by Gabrielle Manchester

Within the last few years, the web has exploded with a plethora of online resale sites. The presentation is high fashion: they are sleek and sophisticated with beautifully photographed merchandise and on-trend editorial content. With the bar set so high, each site has the task of differentiating itself in the saturated marketplace, which means even greater bargains for the savvy shopper.

For some sites, like Fashionphile, they differentiate themselves by focusing on only high-end accessories, while The RealReal merges the flash sale model with consignment, and LXR & Co. offers a mix of both. Plus, others like Vaunte and Threadflip have tweaked the eBay model to create online marketplaces where sellers can peddle their fashion-forward wares. This allows shoppers plenty of options to find the perfect steal.

The policies of each site vary as well, so be sure to review the terms of each before you buy or sell. Things to look for and know: Do they accept returns? Do they offer layaway or buyback? What are the shipping charges? If you are selling, you might prefer sites which offer white-glove service to simplify the process (which can include pick up, photography, etc.). But keep in mind, this is generally for a fee or higher commission. I’ve found that you can net anywhere from 60 to 85 percent of the final sale price depending on whether you want to be hands-on or hands-off, so it pays to do your research and decide which option is best for you.

Here’s a breakdown of a few of my favorite online sites, but there are many more out there, so enjoy the hunt for your personal favorite!

Fashionphile (www.fashionphile.com) specializes in high-end handbags and accessories, and has its fingers on the pulse of the most coveted and current styles. Expect to find brands like Hermes, Balenciaga, and Celine in exceptional condition.
– Buying: They offer layaway, as well as a wishlist option for hunting down that bag you’ve been drooling over. Additionally, they have a 90 day, 70 percent buy back policy, so if you buy a great bag but are ready to move on, you can sell it back.
– Selling: You can sell outright or consign. Selling outright nets you 50 to 70 percent of the online sale price. Consignment gets you 70 to 85 percent.
– Returns: Seven days with tags attached.

The RealReal (www.therealreal.com) is a blend of a flash sale and luxury online consignment with cleverly curated sales such as “Gothic Romance” and “The RealReel:Pulp Fiction.” It covers women, men, fine jewelry, watches, and art.
– Selling: You can ship items in or take advantage of their free white-glove pickup service, which is available in most major U.S. cities. The site controls the pricing, description, and photography. It takes between 30 to 40 percent of the sale price of your item, depending on your annual sales.
– Buying: Wide selection of luxury designer pieces and frequent sales.
– Returns: Within 21 days with a return authorization number, which can be obtained through their customer service.

Vaunte (www.vaunte.com) is a curated luxury resale marketplace founded by former Gilt Groupe employees Christian Leone and Leah Park. It features exceptional design and compelling editorial content and gives you access to the closets of fashion insiders.
– Selling: You must submit items from their approved list of designers to be reviewed before they can be sold on Vaunte. Once accepted, you set the price, and they professionally retouch your photos. You will receive 85 percent of the sale price.
– Buying: Prices can be high, but you are guaranteed to find the crème de la crème of consignment.
– Returns: No returns are accepted.