My Unsponsored Experience Selling/Consigning with TheRealReal Part 2: Commission, payments, and how it compares with selling on Fashionphile

So Part 1 of this post can be found here. This is a continuation because otherwise it would be one darn long blog post.

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Ok so once your items reach the warehouse, they’re evaluated and processed. Jewelry takes a bit longer since a GIA specialist takes the time to look at each item. Clothes are processed much faster. And like I said in the last post, all selling prices are determined by them, so really only sell things you don’t care about. For my clothes, I had a current/elliot button down that I couldn’t sell that I got $26 for (this is the take home amount) and a Tory Burch dress I bought at crossroads for $42 sold for $80 so I got $40. So yep, they initially take a 50% commission off of what you consign (yikes, I know!). Only when you sell $1500 worth of stuff with them (of which you see $750), will your take home percentage bump up to 60% (so they take 40%). For items that they sell for over $1000, they take only 30% (which is great if you have valuable jewelry or purses—this is a standard commission rate across most consignment sites for high value items, including Fashionphile). I was able to surpass the $1500 in sales (since I was selling mostly jewelry), so my commission rate is now down to 40% but I have to reach $10,000 in sales for it to bump down to 30% (highly unlikely). But that 40% commission rate is good until 11/30/20. So you can see how they incentivize you to consign with them.

Oh and I should note for jewelry, unless it’s a well-known brand they will sell your items for much less than what you initially paid for them (I know this since I also decided to sell some items of jewelry that I purchased myself and regretted since I never wore them). But like I said, it’s better to have some cash in the pocket than to see these unused pieces staring back at you from your jewelry box. Of course if I still had the receipt and box for a piece of jewelry purchased from a reputable site (like Blue Nile), I was able to sell them via my eBay shop and recoup much more of the initial cost.

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Payments

So payment happens at the 15th of the following month. I chose to be paid by check, though now you can do direct deposit (which wasn’t an option when I started selling them last year). Also, if you shop a lot TRR, you can choose to receive it as TRR credit and get 5% more of your selling price. That might be something I try out when I have a fairly low selling month (but for now I want the cold hard cash lol). The checks are cut in a timely manner and everything has been going fairly smooth.

Except…

Some of my jewelry items I sent in November were held in limbo by quality control. So for the longest time I saw two pendants and a ring not move along in the process. I finally contacted a consignment rep after a month and she has been able to push TRR team to get it processed. And she’s been periodically updating me through email which has been great (they finally are listed 6 weeks after arrival to their warehouse). And they gave me site credit for $50 because of the inconvenience so I’m pretty happy. So no, things weren’t 100% smooth but I don’t have any major complaints.

If your item doesn’t sell at all and you’re ready to take it back, you can just email their customer service and let them know you’d like the item returned. They pay for return shipping back. I have one rag & bone top listed since October so I might give it a couple more months before taking it back and tying my luck at Crossroads.

So how would I compare selling to Fashionphile (my other favorite consignment site)? Well if you’re selling a purse or designer jewelry, even though Fashionphile’s initial photo submission process is a bit more of a pain, at least you know what your payment will be before you send your item in. So you can make the choice whether or not it’s worth it to sell it. But with TRR, it’s really a crapshoot, and you’re most likely going to be way underpaid. Also Fashionphile will pay you as soon as they receive your item since they outright buy your item if it’s less than $5000. So for my high end designer items, I would go with Fashionphile (if I choose not to sell on my eBay store). But if you’re selling clothes or unbranded fine jewelry that you don’t really care about and just want to get some money for (and you don’t have an eBay store), then I would go with TRR. It’s convenient, easy, and about 80% of my stuff sold within the first 2 weeks. For anyone looking for an easy way to get rid of their stuff and earn some cash, TheRealReal is a great option!

My Unsponsored Experience Selling/Consigning with TheRealReal Part 1: Why and How

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.

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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.

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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).

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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 is here and it details their commission structure, some of the difficulties I’ve had with them, and how it compares to selling with Fashionphile.

2018 Tech Guide Update

Tech items are one of those things that I feel are hyped up every year because it’s all shiny and new and then forgotten about as new tech items flood the market. Well I don’t believe in always getting the newest gadget so I thought I would update last year’s tech guide to let you all know whether the stuff I reviewed then were really worth it and stood the test of time.

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Worth It

The Apple Airpods are still very much worth it. I use them almost daily, and they’re great for music and talking on the phone alike. This year I added a handy dandy case with them so I can easily find them in my purse and I keep them with me at all times.

My love for the Voloom Volumizing Hair Iron is still going strong. It’s about 6 years old now and still works great!

And I’m still using my Amazon Echo Dot with TP-Link Smart Plug daily for my bedroom floor light. We got another plug for our Christmas tree this year so all we have to say is “Alexa turn on the tree” :D .

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Less Worth It

So after using the Awair air monitor for a year I have to say it’s been a mixed-bag kind of experience. The monitor still works, though the dust/PM 2.5 reading is permanently high which means the air quality rating is stuck at a fairly low reading all the time. I tried cleaning it but to no avail. However it still did a good job of letting me know how poor the air quality was indoors during the wildfires this season (even with all the windows and doors closed, the rating was the lowest I’ve ever seen it so it must still be getting in the house). I guess if I go and fix it, I will say this will be worth it again.

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Not Worth It

The Coravin Wine System is not worth it. Granted I’m not drinking currently and haven’t for the last 6 months. But even before that I hardly touched it. TBH it’s just so much easier to open the bottle the old fashion way, use one of these things to seal it back as best as possible and then finish the bottle within three days.

And this was not on last year’s list, but one new tech gadget I tried this year was the Dyson Airwrap (reviewed here). And I have to say, it’s definitely not worth $550! Stick with your regular hair dryer and curling irons because this is just all a fad.

What were some tech gadgets that you thought were worth getting? I’m taking votes for next year’s tech guide :)

DIY Opal Knotted Necklace (Irene Neuwirth Sweet Candy Necklace Dupe) Tutorial

This is for all those who were interested on my Insta-story in making this necklace for themselves:

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It all started when I read an article about Busy Phillips’ rise on Instagram as the every-girl best friend, and so naturally I was curious to see what all the hoop-la was about. So I began to follow her too and I slowly became hooked on her Instagram stories. And this led me to Irene Neuwirth’s opal beaded necklaces like this one and this one, which Busy rocks on a daily basis (and seeing as she’s friends with Irene, she sometimes promotes them too). I was intrigued, but when I looked up the prices I could not believe my eyes (I felt like my eyes literally leapt out of their sockets, lol). These necklaces range from $5k-$11,000!! For something that looks like sweet candy necklaces, they sure do cost a lot! So forget it, I’ll never buy one. But I figured they can’t be that hard to make, and you know what? I was right!

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Materials

The Beads:

So in general, opals are not cheap. But I found some of the best prices on Etsy by buying directly from suppliers in India. I purchased these green opal beads from this seller here. I purchased them for about $69 and there was an added shipping of $5 (they sometimes hike up the price but I’ve seen it stay at this “sale” price for weeks at a time so don’t purchase these beads for anything more than $70!). They came well packaged and delivery was quite quick, especially considering they were coming form halfway around the world. The quality was pretty good with some crap beads but the bulk of them were quite nice. These beads are about 3-5mm so they’re on the smaller side, which worked for me. But if you want larger beads, they have those too (they just cost a bit more). Since I wanted my necklace to be shorter than 16 inches, I was able to eliminate the crap beads and some small nice beads and still come out with a 15” necklace using only the best beads. Also since the knots add length to the necklace, your final product will be longer than the 16” if you do use all but the few crap beads.

For my second necklace, I decided to try a different seller (also from India) and I got these white opals here. I got a 16 inch strand for $80 and again “on sale” but that seems to be the normal price. I can’t yet verify the quality of the beads but they seem to have really good ratings on Etsy. I’ll update this post once I get my shipment.

The Silk Thread:

Following a Youtube tutorial (which I posted below), I purchased high-quality silk thread from this shop meant for beading and stringing pearls. This thread is great because it comes with it’s own needle and there’s enough thread to make 2 necklaces. I purchased the No. 1 size (0.35mm cord size) because you want to make sure the thread can fit through the bead (which for these opals from India are 0.4mm). And make sure your string matches your beads for a more seamless look.

The clasp and french wire:

I bought my sterling silver clasp from this Etsy seller, and found the quality to be so-so. If you’re only planning to make one necklace and thus only need one clasp, I think it’s a good price. There was nothing wrong with the function of the clasp, but it was slightly tarnished (which a silver polish cloth should fix). For my second (and third necklaces, yea I’m getting a bit ambitious) I bought clasps from this Etsy seller. Their clasps look nicer and cost only slightly more, but since they’re coming from Canada the shipping is more and thus the overall price is higher than the Florida seller. I’ll update this post about their quality when I get them.

You will also need french wire (explained in the video below) to cover where the clasps connect to the string of beads. I purchased mine here. And you want to get the thinnest silver one for this necklace.

Other Tools:

So the two other things the video recommends getting is a pair of thin tipped tweezers and this glue to ensure your necklace will never unravel. I definitely recommend getting the tweezers since regular tweezers won’t cut it.

How To

And here is this great video where I learned how to make this necklace:

And that’s it! It took me about 2 hours start to finish. I can’t wait to make my white opal necklace (maybe make it long like Busy’s?) and I also got material for another aquamarine necklace (my birthstone). I’ll take pictures and post them here when I’m done.

Total, my necklace came out to about $95 with some start-up costs. So it wasn’t exactly cheap, but at the same time it’s waaaaay below that several thousand dollar starting price of Irene Neuwirth’s versions so it’s worth it in my book. Plus the next one will be a lot less since I already have some of the materials (french wire, the tweezers, and glue). Anyway if you decide to make this necklace I would love to see your versions so please send pics through email or Instagram!

{Update: Sorry for those who were waiting for an update. I had a baby and moved so I didn’t have time to make the second necklace. But just to let you know the white opals from the second seller were crap so I recommend sticking with the first seller I bought the green opals from. As for the silver clasps from Canada they were great so I would recommend them. Anyway if I ever get around to making my second and third necklace I’ll let you know. I’m also considering selling this green one since I never wear any necklaces anymore with the baby pulling at it. I’ll update this post when I decide to sell it over at my closet sale.}