Consign Online!

We tested four of the best online consignment shops out there and here’s the scoop.


The Real Real


The internet was made for my husband, who HATES to shop. He typically buys clothing in two sizes to ensure that one will fit. But, here’s the rub: he has a phobia of returning things. I get it; I don’t love the task either, but I also don’t like my mistakes lying around taunting me. Best to get them out of the house, fast. So, imagine my horror when I found the discarded size of an expensive and lovely cashmere sweater (in its original packaging) languishing in the basement, well past its return date!  Ah, but it was the perfect thing to test with the Real Real, which only accepts designer merchandise in new or like new condition. Unlike the other sites, where you ship the merchandise to the buyer, here you send it directly to Real Real in a box they provide. After examining and authenticating, they set the price and list the sale. While the process takes up to two weeks, the sweater sold in just a couple of days.


Because they do all the work for you (they’ll even come pick up if you have ten items to sell), the commission the Real Real charges is higher. The more you sell, the more you make: if you sell under $200 worth of goods, it’s 50%, $201 to $1500 is 55%, $1501 to $9999 is 60%, $10,000 or more is 70%. The item is returned to you at your cost if it is not accepted because of condition or authentication.


If you’ve got a lot of designer goods stuffed in your closet and you’d prefer not to be involved in the selling/wrapping/sending, this is the one for you.


Best for: designer labels



This online consignment shop is super easy! Download the app, take a picture, fill in the description and away you go. You can even share on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter for the social media mavens among us (apparently you get 23% increase in sales). I listed a brand new blouse by Velvet that I bought on sale in red (red!). Loved the top (I already owned it in black and white) and was trying to incorporate color into my wardrobe. Ummm. No. I snapped a few pix and loaded it on the Poshmark app. The blouse sold in a day! I rifled through my closet for a few other what-was-I-thinking items (white Adidas high tops? Navy maxi skirt?) and loaded them up, too. The trick with Poshmark is to treat it like social media. Check it daily, “like” and share other sellers’ items and they’ll do the same for you. And those white Adidas high tops sold in an instant, too.
You earn 80% of the selling price (but you need to price your items to sell. That brand new Velvet top sold for $40).


Best for brand names and “new with tags.”






My experience with Tradesy was not tip top, not necessarily a fault of the company. I listed a brand new, but unused Louis Vuitton portfolio (a large zipped clutch) that I received as a gift years ago. Who uses a portfolio? Not me. This was a perfect thing for Tradesy which deals mainly in higher end merch. I browsed around for similar items because I didn’t know the original price and the piece is no longer made. I then priced it a bit below the others, and posted it on the website. Within a day I got a bite. The buyer put me through so many hoops and asked me so many questions that I started to feel like it was some sort of trap. Tradesy then wanted more photos to establish authenticity, and after 15 emails back and forth, I was quickly losing interest. Next, the buyer backed out. I was about to quit the platform and sell the piece on Poshmark, but another buyer came along and snapped it up without an issue.


Tradesy charges 19.8% for items over $50 plus a 2.9% transfer fee. A flat fee of $7.50 for items under $50.


Best for: designer labels.



Thred Up


I make VERY frequent deposits at clothing donations boxes but you’ll never catch me attempting to sell my unwanted threads at a consignment store. I have a fear of rejection that stems from a snooty second-hand store clerk that once rejected at least HALF of my finely pressed, seemingly flawless blazers, blouses, pricey jeans, etc because they were “out of style”. Isn’t that the point? So, year after year I continue to hoard a few important pieces (although nothing fancy) and release the rest to slimmer friends, bit by bit. And then I discovered the “largest online thrift and consignment store”, thredUP.

Here’s how it works. Create an account and request a FREE Clean Out Kit. They’ll mail you a giant plastic bag with your account number attached to the tracking label. Fill it with your cast-aside clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, accessories and leave it out by your mailbox or drop at the USPS.

They’ll accept items that are on-trend, in-season, in great condition, and likely to sell quickly, and you’ll receive a payout as soon as these items are processed (about a week out). They’ll professionally photograph and list your accepted items on their giant online store. ThredUp has high-quality standards and typically accepts less than 40% of the clothing they take in, but at least you don’t have to face the rejection and they’ll responsibly recycle the unwanted items. Don’t expect a huge return. Fast fashion brands like H&M will get you anywhere from a mere $.50 to maybe $5 per piece, while JCrew generates an average of $5 per item. Some of their more pricey coats may provide up to $40.

My first go around I made piddly pocket change – around $14! They accepted only a few items including:

  • A pair of CROC leather boots (yes, I know! Why?) I purchased online during a bout with insomnia at a particularly low point in my life. Tags on.
  • A decorative H&M blazer that has never made sense to wear but I was saving it for a special occasion.
  • Two Lucky Brand tunics that never looked right on me.

They rejected these.

  • A gigantic JCrew Puffer Jacket that makes me look like a marshmallow. I’m guessing it was too old.
  • A grey GAP denim jacket. Also, kinda old.

I’ve decided thredUP is more of a trade-in venture with zero embarrassment that requires even less effort than carting bags around in the trunk. I plan to put my earnings towards something pretty for spring from their vast inventory. Some of their favorite brands to buy and sell are J.Crew, Boden, DVF, and Theory. I will attempt this again and will be a bit more strategic by including some nicer, newer stuff.

Good for: A low effort cleanout.

by Laura Williams

thred up