So I’ve talked about purchasing from TheRealReal here (overall it’s a great way to buy some designer preowned stuff, despite the exorbitant shipping and returning fees). But what is it like selling on TheRealReal? I decided to test the waters for you guys so you don’t have to (and by the way this is not sponsored in any way).
But let me just first note that I’m a long time eBay seller and have sold most of my stuff on this platform (including really expensive bags) since 2005. And because I work hard to have a 100% rating with over 1000 reviews, I’m a pretty trusted seller. So my go-to will always be eBay first to sell items since they take the least amount of commission (about 10-15% depending on what you’re selling). Also I’ve sold a purse with Fashionphile before and you can read my experience with that here.
So why would I bother consigning with TRR? Well first I’ve been very lucky to have been handed down some fine jewelry from my mom and aunts, but they have no sentimental value for me. They pass it on to me to alleviate their own guilt of purchasing jewelry that they ended up not wearing. And I don’t want to be carrying around these items with me forever for no good reason other than that they’re worth something. For awhile I was taking it to my jeweler as scrap metal but the value I got from that was so pitiful that it really was a waste (part of the value of jewelry comes from the workmanship the jeweler puts into it). So then I decided to sell in on TRR, especially since I didn’t know the value of these items (are they 14k gold? 18k gold? is that a white sapphire or a diamond or just a crystal?). Since I didn’t have that info, listing through eBay would have been difficult. I also decided to sell some clothes that just weren’t moving on my eBay store. TRR has a much larger market than my one eBay shop so I figure why not try and see if it sells there.
So how does it work?
Well I like to use the app version of TRR for both my buying and selling (it’s a great app!). Just go to the consign tab on the bottom right and start listing what you want to consign (I use the self-service “Ship To Us” option instead of an appointment). All you have to fill out is the brand of the item (this is also where you will find out which brands TRR sells and which they will not. If your brand is not listed in their drop down menu, they don’t accept it). For fine jewelry you can select unbranded. Then you just select what kind of item it is and add item to the list.
Once you’ve added all your items, you submit your name and address and they will email you a packing list and free shipping label. Then you have to pack up your own items in whatever box you have lying around, stick the label on, and drop it off at your nearest UPS store. It’s super easy! (For awhile it was so easy I kept going through my jewelry drawer every week and finding more things to part with and sent off 4 shipments in November, probably wasting their shipping costs but hey they charge me an arm and a leg when buying. But also I wanted to break up the shipments in the off-chance that one of them went missing; I didn’t want all that valuable jewelry to get lost—but everything made it to their warehouse fine).
Anyway once it gets to their warehouse, it will show up as shipments received and they will send you periodic emails letting you know when your items are being processed. In the meantime usually a consigner rep will call and email you to see if you have any questions (I avoided all their calls but they’re readily available through email). So if anything doesn’t meet their standard (clothing with stains or jewelry that’s either too scratched up, made of less than 14K gold, or made from sterling silver—they only take brand name jewelry made of sterling silver like Tiffany’s) they will take the time to ship the item back to you for free.
Also they set all the prices so just be prepared to be low-balled. And yes sometimes the prices don’t make sense (but that means as a TRR buyer you can snag some real deals). But if these are items you wouldn’t have been able to sell yourself anyway, getting anything for them would be a win right?
If you’re still interested, part 2 will be next and it will detail their commission structure, some of the difficulties I’ve had with them, and how it compares to selling with Fashionphile.