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Why do we continue to consign with the Real Real? We need to STOP!

When I first moved to Richmond and started teaching, I was pretty broke. The Real Real and Thread-Up were relatively new, so I thought I would give them a try to move some merchandise and hopefully make some money quickly. I soon realized there would be nothing fast about getting paid by these consignment machines- anything I sold, people could return for an insanely long window and, by the time they did sell, the prices on most of my items had gone far lower than the prices I'd discussed with TRR rep. With Thread-Up, I was literally getting <$1.40 for brand new BR and AT pieces. Final verdict- good to shop at, not good to sell with, unless I want to lose money and I can think of far more fun ways of doing that.

TRR is a Neiman Marcus owned company, IE:  they can consign items for next to nothing and it doesn't affect their bottom line. For sellers, even those that are just closet cleaning and want a decent price for their prized / pricier pieces, it is going to be disappointing when you get your check. They are also skewing the prices, though, for those of us that don't have NM backing us. Just because they can charge $250 for a Tom Ford era Jackie hobo does not mean that is a realistic price for this type of bag- they are flooded with merchandise and really don't care in most cases what an item sells for as long as it sells because it costs them nothing. 

Also, their 'experts' don't have basic knowledge about what they are selling in many cases. I have shopped with them in the past but stopped when I realized they regularly re-use photos of items that are not the item being sold and their 'experts' know less than I do (and I am not saying this out of arrogance, it is just the truth). I have bought fake 'vintage' Gucci purses from them on more than one occasion that had obvious issues, like hardware that was not stamped & the wrong type of zippers for the style. These are things an 'expert' could easily cross check with an old ad for that style purse or other purses in that style. The photos, though, told a different story and showed stamped hardware, which is messed up.

My (most recent) final purchase was made when I broke my own rule for the final time (again) and bought (well, tried to buy) a vintage Gucci crocodile purse. The purse was not made of crocodile leather- It was embossed calfskin leather! How basic is that?  What 'expert' doesn't know the difference between the two? It took over six weeks for me to get what seemed to be a relatively simple issue resolved and my money back, as they initially insisted on giving me store credit, despite the fact it was their error! Then, I was told I would receive a credit of some sort for the time and energy I lost on their error... Well, I'm still waiting for that gift to arrive.

I get called by them, A LOT, asking me to send items and I have a lot of stock, so before the holidays, they were having a great promotion where if I sent 20 items, including a decent watch/piece of jewelry, I should get $350 in credit there. So, stupidly, I packed probably 50 items, including a Gucci watch & Tiffany ring. Well, needless to say, my ring & watch were lost & I never even received the credit I was promised.

I would have never sent my items were it not for the possibility of getting credit to do holiday shopping. What a bunch of  crap. So, I am going cold turkey & I hope you will to- they really don't care about sustainable fashion or their customers and definitely not their sellers. You should shop where you are appreciated because you have choices as to where you can spend your money. At Alla Moda, we are a small business and my staff & I will do everything possible to make people feel special.

I know it is hard to pass up that $200 Fendi baguette or 1955 Horsebit, but understand the items are not being examined by experts and may not even be what is pictured. Also, know when you send your items to TRR, you are going to get pennies on the dollar vs the value of your item. I am not saying you have to buy from, or sell to, me, but I have been doing this for 25+ years and have yet to have anything returned to me for not being authentic. You get what you pay for and if you shop with TRR, buyer (and seller) beware.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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