items in?

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  31. Great post! Will be keeping tabs on this website! 🙂


    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  32. Jean wrote:

    Hi Jennifer – sorry for seeing your comment late! I mentioned in my post they are brand new in box and too small for me. I slipped my foot in and it was pretty snug, so they feel like a true EUR 35 best suited for US size 5 feet that run on the small side whereas I usually wear between US 5 to 5.5. I missed the return window thus am re-selling. I can't speak to comfort because I've never worn them, but yes they are in pristine condition!

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    she said that they were too small for her in her post

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  34. Good to know about more consignment shop out there…


    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  35. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    Good to know! Thank you for sharing<3

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  36. Jean, I'm on TRR right now and have your Prada pumps in my cart. Were they comfortable, and why are you selling them? I'm assuming they are in great condition because you take such good care of your shoes and bags!

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply
  37. Keri H wrote:

    Wow, so glad that you shared this website with us. I have never heard of this website before, but it looks really great (signing up as we speak). I love your garment rack, even if it is excess in your hallway, haha!
    Enclothed Cognition

    Posted 3.26.15 Reply

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