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Consignment stores are treasures in the fashion community, repurposing one person’s old clothing, jewelry, or home goods into something new and exciting for the next owner to enjoy. They offer savvy shoppers the opportunity to score discounts or track down rare items and allow sustainability minded consumers to save unwanted clothing from landfills. And with the rise of online retail, consignment stores are easier to use than ever—for shoppers and sellers alike.
From high-end operations to low-budget closet cleanouts, these online consignment stores offer something for every consumer. Here are four of the best online consignment stores.
Best Overall: Poshmark
Why We Chose It: With 70 million users spread across North America and a convenient, user-friendly mobile app, Poshmark is one of the easiest and most efficient platforms for buying and selling used clothing online.
Trustworthy seller and buyer review process
Wide selection of brands and price points
Items can take up to seven days to ship
Payment to sellers is collected only when buyer accepts the shipment
With a huge user base and an easy-to-use app, Poshmark makes selling individual items from your closet a breeze—and buying name-brands at a discount even easier. From Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton to lululemon athletica and Outdoor Voices, Poshmark mostly features clothing for men, women, and children, but also includes makeup, jewelry, accessories, and home decor.
To sell your items, just take a few photos, fill out the provided form, and set a price. Listing your item is free, but once it sells, Poshmark takes 20 percent of the sale price (or a flat rate of $2.95 for items under $15). In return, sellers don’t have to worry about shipping (Poshmark provides a prepaid label) or credit card transaction fees—they simply drop the packaged item off at USPS. Payment is deposited into their account upon receipt by the buyer.
Buyers can browse by category, brand name, or search terms. Many sellers list their items using the same titles that retailers do, so it’s easy to check for deals on an item you may be considering buying brand new. Poshmark also serves as somewhat of a social network: Follow “poshers” with similar tastes to see new listings as they come up and engage more deeply with the community of secondhand shoppers and sellers.
Users can also “like” the items that catch their eyes: This allows them to revisit the listing later and signals to the seller that they’re interested in potentially making a purchase. (While there’s no direct messaging on the app, the seller or the buyer can offer a discounted price for any item.) All purchases come with USPS one- to three-day Priority Mail shipping, which is billed to the buyer at checkout for about $7.
Best for Closet Cleanouts: ThredUp
Why We Chose It: ThredUp takes submissions in bulk and does the work of photographing and listing each item for sale, making the environmentally conscious company a top choice for those looking to unload larger hauls of used clothing.
Easy to submit multiple items at a time
Low prices for shoppers
Unwanted submissions are donated or recycled
No men’s clothing
Low payouts for most sellers
Founded in 2009, ThredUp bills itself as the “World’s Largest Consignment Store,” with millions of items—primarily clothing for women and children—for sale at any given time. The brand focuses on the hefty environmental benefits of thrifting, aiming to both educate consumers and provide a sustainable option for buying and selling.
To sell on ThredUp, order a closet cleanout kit, which comes with a large shipping bag and a prepaid label. Once you fill the bag and ship it to ThredUp, the company performs a 12-point inspection on each item. Once deemed acceptable for resale on the platform, ThredUp will photograph the item and post it online. Sellers get paid a percentage of ThredUp’s sale, starting at 3 percent for items below $5 and increasing with price, and can choose to collect in cash or product credit once the return window on the sold item (usually about 14 days) has expired.
To shop on ThredUp, browse by category or brand name: ThredUp stocks items from retailers ranging from J. Crew and Free People to Burberry and Giorgio Armani. Prices are clearly marked and non-negotiable, and shoppers can expect steep discounts on retail prices. Shipping is free for orders over $80, with a flat rate of $6 offered on all smaller hauls.
Overall, ThredUp is a hassle-free choice for sellers looking to unload several items at a time, especially if they aren’t set on receiving a specific amount of money in return. It can also be a worthy destination for bargain shoppers or people hoping to make more sustainable fashion choices. If you’re looking to get top dollar for specific items, however, you may want to consider other options.
Best for Name-Brand Items: Tradesy
Why We Chose It: Tradesy’s authenticity guarantee, price suggestions, and straightforward selling process allow both buyers and sellers to feel confident that they are getting a good deal on name-brand clothing.
Authenticity guarantee on name-brand items
Around-the-clock customer service
Shipping kit provided to sellers for most items
Get help setting your price using Tradesy’s data and analytics
No men's or children’s clothing
Tradesy claims that the average woman has about $1,000 of resale value in her closet—and its selling platform is a top option to help sellers cash in. While users take their own photos and list items themselves, Tradesy offers assistance in small, yet valuable ways: by sharing pricing suggestions based on company data; offering free shipping kits with prepaid labels and fresh packaging; and providing complimentary “image cleaning” services that allegedly sell your items 25 percent faster.
As confident as sellers may feel about listing their items on Tradesy, buyers have just as much to celebrate. The platform guarantees the authenticity of every item you purchase: Anything you return is inspected by an expert, and if the item was misrepresented by the seller in any way, you can expect a refund. Sellers can choose from three shipping methods (including shipping it themselves), but their selection is displayed prominently before purchase, so the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting before they make the purchase.
With brands like Rolex, Chanel, and Hermes alongside more affordable ones like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch, Tradesy’s community holds something for a wide range of budgets, and its policies make it an exceptional outlet for mid-level brand names. The site has even branched out into wedding wear: Browse styles by Vera Wang or BHLDN and save on your big day.
Best for Luxury: The RealReal
Why We Chose It: With an emphasis on luxury watches, jewelry, and designer clothing, The RealReal authenticates and prices these high-end items to ensure that they sell for the highest price possible—and quickly.
Consultants on call to help sellers estimate the value of their items
Company authenticates, photographs, and prices all items
Most items sell within 30 days
Leaves low payouts for less expensive items
Consignment stores may offer discounts and deals, but that doesn’t always make them cheap. The RealReal, which specializes in luxury watches, jewelry, and designer goods, is ample proof of that. With top jewelry brands like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels as well as designer clothing from Valentino, Christian Louboutin, and more, The RealReal works with consignors to sell their items at the highest price possible, with a robust online store as well as in-person shopping available to customers in eight major U.S. cities.
To sell with The RealReal, request a free consignment kit. If you’re curious about the process or your potential payout, you can book an appointment with a consignment manager via video chat, or schedule a consultation for more information about luxury jewelry or watches. Once you’re ready to sell, ship your items to The RealReal with free UPS pickup, and the company does the rest: photographing, authenticating, and listing each item at a fair price for all parties.
The RealReal offers value mostly to sellers of high-priced luxury items: Its commission structure favors watches that retail for about $3,000 or more with its highest payout percentage of 85 percent. The payouts decline from there, with rates dipping to as low as 40 percent for any item less than $145. But the fees come with results to match, and the company claims that most items are sold within 30 days. Consignors can choose to be paid via direct deposit or merchandise credit, with a 5 percent bonus on offer for those who choose the latter.
Online consignment stores are a wonderful way to reduce your carbon footprint and score discounts on high-priced clothing and other goods. For sellers, they can also be a solid source for extra income—or an easy way to clear clutter.
If you’re looking to sell a few specific items, it’s hard to go wrong with overall winner Poshmark, which sells a wide range of items and allows sellers to set their own prices. But ThredUp might be the best choice if you have a lot of unwanted clothing and lack the time or desire to sell it yourself. Tradesy is great for brand-name items at all different price points, with an authenticity guarantee that protects buyers and fosters increased confidence in sellers. And The RealReal’s selection of luxury jewelry, watches, and designer clothing—coupled with the company’s expertise in pricing these items to sell quickly—makes it a top choice for buying and selling high-dollar items.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is an Online Consignment Store?
Online consignment stores are digital platforms where users can buy and sell gently used clothing, accessories, shoes, home decor, and more. Each site offers a different payment structure for sellers, with payouts ranging from 3 percent to 90 percent of the sale price.
Why Choose a Consignment Store Over a Traditional Online Retailer?
In many cases, consignment stores allow shoppers to purchase high-end and designer goods at steep discounts, making consignment shopping a cost-conscious choice for people of all tastes and budgets. Buying from consignment stores can also help the environment: In many cases, consignment stores sell items that might otherwise go to a landfill. Customers who choose to shop secondhand are consciously rejecting fast fashion, which often relies on exploitative labor practices and poor environmental policies to keep prices low.
How We Chose the Best Online Consignment Stores
To choose the best online consignment stores, we started by looking at platforms with a strong user base: The more sellers on a platform, the more items available for purchase; the more buyers, the better chance those items will sell. But we also looked at user reviews and considered which platforms had transparent policies, positive experiences for buyers and sellers, and safety measures to protect against scammers.