How Consignment Is Changing the Way People Shop

Words by Candace Longfellow | 3.25.17
If you’re anything like us, your introduction to designer fashion was not in the dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, but flipping through the glossy pages of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar, staring longingly at chic editorials and dreaming of one day being able to afford whatever the latest It Brazilian was currently modeling. At one point, a closet full of Manolo Blahnik pumps seemed improbable, but one day, we discovered consignment. Buying pre-owned suddenly made luxury a little more affordable and once we started selling our own pieces, the possibilities became endless. To learn more about how consignment is changing how people shop, we asked our colleagues at The RealReal HQ to tell us about their experiences. Read on for their stories.
“Growing up, my family had a mentality of buying the least expensive thing to save money, but then just keep replacing it as it got worn out. I now see how much of a waste that becomes in the long run, not only financially, but also environmentally. It was actually my boyfriend who helped me break this lifelong habit. He takes such great care of his things and really invests in his purchases, while my closet was overflowing with things I didn’t really need, and was seriously crowding our space! It was a long, arduous process to get rid of about 75% of my things, but now I carefully consider everything I buy and what that means for me in the long run. Will I still have this and love it a few years from now? Will this still have value, could I potentially consign it and not throw more money down the drain? Now I have a few great staples and a few solid places (like The RealReal) where I consign so I can occasionally switch things out and keep my wardrobe feeling fresh with no buyer’s remorse.” — Kaila Abruzzo, Editorial Intern

“I’m getting ready to move soon, and when I start decorating my new place I’m definitely going to buy from the secondary market. I plan to purchase pieces by well-known designers that I know will hold their value like Eames, Wegner and Aalto. Buying pieces that I know will last a lifetime and  have great resale value makes me approach my home decor as a kind of investment, and even better, it’s one I can enjoy and come home to every day.” — Aubrey Jackson, Associate Home & Art Merchandise Manager
“I’ve had a luxury watch on my wish list for a long time, but since it’s such an investment I wasn’t able to decide exactly which brand and style I would love forever! After starting at The RealReal, it opened up my eyes to not only the incredible value you can get for a watch that is so lightly used, but also how well each retains its resale value– meaning whichever I choose, it does not have to be a lifetime commitment!” — Trish Stevens, Senior Fine Jewelry & Watch Merchandise Manager

“I definitely justify most of my purchases based on the fact that I can resell them, which is why I don’t really shop fast fashion anymore. Also, thanks to The RealReal there are definitely brands I buy that I couldn’t afford before. I also started this new thing where every time I buy something, I consign something since it’s so easy to do and it makes me feel better about my purchase.” — Pilar Gonzalez, Junior Photo Editor 


“I am an avid consignor, and always have the resale value of a piece at top of mind when shopping.  Since joining The RealReal three years ago, my shopping strategy has significantly changed.  I am much more of a minimalist, in terms of spending more on one significant piece in lieu of multiple items with zero resale value.  In fact, it’s much easier to dress each morning with a carefully curated closet, containing pieces I really love.  Once the season changes, or I don’t have the same excitement for an item, I quickly consign it – no looking back!  By selectively spending on higher value items, and maintaining a consistent consignment cycle, I’ve ended up saving money in the end.  Most importantly, I enjoy what I wear every day a million times more!” — Lauren Zukowski, Associate Inside Sales Director
 Ready to pare down & earn more? Start your first consignment here.
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