Being able to purchase high quality used clothing online has been a big shift in how people spend less money on their clothing.
While sites like Craigslist have made it easier to do this on a local basis, others have taken the used clothing marketplace more national.
TheRealReal.com has taken luxury used clothing and accessories, taking a model pioneered by Craigslist and Poshmark, and created another type of national marketplace.
How Does The RealReal Work?
Unlike local sites and national sites that let people sell directly from consumer to consumer, The Real Real has created an online consignment store for luxury products. The products that are sold through the site include:
- women’s and men’s luxury fashion
- fine jewelry
- home décor
- fine art
Think of it like a used marketplace for high end luxury items. For example, the top designers that TheRealReal offers for consignment are:
- Louis Vuitton
- Patek Philippe
- Van Cleef & Arpels
Is The Real Real Legit?
Absolutely, TheRealReal is a legititmate marketplace for luxury apparel and accessories. Their consignment model makes it so that all items are checked for authenticity
One of the questions that people frequently want answered when purchasing online is if the product is authentic. This is especially important to a site like TheRealReal since they are offering luxury merchandise.
With this in mind TheRealReal employs more than 50 authentication experts across all the products curated on their site. These experts include:
- Art Curators
- Brand Authenticators
The centralized selling and authentication of products differentiates TheRealReal from other sites like Poshmark, where you a purchasing directly from the seller.
How to Use TheRealReal.com
As with any of these online selling platforms there are specific ways to use The Real Real for both buyers and sellers.
TheRealReal.com resembles other online used clothing and accessory sites, but it is somewhat unique in that it offers three levels of membership.
Most platforms, like Poshmark, only offer a basic membership that treats all users equally, but TRR makes it easier for paying members.
Anyone can get in as a regular member for no charge. I personally signed up as a regular member and have stayed there since my family is not big into luxury items. You can browse all the available consignment and have full access to deals on the site.
First Look Members
First look membership will cost you $10 per month and gets these extra benefits:
- Email of new curated sales everyday at 10 AM and 7 PM
- One-day advanced access to sales
- 24-hour early notifications of wait list items
- Promotions that are exclusive to First Look members
These benefits are not bad for $10 per month is you are a regular user.
Platinum First Look Members
Platinum first look member will pay $30 a month and they receive all the benefits of being a regular and First Look member. On top of this, they will get unlimited upgrades to 2-day shipping.
TheRealReal’s consignment with authentication platform means less overall work for anyone who sells on their site.
What that means is that your margins on going to be lower (you pay them more), but because an independent appraiser authenticates your items, you will be able to sell your item for much more.
So how much does it cost to sell your item on TheRealReal.com? It depends on how much selling you do over a given month. The commission rates work this schedule
Sending Your items to The Rea Real
With consignment services you have to get your item to them. While most consignment companies give you a single method to get your items out for sale, but with TheRealReal.com gives you three. They are:
- Free in-home pickup – If you have more than 10 items to sell on the site, you may qualify for their in-home pickup service. This may depend on your location
- Ship directly – Anyone who has less than 10 items or is not in a geographic area for pickup can ship the items directly to TheRealReal. The envelopes are pre-paid so there is no money out of your pocket in the process.
- Luxury consignment office – TheRealReal.com maintains local offices in major cities across the country so that you can walk in get a valuation and drop off your items in person. Currently there are offices in: Chicago, Dallas, DC, Los Angeles, New York (Midtown and Soho), San Francisco, and Miami.
Poshmark – Provides authentication for any item over $500.
Worthy.com – Great site for getting a top price on jewelry.
WP Diamonds – Top site for selling diamonds online.
The biggest advantage of this website is that everything goes through the verification process. This means buyers are making purchases, assured they are getting an authentic product, and sellers are getting higher prices for items due to their authenticity.
The other big plus for TheRealReal.com is that you really don’t have to do any work to get your item sold. They pay for shipping, authentication, and even do the photography for your item being placed on the site. It is a very nice process and works for everyone involved.
The only downside I see to The RealReal is that they only deal in the highest end luxury items. This means that the prices are still very high for these types of goods. I would like to see them come down one level of pricing and take their process to a slightly lower market.
That being said, this is really more of a personal preference, than a complaint against the company itself. TheRealReal makes it very clear what their target market is and they do a good job at serving that market.
The Real Real is a legit website with a very user-friendly process for both buyers and sellers. You are sure to get real items if you are buying and will get a top price with little effort if you are a seller.
While luxury items rarely look like a deal to an extremely frugal person, if you are into high end luxury items, getting them through a consignment platform like TheRealReal.com is a way to spend significantly less and still be sure you are not getting a knock off of what you thought you were buying.