I have been shopping second hand shops, thrift stores, estate sales, and consignment shops for about 12 years now to score designer pieces at a fraction of their original cost! It can be disheartening though to be on the hunt for that perfect item and know it could be hiding at a yard sale, 3 States away, and I’ll never know about it! My inability to hit up every treasure hunting spot in the world has led me to broaden my search to the internet! There is still an ‘art’ to second hand luxury shopping online though, and today, on the first National Consignment Day, I’m partnering with The Real Real online luxury consignment store to bring you my best tips for scoring your dream designer piece online!
Shop similar pieces to what I’m wearing in this post from The Real Real below.
Set Alerts //
I cannot stress this enough! Sign up for the e-mail alerts so you know when flash sales, new coupon codes or new items are listed and then open the e-mails ASAP! Being diligent with my search is how I’ve scored literally dozens of pieces I would have never known existed otherwise! Stay on top of your search! On The Real Real you can sign up for a First Look membership that gives you VIP access to new listings, so if you’re looking for a rare piece, this could be a good investment. This tool is invaluable if you’re a stylist, or personal shopper too and ends up paying for itself when you start scoring those pieces you’ve wanted forever!
Browse Frequently //
Don’t just rely on the text or e-mail alerts. You never know what you’ll find when you have a fresh set of eyes to browse with. One day I may be dead set on finding an LV Speedy 25 to add to my collection, be browsing for fun the next day, and happen upon an LV piece I didn’t know existed, but suddenly it’s my new must-have handbag! Window shopping is just plain fun, and also great inspiration for styling pieces you already have!
Tell Your Friends //
I wouldn’t have known about some of my favorite online consignment shops if it weren’t for a few of my friends telling me about them! If you’re looking for something specific, tell a friend you trust to keep an eye out for you! I have so many second-hand shopping friends that we are always sending each other links and leads when we know the other one is closing in on the hunt for a specific item for themselves or a client!
Know Your Sizes //
I have a guide I keep in my wallet that has every measurement from my clavicle width to my wrist circumference on it in case I’m in a public place while browsing on my phone and can’t duck into a bathroom to measure something before buying! On TheRealReal you only have a few minutes after you put something in your cart to complete your purchase, so you don’t want to miss out because you didn’t know if an item would fit or not! If it’s not going to fit, walk away. This is sometimes hard to do, but really, you’re not going to lose 10 lbs just to fit into those Saint Laurent trousers, are you?
Trade Up //
Have luxury pieces you’re just not that into anymore? Send them to The Real Real to sell so you can buy something you DO want! Sometimes I like to keep a piece for a year or two then sell it to buy something else! This lets me have the experience of owning a dream designer piece for way less, and not feel too committed! Order a consignment kit and send in your item, The Real Real authenticates every single piece, then photographs it, posts it on their site, sells it for you, and even wraps it up and mails it to the new owner! All you have to do is wait for your money to roll in! Hands down, the easiest process ever!
Stay Focused But Flexible //
You never know when “the one” will come along, so be open to grabbing that item of your dreams if it appears unexpectedly. There are a few pieces I almost always have my eye out for, and if they come along at the right price I have a stash of ‘me-money’ set aside to use at a moment’s notice! I also have a limit to what I will spend based on my research for what the item is worth and I have never budged on that limit! You could end up with major buyers regret it if you overpay for something you could definitely get for cheaper! Even if you don’t have all the money you need set aside when that surprise moment comes you can always apply for The Real Real get it now, pay later option through their partnership with Affirm financing. This is essentially like a lay-a-way plan except you have the item right away! My most crucial piece of advice though is to know your limits. I would never suggest spending money you need for rent or food on a handbag! Be responsible! After all, “owning” things isn’t really the key to happiness in the end, but if you buy consignment at least you know you’ve obtained your dream designer piece in the most financially responsible way possible!
Even if you only ever buy one consigned item, or consign one item yourself, did you know you’ll be contributing to a movement that is saving 2.5 billion pounds of textiles every year from landfills through resale? Consigning is not only financially smart, but sustainable as well! Donating to resale organizations is the fashionable, socially conscience thing to do! The Real Real founded National Consignment day to extend the lifecycle of luxury products and promote sustainability through recommerce to create a greener planet. Be part of something big today by shopping or consigning through TheRealReal with me!
What do you think? Are you ready to find your dream designer piece?