If you have followed me a while, you already know how much I love The RealReal. I sell a lot of my clothes on The RealReal and buy a lot from them too. I feel like at this point, most of my fancy things come from The RealReal. Both the yellow Chanel bag and rainbow Silvia Tcherassi dress I’m wearing above came from The RealReal. Luxury goods of course come with a hefty price tag; and for me, The RealReal is the best way to get my hands on designer pieces I’m coveting without spending as much money. It’s also a great way to sell designer pieces I’m no longer wearing or feel bored with.
Besides saving money (and being more sustainable), buying and selling on The RealReal is fun. It’s a little bit of a sport in a way. I check back constantly. There is nothing more exciting and gratifying than the feeling of something you’ve been waiting for popping up in your saved searches. Today I thought I’d dedicate a post to talking about how I use The RealReal… both from the perspective of buying and selling!
PS – you might also enjoy this post I wrote about buying your first Chanel Bag!
The realreal review
I absolutely love buying and selling on The RealReal. It’s very convenient, it’s very fun, and they (in my opinion) tend to stock the most designer inventory vs. other resale sites like Vestiare Collective and others. I have bought most of my Chanel bags via The RealReal, same goes with a lot of other more high end pieces (my rainbow Gucci cardigan, my gold Chanel dad sandals (last year’s big score!), so many favorite dresses from brands like Borgo de Nor, Johanna Ortiz, and Silvia Tcherassi… I could go on. It goes without saying, I am a BIG fan of both their site and their app. Their customer service is great too. There was one time a package just never showed up and they refunded me, no questions asked.
what is the realreal?
The RealReal is an online resale luxury consignment site, headquartered in San Francisco. You can use it to sell your things (and get either cash or a merchandise credit), or to shop. I love that they have an app which makes things super convenient. They carry all of my favorite brands, from a more contemporary pricepoint like Saloni and Mille to a true luxury goods/designer pricepoint (Gucci, Hermes, etc.)
how does the realreal work?
From a buyer’s POV, The RealReal operates just like any other retailer; except it is all resale goods. There are membership levels, which I’ll get into below. They also have 14 retail locations, everywhere from Brooklyn to Brentwood. I have only been to the stores in Manhattan; they are completely worth a visit, it’s so much fun perusing their inventory in person.
This is what I have. Honestly, I don’t think that the paid options are really necessary/worth the money? I have been really happy just being a general member and can’t imagine spending the money to be a paid member. It seems a little bit silly.
First Look Membership
First Look costs $12 per month. What you get is the availability to shop daily new arrivals (there are usually 10,000 new items added per day!) 24 hours before everyone else. You also get secret sales and extra time to earn $500 on Shop More Earn More every month.
First Look Platinum
First Look Platinum costs $49.95 per month. Honestly, this feels crazy to me. It has the same benefits as First Look but also included complimentary upgrades to two day shipping on every purchase. You’d have to be shopping at least 5 times a month for it to be remotely worth it.
Selling on The RealReal
If you have enough items to sell on The RealReal, they will send someone to your house to pick it up for you. This is a game changer for me as honestly, I am a little lazy (plus don’t have a car) so I do not want to deal with sending my stuff out or dragging it to a consignment shop. When I lived in New York, I had someone come every month or two (it was so convenient!) and it was the best. I didn’t think I’d have this perk in Charleston but they do. My rep is so lovely and knowledgable. So, I think it is available in most cities.
My experience with selling has been mixed. I love that they make it so easy (picking it up at my home but also photographing it and handling shipping, returns, etc.) but their pricing can be all over the place. When you sell with The RealReal, you have no control over the price they will choose. And sometimes I wonder if they are going so fast pricing new items that they get a little bit careless.
Even as a shopper, I will notice that oftentimes the same item, in the same condition, will be listed at a different price. I have to imagine this is just a factor of having so much inventory. I mean, with that many new items being added daily, how do they stay consistent? But as a seller, there have been a few pieces I’ve sold on The RealReal that I felt were priced too low. Though I don’t always agree with the listed prices, it’s been an overall positive experience and I will continue to use it because it’s so convenient. That is probably my only real complaint and in the scheme of things it’s a small one.
Shopping on The RealReal
how to shop the realreal
Shopping is far and away my favorite part of The RealReal… it feels like a sport at times and they carry all of my favorite designers. I will tell you right off the bat, I spend a lot of time on this site. I probably check in on my saved searches close to every day? Saved searches and filters make it so that I don’t have to spend a ton of time, but I visit often. The app makes this helpful.
Step 1: Use the Filters!
I have certain filters I use. Whenever I am on the site, I will check out “Editors Picks,” and also filter down to “with tags,” just to see what’s come in. Same goes with the obsessions page.
Step 2: Set up Saved Searches.
The search bar + saved searches will be your best friend. Whenever I have something I am ogling, I set up a saved search, in my size if it is a sized product. So for example: “Gucci Rainbow Cardigan” or “Chanel Dad Sandals.” And then I will filter by my size(s). You can also add filters for condition and/or if you want the item to be new/with tags. From there, I just hit “save search.” (It’s underneath the title of the search.)
I am pretty rigorous with my saved searches, I regularly delete and update them. Right now I have searches going for Evie Grintela shirt dresses (love), Louis Vuitton Makeup Bag, Olympia Le-Tan (I collect her book clutches, this one is ongoing!), Brunello Cucinelli Faux Fur Coat, Loro Piana Cashmere (in my size, with tags) and a few more things. I check in on my saved searches regularly as new merchandise is added daily but things tend to go fast. I was just talking to a girlfriend last night (she does the same thing as me), remarking that I had snagged a Dracula Olympia Le-Tan clutch a few weeks ago. She was like, “Oh! That was you! I saw that one but I was too slow!”
Step 3: Use the app.
I also check in regularly on the app when I’m waiting in line or just killing time. Better than scrolling social media? (Worse for my wallet though?) It makes it easy to peek at my saved searches and if anything new is coming in, but also: peeking at what items I’ve sold that week. At any given time I have several items for sale and it’s fun to see what sold. I always get paid in site credit and use that to shop with.
Other Random Tips:
Handbags and accessories are often final sale, so watch out for that and be really diligent in reviewing the items. When shopping, I will often look for things when they won’t be in demand (for example, right now I am looking for a winter coat and cashmere scarves).
When selling, I try to sell within the current season (so I will do a big clean out of summer dresses during summer, not after; winter coats while it’s still cold, etc!). I also try to sell things before I think the trend will tire. An example (from a few years ago) is my old Gucci logo belt: I was starting to see it everywhere and felt like the big logo belt trend was getting tired. The second that happened, I sold mine and I got very close to what I paid for it.