We Dared Someone to Shop Only when They Consigned

Words by Jody Hume | 9.27.17
Most people have heard of the ‘one in, one out’ rule when it comes to closet management. For this post, in the spirit of sustainability and the lifecycle of luxury, we decided to reverse it and challenged our Senior Designer, Ekin Kalayci, to shop only once she had consigned. Here is her account.
I wasn’t into high fashion at all until I started working at The RealReal. But soon, I started believing and now I genuinely agree that consignment is a much more sustainable way to shop. Before, I had the problem that all of my clothes were falling apart in three months — even though every item I bought was much cheaper, I had to get rid of them after a short while. So I could actually see the waste in my own closet. Now I get so much satisfaction out of buying beautiful things that are pristine, barely used and would otherwise have gone to waste. I started buying a few high-quality things here and there on the site, and the best thing is, you can consign if you buy high quality stuff! So I volunteered myself as tribute for this challenge. I only bought something if I made money from consignment. I was already trying really hard not to buy as much, and instead buy fewer things of higher quality. I was ready to take this ALL THE WAY.

Vetements x Manolo Blahnik heels cost $836.50 at 30% off

This season I got really obsessed with the Vetements x Manolo Blahnik shoes after I tried them on at one of our Insta shoots. They were SO comfy and stylish — edgy but classic enough to go with everything. I’ve had them in my Obsessions for a while and saw an unmissable opportunity when I got an email that they were now 30% off. What!! As soon as I went home I started looking for what could go so that I could buy them.
I don’t have that much room in my SF apartment so I only have these two shelves for shoes. I thought it would be a good idea to NEVER buy more shoes than that space allows. So one shoe in, one shoe out. Turns out, I had the perfect pair: never-worn Guccis. When you haven’t worn something for six months, it’s a sign it should go. I got these convincing myself that I would wear them EVERY DAY. Lies. I’ve learned and grown so much in the past six months and now I know the Vetements x Manolo are the way to go. When I showed up at the office the next day I did a consignment drop-off at our Luxury Consignment Office. It was super convenient because it’s the top floor of our office building and you don’t even have to make an appointment.
But then, I faced a bit of bad news. The Guccis didn’t exactly buy me the Manolos. I was $329 short. I didn’t want this to happen again, so I went ahead and did a full scavenger hunt so I would have some credit to spend when I wanted to buy the next thing. Here’s the stuff I found that could earn me more.

Unworn Gucci loafers sell for $725 = $435 in earnings at 60% commission. Herend porcelain gorilla sells for $375 = $225 in earnings at 60% commission

A Herend porcelain gorilla. This was a gift and it’s one of those things … how many more houses can I move this around to? It was just time for it to go. Honestly, I had no idea how much it would be worth, but I always see porcelain selling on our site, so I thought it would be worth trying out. Surprisingly the gorilla is worth more than I thought! It sells for $375 which is $262.50 in earnings at 60% commission (because I’ve reached over $1,500 in sales so far this year).

18K and diamond earrings sell for $1,495 = $1,046.50 in earnings at special 70% commission rate

Jewelry. You can make the most commission right now because of all the special rates we have for consignors. I gathered a few things that I don’t wear often enough — a couple rings, a locket, a pair of diamond earrings. For the jewelry pieces, I actually made an appointment with a fine jewelry expert at our Luxury Consignment Office. I always love an excuse go to visit it because it’s so pretty. I met with Sarah Thomas, our SF Fine Jewelry & Watches Valuation Manager. She’s awesome and she examined every piece, explained how much they were worth and gave me a document stating the resale value.

I didn’t consign them on the spot because I wanted to think about it. I decided later that I wanted to keep my rings, but consign the earrings in order to take advantage of the 70% commission on jewelry over $1,000, which earns me $1,046.50 — more than enough to finance the rest of the Manolos plus my next purchase.

Balenciaga Bazar Tote costs $836.50 at 30% off

Towards the end of the month, I spot it: the mini Balenciaga Bazar Tote. Don’t be fooled that it’s called mini — it can fit my workout clothes, lunch and work shoes, and it fits perfectly in my bike basket. This makes it the perfect everyday bag, and thanks to my jewelry consignment, I’ll have the cash in my account!
Ready to take on the consignment challenge and shop sustainably? Get started here.

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