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How Does the Real Real Work

how does the real real work

Looking for the best marketplace to open your online consignment shop in 2024? Introducing to you The Real Real, one of the world’s biggest online marketplaces for buying and selling authenticated, consigned luxury goods.

Started in 2011 by Julie Wainwright, The Real Real is one of the known reseller marketplaces that aims to unlock supply from consignors and create a trusted online marketplace for buyers around the world.

In this blog, we are going to explain to you how The Real Real works and how you can get started selling on it. Moreover, we will discuss what items you can sell on the marketplace, how shipping works, and how much fees it charges.

So without further ado let’s start!

What Can You Sell on The Real Real?

You will see a lot of consigning luxury items listed on The Real Real but that doesn’t mean you can only sell premium luxury goods from brands like Tory Burch, Ray-Ban, Kate Spade, UGG, and The North Face. You can even list and sell items from commonly owned brands as they have some demand too.

From men’s, women’s, and kid’s fashion clothing and accessories to home improvement and décor items, fine watches, jewelry, art, and collectibles, you can sell everything on The Real Real. It’s important to know that you can sell both branded fine jewelry, as well as 14K+ gold unbranded jewelry on the marketplace.

what to sell on the real real

In 2024, Y2K styles and luxury items from Heritage brands like Gucci and Fendi are trending on The Real Real. So, if you are looking for the best-selling items on The Real Real, you know what to sell. Moreover, you can consider selling streetwear, luxury handbags, fine jewelry, sneakers, and luggage, as they are always in demand.

If you want to know what designer brands you can sell on the marketplace then here’s the list.

How Does The Real Real Work?

how the real real works

Selling on The Real Real is very different from selling on any other marketplace. Usually, when you sell on a marketplace like Poshmark or eBay, you sell an item and get your money. But on The Real Real, things work differently. TRR will sell your items for you, charge you a fee for it, and pay you the rest of the sale price.

Here’s how The Real Real works for sellers:

  1. First, you need to sign up as a seller on
  2. Next, you need to send your items to The Real Real distribution center. You can schedule a pick-up or drop off the items in person.
  3. The Real Real’s team will inspect and authenticate your items and take photos to list the items for sale.
  4. Once a sale is made, you’ll get paid.

It’s also good to know that not all items get accepted to be listed on the marketplace. The items you are sending must be in one of the following conditions.

  1. Fair (heavy wear)
  2. Good (moderate wear)
  3. Very good (light wear)
  4. Excellent (without tags) or pristine (with tags)

Moreover, The Real Real doesn’t accept an item that has one of the following flaws.

Item Flaws
Apparel Non-professional alterations
Larger than pin-size holes
Missing or broken zippers or buttons
Heavy pilling
Splitting seams
Larger than dime-size stains
Prominent tears
Shoes Excessive scuffing
Prominent discoloration
Broken buckles or zippers
Leather Goods Broken buckles, buttons or zippers
Excessive discoloration or fading
Rips, tears or splitting seams
Excessive scuffing or scratching
Sunglasses Bowed arms
Crooked frames
Excessive scratching
Fine Jewelry & Watches Loose or missing gemstones
Severe metal scratching or denting
Damage to watch functionality
After-market diamonds on watches
Home Furnishings & Art Severe chips, cracks or tears
Excessive discoloration or scratching
Missing signature or date on artwork

Once, the team at The Real Real will get done with examining and authenticating the items, they will keep them at the warehouse facility and list them for sale on their website.

The items usually get live on The Real Real website within 14 days from delivery to the warehouse. You can also find the status of your item, details of the orders, and payout details in your account.

In case, if The Real Real team rejects an item for some reason, they will ship the item back to the seller. It usually takes 7 to 10 days to receive the rejected item back.

What Shipping Method Does The Real Real Use?

For the United States

The Real Real ships all orders to any address in the US via courier delivery services like UPS, UPS/SurePost, OnTrac, and DHL eCommerce.

However, an additional $5 fee will be charged for orders shipped to Alaska and Hawaii. Moreover, there are a few U.S. Territories that The Real Real doesn’t ship to.

All fashion items, including clothing, footwear, and accessories are delivered within 3 to 5 business days if the buyer is opting for standard shipping which costs $14.95.

However, if the buyer is opting for express shipping then the order delivery will take around 1 to 2 days (Excluding no weekend or holiday deliveries) and that will cost around $39.95.

There is also a Curbside pick-up service that a buyer can opt for and it’s free. However, it’s only available for selected items and locations (SF, LA, and NYC included).

For Other Countries

The Real Real offers international shipping to over 60 countries worldwide via UPS Worldwide Expedited or DHL Express. However, it’s important to note that they don’t deliver to P.O. boxes and APO/FPO addresses.

It’s also important for you to know that fine art items aren’t eligible to ship outside the U.S. In addition, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that the ordered item can be legally imported into his country.

Here are the delivery timeframes and shipment fees for various international regions.

Destination Delivery Time Cost
Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico 3 – 6 business days $37 USD
Europe 4 – 6 business days $45 USD
Middle East, Asia Pacific, Australia 4 – 7 business days $50 USD

What Percentage Does The Real Real Take?

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how much The Real Real takes on each sale.

Sold Price Commission Rate Your Payout
$5,000+ 70% $3,500+
$750 – $4,999 65% $487 to $3,249
$300 – $749 60% $180 to $449
$200 – $299 55% $110 to $164
$150 – $199 45% $67 to $89
$100 – $149 30% $30 to $44
$0 – $99 20% $0 to $19

Moreover, The Real Real has a reward program for sellers that has four categories, trendsetter, influencer, tastemaker, and VIP.

Based on the category status of a seller, he will get a certain commission incentive. Here’s how much commission incentive sellers from each category will get.

Category Net Sales Commission Incentive %
Trendsetter Under $1,499 N/A
Influencer $1,500-$4,999 +1%
Tastemaker $5,000-$9,999 +2%
VIP $10K + +5%

How Does The Real Real Pay You?

The Real Real pays sellers on the 15th of each month. So for instance, if you sold an item in the month of September, you will get paid for it next month, on the 15th of October.

Moreover, all sellers can receive their payments directly in their bank accounts via direct deposit or check. However, if a seller trades an item, he will receive payment within two weeks, in the form of site credit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does The Real Real pay you upfront?

When you trade an item, you get paid upfront (within two weeks) with credit on The Real Real website. On the other hand, if you sell an item, you also get paid upfront (within two weeks), but the money goes straight into your bank account.

How many people use The Real Real?

In 2024, there are around 34 million registered members on The Real Real.

Can I sell on The Real Real from Canada?             

As of 2024, you can’t sell on The Real Real from Canada. However, you can make a purchase from The Real Real if you are in Canada.

What happens if my item doesn’t sell on Real Real?

If your item hasn’t sold within 365 days after acceptance then you have two options. You can either request it to be returned to you at the company’s cost or you can donate it to a charity of your choice.

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