You guys may or may not know by now, I’m not a great second hand shopper. Haha…yes, I am aware of the “irony” in that statement considering that I own an online secondhand boutique for slow fashion. Maybe I should qualify that I HAVEN’T been a great second hand shopper until now?
I’m still not very good at thrift or second hand shopping in person, I’ll be the first to admit. I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff at Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or even some of our local resale shops. Interestingly enough I don’t have the patience to sift through racks and racks of crap (sorry) to find the diamond in the rough in person, but put me in front of a computer, and hours later I’ll find what I’m looking for, and then some.
When I want to look for something secondhand for myself online, I always look at The Real Real first. I have only ever bought one thing on eBay and never from Poshmark, Thredup or the like, but I’ve made multiple purchases from The Real Real and have been really happy with every experience. (if you don’t have an account at The Real Real already, when you use my referral link to sign up for one you (and I) will get a $25 account credit to use on your first order!)
Just now, as a matter of fact, my pre-loved Robert Clergerie oxfords arrived – they were less than $100!!
They fit me perfectly (I have owned about a dozen pairs of Robert Clergerie shoes over the years and am very familiar with the sizing), but were also returnable, so I wasn’t worried that they wouldn’t work out for me. Anyway, I know where I can resell them if I need to 😉
I’ve found that about half the time things I’m looking at are NOT returnable, so you do have to pay close attention to the return policy for each item, but their pricing usually makes taking the risk worthwhile. In fact, their pricing/ease of ordering is The Real Real’s biggest draw IMO. These shoes, for example, were priced a teeny bit low IMO, and I’ve seen lots of items there that are similarly priced REALLY REALLY well.
(The only thing that bugs me is that they don’t use style names, or product names in the titles or descriptions. Like, Rachel Comey legion jeans are just “high rise wide leg jeans.” Eh, I’m being picky, I know, but I find style names are important.)
Speaking of Rachel Comey though, they usually have some nice pieces, priced well :
Rachel Comey alpaca blend sweater (medium) | $52
I’m also always browsing Stella McCartney. In fact, I haven’t told you guys this yet, but I did buy a Stella McCartney bag from TRR a few weeks ago:
IT HAS A BIRD ON IT!!!!!!!!
(I looked at this bag full price when it first came out, because BIRD, and vowed that if I ever saw it secondhand I would buy it for myself and enjoy the hell out of it, no questions asked. I did buy it, and will enjoy the hell out of it, but it can’t be my everyday bag…yet…)
They also have a great selection of Ace & Jig (which sells out quickly because the prices are VERY good).
Ace & Jig Long Sleeve top (small) | $93.75
And of course, it’s not a bad place to look for James Perse, although they do not mention where an item is made, so you wouldn’t be able to tell (unless you’re familiar with the brand) if it is an item made for “outlet” stores or for the main brand. That’s not generally a problem though, most items are main brand, but if you get something that is made in Guatemala or Mexico, those are definitely outlet pieces.
James Perse ruched dress (size 3) | $40
I got my first pair of Nili Lotan pants from The Real Real, and I take a look there every once in a while for her sweaters:
Nili Lotan silk & wool striped sweater (small) | $66
It’s also a good place to browse for all things Yohji: Y-3, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto, and Yohji Yamamoto (which includes all of the others).
Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto midi dress (XS) | $100
Yohji Yamamoto plaid button-up top (medium) | $100
Oh, and not only are their prices pretty good to start with, they usually have a coupon or sale of some sort. Right now a lot of items are an extra 20% off with code REAL.
Anyway, besides Slowre of course, I definitely recommend The Real Real for second hand shopping online – they have a great selection of designers, individual items (all of my purchases have been in excellent condition so far), and the prices are more than fair.
If you don’t have an account already, you will get a $25 account credit when you use my referral link (and so will I) to sign up for one, and as you can see $25 goes a long way depending on what you’re looking at 🙂
Have you shopped at The Real Real before? How has your experience been? What are your other favorite places to shop second hand online?
I’m trying to do most of my clothes shopping secondhand (with the big fat exception of Elizabeth Suzann, though some of my ES pieces are secondhand). I’ve had hits and misses with ThredUp, RealReal, and eBay. My biggest challenge is sizing and fit. And sometimes fabric content. My Slowre purchases have all be hits. 🙂
There are two local consignment stores I shop at. I’ve had great luck finding jeans at one.
Grechen Reiter says
i would buy more secondhand ES if i liked selltradees better maybe, but then again, i get first dibs on what comes through for slowre so that’s probably enough 😉
mostly i don’t like sending money via a “gift” because you have absolutely no recourse/protection that way, and i do not like the drawing format for buying. if i want to buy something, i just want to buy it…i guess i get why that’s done, but it keeps me from using the platform.
sizing is such a huge issue, and makes it difficult to buy second hand without trying on first. unless, of course, the price is good enough. that’s the trade off i guess!
Agreed about selltradees. It’s a little too complicated for me. I have bought two ES pieces of eBay. However I’m never found ES on ThredUp or RealReal. It’s the one brand I’m fairly confident about sizing!
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
The secondhand market is really changing, especially for niche brands (hi, Elizabeth Suzann! also: Everlane, Eileen Fisher). I have purchased a fair amount of items through Poshmark and find it to be pretty user-friendly (I’ve also sold and it’s been fine for that, though it’s a decently high commission at 20%). I’ve done a little through eBay, but I get overwhelmed there more easily.
I haven’t tried ThredUp, but may for sales because I have a lot off stuff and little extra energy to sort, hang, photograph, and list, for a few bucks. Maybe a Goodwill run is in order and then I can re-evaluate.
I think buying secondhand is really good if you want a THING more than a THING BY A PARTICULAR PERSON. For example, if you really want gingham, but don’t care who makes it? Then maybe Poshmark is idea. But if you’re waiting for your size in Nisolo boots, it might be frustrating, especially when people are listing used pairs for less than you can buy new during sale season…
I will check out the RealReal – seems like a good place to look. I have tried a bit of IG shopping (Noishaf and SellTradeES) but it moves too quickly for my liking. I watch Slowre carefully, but haven’t bought… yet! I’ve added a few things to my cart, though. Baby steps.
Grechen Reiter says
haha…i’m really not trying to shill for slowre 😉
i just love what i’m doing, and find it slightly humorous that a person who really never used to buy second hand (for no particular reason other than i never really thought about it…and that it was overwhelming for me) now owns a little second hand shop!
and you’re right about a lot of the second hand market being good mostly for finding “a thing” instead of something from a particular designer. that is probably also why it’s more difficult for me to buy second hand; i am intensely brand loyal.
I haven’t bought anything from TRR yet but I’ve been stalking a few bags for a while now. Just added some Etro scarves to my wish list (I LOVE their cashmere/silk blends and paisley patterns!) I look for Eileen Fisher on thredup every so often but haven’t bought anything there. Haven’t used ebay or poshmark or others. I don’t IG. Have used slowre 🙂 I have a couple of decent thrift stores nearby but they’re best when I’m a smaller size. I started thrifting years ago (middle school?) and for a long time my secondhand shopping has been for furniture & home goods (I LOVE a good estate sale!) I like to explore thrift stores etc when I travel for different stock – regional styles etc.
I’ve bought a few things from TRR and so far I’ve lucked out with all of them.
As soon as I saw the photo I thought: Oh! I know where she got those! I saw them when I was doing an oxfords hunt on there. That’s how I found my Dries Van Noten shoes (love!)
Now that I have to be more in “business mode” with my wardrobe AND several business trips in the work for conferences/client visits, I’m all about buying stuff on TRR. I’ve got about ten colorful Diane Von Furstenberg tops in my likes list right now, which would be perfect for all the business stuffs – and a way to add some color into my wardrobe. Her silk shirts look amazing and for $50, that’s hard to beat.
Most of my clothing, shoe, and jewelry purchases these days are from The Real Real. I started out as a consignor there years ago, then realized I also loved shopping with them. I can find designer items I coveted but couldn’t afford (too spendy even on clearance). They have excellent customer service- every once in a while an item I purchase isn’t as described, but they always make it right immediately. I’ve had bad luck with Poshmark. I made two purchases there, neither arrived as described (wrong size, stained, etc). I’ve tried purchasing from Slowre several times, but every time I go to check out it says the item has now sold out. Bummer! I’ll keep trying, though.
I’m going to second The Real Real’s customer support–I recently bought a sweater that was described as “Like New” but when I received it, it was definitely not (lots of pilling, pulls). They had me send a picture, but refunded me on shipping and the sweater.
I recently purchased some thing from ThredUp, but only ended up keeping one thing.
Another site I’ve come across recently is LuxuryGarageSale.com. They don’t have as much inventory as The Real Real, but I’ve found a couple of things I may order.
sorry meant “some things” from ThredUp, and kept just one.
Grechen Reiter says
i’ve sold some stuff to luxury garage sale in person, years ago, and was very happy with the experience…i did go in to the store here recently and was not impressed though, i mean, just not my style…but i should take a look online, i always forget they have an online presence. weird.
Shoes are adorable!
I like to shop at The Real Real too but in regards to bags I do always do a thorough check of the item for authenticity and in fact, I once received a Chanel bag that was a mess on the inside. I was worried about the “authenticity check” for awhile as wouldn’t they notice the stickiness and gum wrapper on the inside if they checked it? Anyways I’m pretty sure it’s real and I was able to clean the bag on my own. It’s an older bag, from 2010. They were allowing a return on it after I wrote to them about the issues (it was initially non-returnable).
I also bought a Givenchy Pandora bag and a LV Neverfull and love all the bags I purchased. I haven’t tried any clothing or shoes yet.
I’ve also sold quite a few items with them. I have no issues with the services provided.