Clothing & Accessories

How to Safely Shop Online Consignment

You’re a smart, savvy shopper, and want designer items, but you don’t want to pay full-price. Naturally, you turn to consignment or resale shops, and because it’s the 21st century, you look for them online.

But how do you know if what you’re buying is real? Like really real? Or if it’s a counterfeit? Or if you’ll even get an item after ordering at all?

Today we’ve got some hot tips for you to make sure that when you’re shopping consignment online, you’ll be getting exactly what you thought you were paying for.

Make Sure the Website is Real

First, know that there’s a lot of websites out there that are fake. They may have one letter off from the URL you were searching, or they may have set up an entirely independent storefront that just isn’t real at all. They have no product to offer you—despite what they may say.

What they’re doing is phishing for your credit or debit card information.

Before you ever enter personal data while shopping, first look for the green lock in your browser next to the URL. This signifies that the site has an SSL certificate which should protect your data.

But also look around at the website. Are you 1000% sure that URL is correct? Is language used fluently? Can you find an address? Do the social media profiles checkout?

Finally, google reviews of the store. If there are none, you might want to hold off. You could be their first customer, or their first victim. If there are reviews, carefully read through them. Sometimes these sites will post falsely glowing reviews of themselves through fake user profiles. Read the negative reviews to see if it was just a case of an accidental shipping error or if it’s a legitimately dangerous site that doesn’t deliver what it promises. The Better Business Bureau is another good search engine to use to find businesses and figure out their reputation.

Make Sure the Product is Real

You’re buying online, so even if you can tell an authentic Louis Vuitton from a forgery, it doesn’t really matter. You need to know that the people vetting the products put on the website know the difference.

Any luxury consignment store worth their salt is going to have a vetting process, and they’re going to make sure their customers know about it. For example, The Real Real has experts across the country checking each and every item. They have art curators, gemologists, brand authenticators and horologists, and they have an easily-accessible page where you can read each one of their bios including qualifications.

Make Sure the Product is Real Again

You may be able to authenticate a dress or pair of shoes yourself. But if you’re buying a piece of jewelry or other extremely high-priced item, you’re going to want to take it in for an appraisal. The first reason is the peace of mind you’ll get from having it doubly authenticated. The second reason is because you’re going to want to get that puppy insured, and you’ll need an official appraisal in order to make that happen—especially since you bought on consignment.