Interview with a “Real” Reseller

Photograph of a "Real" Reseller Kimberly Mansfield

Have you ever wanted to declutter but felt you had items that were “too good to donate?” The secondary market, where quality used goods are bought and sold, is growing in popularity. Today I am sharing an interview with Kimberly Mansfield, who works for The RealReal, a professional reseller of luxury goods. If you’ve wondered about reselling, I hope you will find this post helpful!

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Kimberly, thank you so much for being willing to be interviewed here on the blog. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your business through the CT Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO-CT).

You represent The RealReal, an authenticated luxury goods reseller. How long have you worked for TRR? What was your experience prior to TRR? 

Thank you, Seana! I have felt so welcomed by the CT chapter of NAPO and have built some fantastic partnerships so far as a business partner.

I joined TRR in July 2021 after a decade of managing client development for luxury brands (i.e., Tiffany & Co., Burberry and Christian Louboutin…to name a few!). My experience in client development has always been focused on creating authentic relationships with clients, beyond the transaction, where their interests, passions and lives are intertwined with the DNA of the brand, creating a true foundation for a long lasting relationship. I was intrigued by the opportunity to manage Trusts & Estates at TRR as it was a natural opportunity to use my inherent skills of empathy and relationship building as I support clients during times of change in life (such as death, divorce, downsizing, relocation). 

I have also been using various platforms to buy and sell luxury items since 2004 and have been a huge fan of TRR and its focus on authenticity and sustainability since its inception in 2011. Starting this role felt like “coming home” and I knew it was the right opportunity for me!

How would you describe the services that The RealReal provides?

We make luxury consigning easy! Our “white glove” services are truly what stand us apart from our competitors. We operate as a personalized concierge, and we do all the work, so our clients do not need to lift a finger. Our teams can come directly to a client’s home and collect items the very same day. We offer free pick up, shipping, drop off at our 18 stores nationally as well as complimentary expert valuations. We provide professional photography, expert pricing, selling, and shipping, and manage all buyer communication. Our clients just sit back and get paid.

It seems like The RealReal has expanded the type of products it handles in recent years. What are some items you carry that might surprise people?

You’re right, as we have grown, our categories continue to expand. Though we are known for luxury fashion resale, we actually focus on the entire household and have added categories such as Home & Art, Lifestyle (which include sports & outdoor equipment, electronics, and collectibles) and Designer Vintage. Fine jewelry & watches are also some of our most successful categories, accepting both branded and unbranded jewelry.

 I work with many clients who wonder if what they have is worth selling. How can someone find out if their item is a candidate for resale through The RealReal?

At TRR, we are of course dedicated to luxury brands and have an extensive list of designers that can be used as a reference guide. But since we are so focused on service, the consignor can work directly with his/her representative to receive a price estimate and approval for any item. 

How would someone contact The RealReal if they want to resell an item? Is there a minimum value or number of items to use your service?

Clients can get in touch with me directly! There is no minimum value or number of items to become a consignor with TRR. We do have minimums should a home visit be requested but we can always send shipping labels directly to our consignors and arrange for a UPS collection or drop off. 

Is the individual responsible for taking photographs of the items, or do you take care of that?

We take care of everything! Once the item arrives at our warehouse and has been authenticated, it will make its way to our professional photography team for its glamour shot. 

How long does it typically take for items to sell on The RealReal?

60% of all items on our site sell within 30 days. With that being said, top designer brands always trend to sell faster and without a discount.

How does the pricing work? Is there an average “percent of original sale price” that people can expect to receive for their items?

We have an advanced pricing calculator that evaluates both historic resale value on our site as well as the entire secondary market. For specialty items and categories, we have dedicated pricing experts who individually review each item based on secondary luxury market value and overall condition/wear to provide the most competitive, yet realistic, price. 

Our commission structure varies by category and retail list price. Here is a link to our commission structure for a visual reference: https://www.therealreal.com/commissionchart

We are always happy to help provide a clearer explanation of what to expect should a client have any additional questions. 

Do you charge a fee per transaction, a commission on the amount sold, or in some other way?

There are no hidden fees or charges to expect with TRR. Our commission structure outlines all categories and retail price expectations, so clients know what to expect for all of their unique items.   

What happens with items that do not sell?

If an item has not sold within 365 days, our team will contact the consignor to ask if they would like to have the item returned to them. Should a consignor ever wish for an item to be returned to them earlier, our team would simply return the item at that time. 

What’s the wildest and/or most valuable item you ever sold?

One of my colleagues recently consigned a pair of rare Tiffany & Co. lamps, believed to be over 110 years old, each retailing for $350k! 

Not only is The RealReal a great resource for selling items that we no longer want or need, it is also a great place to shop. How can people shop TRR?

Sign up on our website, www.therealreal.com. Create an account, shop, and consign!

Is there anything else you think my readers would be interested to know about TRR? 

To note a little more regarding our Trusts & Estates division, as noted, our goal is to emotionally support our clients during these times of change and to take as much off of the estate or family’s plate as possible. I work closely with fiduciaries/executors of wills, estate/trust lawyers, wealth managers, real estate agents, auction houses (i.e., Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Doyle), appraisers and professional organizers. We offer a competitive referral incentive/introductory commission, so please get in touch!

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If you would like more information, or think you might like to sell through The Real Real, reach out to:

Kimberly Mansfield, The RealReal Business Development Manager, Trusts & Estates. She can be reached via phone at 203-263-9641, or email Kimberly.Mansfield @TheRealReal.com.

Have you ever sold a belonging through a reseller?

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18 thoughts on “Interview with a “Real” Reseller”

  1. What an awesome interview! I didn’t realize how “white glove” this service was, which is such a benefit to clients. I also love how Kimberly understands how challenging the emotional part of letting go can be during times of transition.

    I’ve had The Real Real in my resources file for a long while, but so appreciate getting this more in depth look at what they do and how. Thank you, Seana!

    1. They are very popular around me- a very top notch service and one that makes so much sense. Glad you found this helpful, Linda. We keep developing new ways to honor people, their belongings, and the enviornment!

    1. I hope they prove helpful, Sabrina. They are definitely expanding their services, and I thought people would like to know about what they offer. 🙂

  2. I had no idea that The Real Real had expanded to this extent, especially the “white glove” service and the work with estates; I only knew about the fashion aspect. While it’s rare for me to encounter a fashionista client, the fact that TRR trades in other luxury items is definitely worth sharing with my people! Seana, thank you for this interview with Kimberly.
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Paper Doll on the Magic of Making ListsMy Profile

    1. This was news to me as well, Julie. I thought it would be great information to pass along. I love learning from my colleagues and business partners!

  3. Great interview. The Real Real offers a great service. I remember referring a client to the rep in my area a few years ago. He had great success with them and were so convenient to use their service.

    1. I have multiple clients who have had wonderful experiences with them. Love hearing that they helped a male client of yours. A good reminder that they are not just a resource for women!

  4. What an interesting service! The closest to that I’ve seen is a company who does all the photography, etc. but then the goods are sold in an online auction with very specific timelines. In the case of my dad’s small estate, it wasn’t going to bring in enough money to be worthwhile. For more valuable assets, I can see this being a great solution, especially since you have a whole year for the items to be sold.
    Janet Barclay recently posted…My Experience as a Big SisterMy Profile

    1. I think this service is particularly helpful if you have high-value items. Those who enjoy designer goods do quite well with The RealReal. It is a terrific service for the right niche!

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