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006 - how to buy it

Updated: May 13, 2020

Balling On A Budget

Once something of a dirty word, "second-hand" has come to define a new pattern of consumer behavior. There's a saying that a car loses 10% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot - the same idea applies to fashion. Luxury consignment isn't a new concept, but it's historically been aimed at women - now that major players have started paying attention to the fellas, you can build a high-end wardrobe from top to bottom on the cheap (just please don't buy second-hand underwear).

While many of us currently have more pressing things on our minds than a new jacket or pair of sneakers, one very small silver lining to the deepening COVID-19 crisis is that economic downturns are a fantastic time to buy. Global demand is tanking, supply is high, and vendors are looking to offload whatever inventory they can at deep discounts, especially in the luxury market. If there's a certain item you've had your eye on for a while, take a few minutes to poke around the following sites and you might find some absolute steals - after all, we could all use some good news about now!


Grailed is the first menswear-only consignment platform, geared mostly (but not exclusively) towards the "hypebeast" set - think staple brands like Supreme, Palace, & Off-White alongside up-and-coming labels like Noah & Aime Leon Dore. Grailed also offers great editorial content and staff picks, which make it easy to get right to the good stuff and learn something new along the way.

Best For: Streetwear, limited-edition releases

Authenticity Guarantee: Yes

Returns: None

Fees: 6% plus 2.9% domestic/4.4% international Paypal fee = 9-12% on top of sales price


TheRealReal is a resale powerhouse spanning fashion, jewelry, and home goods. It functions more like a traditional retailer than just a listing platform, so you get the benefit of great customer service along with site-wide sales. TheRealReal is also the only platform that offers returns on most of their items (minus a small restocking fee), which mitigates a lot of the risk when you're unsure of sizing.

Best For: Big-ticket items (watches, luggage) & high-fashion apparel

Authenticity Guarantee: Yes

Returns: Yes

Fees: none to buy, 55% to 70% commission on listings


The OG of the group, eBay is still a great place to find some awesome deals. I think of it as the "yard sale" of resale platforms - there's a lot of junk, but someone's mom might just have put a 1952 Mickey Mantle card in the dollar bin by accident. With little oversight, it's up to you to authenticate listings for yourself. As such, I recommend using eBay only to purchase specific things you know well - a pair of designer sneakers or a jacket you've tried on before, for example. If you're willing to take on a little bit of risk and do your homework, it can really pay off!

Best For: Tried-and-true items

Authenticity Guarantee: None

Returns: Varies depending on seller

Fees: None for buyers, 10% for sellers. 2.9% PayPal fee on transactions.


Poshmark is one of the newcomers on the scene. Mainly geared towards womenswear, its mens listings aren't as "picked over" as Grailed, so there are definitely some good deals to be had.

They've tried to create a social shopping experience with "listing parties" and other features. There are some random/incorrect listings that make the site a little more work to browse, but if you're looking for a certain item or brand it's definitely worth a quick search on Poshmark.

Best For: Sneakers, accessories

Authenticity Guarantee: Yes

Returns: No

Fees: None for buyers, 80% commission for sellers


Based in Paris, Vestiaire Collective is Europe's premier resale site. It's a hybrid between centralized retailers like TheRealReal and independent platforms, offering listings from both professional and private sellers along with curated collections on a great-looking interface.

Vestiaire Collective's overall aesthetic is the closest to my personal style (a mix between high-end European apparel and more subtle streetwear offerings), so I've been using the site a lot lately. However, since many of the listed items are in Europe, shipping can be more complicated/expensive than US-based vendors.

Best For: European brands, all types of items

Authenticity Guarantee: Yes

Returns: Yes for professional sellers, no for private

Fees: None for buyers, 65% commission for sellers

Happy hunting!

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