Tradesy Vs. The RealReal: Which Luxury Resale Site Is Best?

The luxury resale market has exploded in popularity in recent years. More and more shoppers are turning to sites like Tradesy and The RealReal to buy and sell pre-owned designer items.

But which site reigns supreme? Here’s an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Tradesy and The RealReal to help you decide where to buy and sell your luxury goods.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryTradesyThe RealReal
Business ModelPeer-to-peer marketplaceConsignment marketplace
Seller Commissions19.8%40-65%
Seller Earnings60-80% of sale price35-60% of sale price
Seller ConvenienceLess – sellers handle pricing, photography, shippingMore – consignment model means less work for sellers
Buyer PricingTends to be higher as sellers setLower and more competitive
Buyer SelectionWider selection including rare/vintageMore curated selection
AuthenticationAuthenticity Guarantee over $500, some issuesAuthenticate every item, some issues
Return PolicyTradesy Guarantee for items not as described5 days after delivery

Overview Of Tradesy And The RealReal

Tradesy and The RealReal are two of the biggest names in luxury resale. Both sites offer a wide selection of authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion from top designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and more. But they operate differently.


What is Tradesy?

Founded in 2012, Tradesy is a peer-to-peer marketplace. Sellers list their own items for sale directly, setting their own prices. Tradesy authenticates listings over $500 but doesn’t take possession of inventory. They make money by taking a commission from each sale.

What is The RealReal?

The RealReal takes a different approach as a consignment marketplace. Sellers send in their items and The RealReal handles pricing, photography, authentication, storage, shipping, and sales. The RealReal takes a chunk of each sale as their commission. They also operate brick-and-mortar luxury consignment stores.

Both sites offer buyers peace of mind with authentication services and security measures. But which model makes for the best buying and selling experience? Here’s an in-depth comparison.

Selling On Tradesy Vs. The RealReal

For sellers, the main differences between Tradesy and The RealReal come down to convenience Vs. higher payouts.

Tradesy Seller Experience

The peer-to-peer model of Tradesy means sellers do more work upfront. You’ll have to photograph, measure, describe, price, ship items yourself. But you have control over pricing and when items sell.

Tradesy takes a 19.8% commission. After covering payment processing fees and shipping costs, you earn 60-80% of the sale price. You get paid as soon as the buyer confirms delivery.

The RealReal
The RealReal

The RealReal Seller Experience

With The RealReal, you simply send in your items with some basic info. They handle the rest. This is more convenient but means less control over pricing and sales timelines.

The RealReal commission ranges from 40-65%. You earn as little as 35% or up to 60% of the final selling price. Payouts happen after the return period passes, so payments take longer.

Pros of Tradesy for Sellers:

  • More control over pricing and sales timelines
  • Faster payouts directly to you
  • Lower commission fees

Pros of The RealReal for Sellers:

  • Increased convenience as they handle everything
  • Brick-and-mortar locations available for drop-off

For most sellers, Tradesy’s higher earning potential outweighs The RealReal’s convenience factor. But The RealReal may appeal to sellers who want the process fully handled for them.

Also Read: Differences Between The RealReal And Poshmark.

Buying On Tradesy Vs. The RealReal

For buyers, it comes down to selection Vs. prices.

Tradesy Buying Experience

With its peer-to-peer model, Tradesy offers a wider, more diverse selection of luxury brands and items. You can find unique or hard to find pieces.

But there are also more inconsistencies in item descriptions and photo quality since sellers create their own listings. Prices tend to be higher as sellers set them themselves.

Tradesy offers buyer protections like their Tradesy Guarantee. If an item you purchase isn’t as described, Tradesy will help you get a refund.

The RealReal Buying Experience

Since The RealReal works directly with sellers, their inventory is more curated and merchandised. Listings have consistent photos and details.

The RealReal aims to sell through inventory quickly, so their prices are competitive. You can find great deals, especially during site-wide sales and promotions.

You can shop online or in person at one of their luxury consignment stores. Either way, you get a 5-day return period after receiving an item.

Pros of Tradesy for Buyers:

  • Wider selection with rare and unique finds
  • Tradesy Guarantee for refunds on items not as described

Pros of The RealReal for Buyers:

  • More refined curation of luxury brands and styles
  • Lower and more competitive pricing
  • In-person shopping available

For buyers looking for great deals, The RealReal edges out Tradesy. But Tradesy is the place to shop for uncommon gems.

Also Read: Is Tradesy Better Than thredUP?

Authentication And Security

Authentication services aim to verify items are real, not counterfeits. Both sites offer some peace of mind but have faced controversies.

Tradesy Authentication

Tradesy offers an Authenticity Guarantee on listings over $500. Their team of experts manually reviews details and photos looking for red flags.

But some counterfeits have slipped through the cracks. Tradesy has faced lawsuits over sold fakes. They vow to improve, but some buyers understandably remain wary.

The RealReal Authentication

At The RealReal, experts authenticate every item they receive from sellers. This hands-on approach was meant to be a gold standard.

But multiple investigations and lawsuits have revealed The RealReal has issues with counterfeit products as well. Like Tradesy, they promise to strengthen their methods.

When shopping at either site, authenticate high-ticket items yourself for added peace of mind. Seek a professional opinion for very expensive purchases.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Tradesy and Poshmark?

Like Tradesy, Poshmark is a peer-to-peer resale marketplace. But Poshmark focuses on a wider range of brands, not just luxury. Poshmark also emphasizes social sharing and engagement. Tradesy is dedicated specifically to luxury and designer brands.

What percentage does The RealReal take?

The RealReal’s commission ranges from 40-65% depending on the item category and price. For example, the commission rate for a $50 pair of shoes would be around 65% while an Hermes bag over $5000 would be around 40%. On average, sellers earn anywhere from 35-60% of the final selling price.

Who is The RealReal competitor?

Some top competitors of The RealReal in the luxury resale space include:
Vestiaire Collective
Yoogi’s Closet
The Luxury Closet

Is it safe to purchase from The RealReal?

The RealReal has faced criticism over claims that some counterfeit items slipped through its authentication process. However, the vast majority of items sold on The RealReal are authentic. As a precaution, you may want to have high-value items professionally authenticated after purchase. In general, The RealReal is reasonably safe for most buyers.

Also Read: Choose Between The RealReal And thredUP.

The Bottom Line

Here’s a quick rundown of the major differences:

  • Selling: Tradesy offers higher payouts but The RealReal provides more convenience
  • Buying: The RealReal has better deals but Tradesy has a wider, more unique selection
  • Authentication: Both have faced criticism but aim to improve their authentication processes

For most resellers, Tradesy is the better platform thanks to its peer-to-peer model and higher earning potential. Casual sellers who want a smoother process can use The RealReal.

As a buyer, The RealReal edges out Tradesy with its curation and lower prices. But Tradesy is worth browsing for rare gems and vintage finds. Since neither has a perfect track record for authentication, verify any expensive purchases. Overall, Tradesy wins for resellers while The RealReal offers a better buying experience. Both sites are good options in the luxury resale market. The right choice depends on your goals as a buyer or seller.

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