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Tradesy is a luxury resale platform that lets you negotiate prices on designer goods — I scored big discounts on Louboutin heels and a Prada bag

INSIDER logo INSIDER 1/14/2022 insider@insider.com (Andrea Bossi)

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  • Tradesy is an online-only luxury consignment store where anyone can list items to sell.
  • I tried Tradesy with a $650 budget and challenged myself to stretch my cash on classic designers.
  • After testing the experience, I have to admit that I like Tradesy and think it's underrated. 

Luxury consignment is having more than a moment. Buying pre-loved luxury is often cheaper and has the priceless bonus of being more sustainable. The RealReal is one of the most popular luxury resale stores, but I tried out a lesser-known option.

Tradesy is a peer-to-peer shopping platform for women's fashion. It's a lot like Poshmark but for luxury. Anyone can upload their listing and sell, and Tradesy will use authentication software to comb through photos for signs of a counterfeit. 

Even though Tradesy claims only 0.3 percent of items on the website are fake, I had doubts that any software could detect counterfeit items (which are often nearly imperceptible nowadays). I wanted to try it out and see what the platform offered in terms of product selection, ease of use, and, of course, authenticity.

Tradesy kindly shared a $650 credit. Here's how I turned that into Louboutin heels, a Prada bag, and some sassy sunglasses by Chloé.

The shopping experience

Shopping on Tradesy is straightforward, and you don't need an account to browse. It's easy to find the designers you want and refine your search by things like size, condition, and color. Plus, shipping is free! 

When I found my items, I messaged the sellers with questions like how quickly an item can ship or more about the condition it's in. The best part about the messaging feature is that you can negotiate a lower price with any seller who's open to the conversation.

Each item I purchased was successfully authenticated by Tradesy, which I discuss later. 

A breakdown of what I got and negotiated

Andrea Bossi/Insider © Andrea Bossi/Insider Andrea Bossi/Insider

Candy red patent pumps by Christian Louboutin, $346


Video: Younger shoppers are considering resale value when making purchases: FASHIONPHILE Founder (Yahoo! Finance)

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These shoes are eye-catching and glamorous, and the red sole adds to their luxurious feel. They were originally listed for $420, but I noticed lots of scuffs and lots of wear on the insoles while looking at the pictures and was able to negotiate the price to $346. They came with a Christian Louboutin box, though not the original, and a Louboutin-red dust bag.

Andrea Bossi/Insider © Andrea Bossi/Insider Andrea Bossi/Insider

Vintage red nylon tote by Prada, $200.80

This bag is simple, beautiful, and colored a luxurious red. Though it's listed as gently used, it's still pretty stained and has enough wear on the handles to be noticeable. Taking this into account, I was able to get it for a steal: $200 instead of its original price of $250. Though it didn't come with a dust bag originally, the seller threw one in as a gift.

Andrea Bossi/Insider © Andrea Bossi/Insider Andrea Bossi/Insider

Burgundy framed square sunglasses by Chloé, $97

Unlike any other item I purchased, these were brand new with tags and everything. A simple pair of sunnies is a necessity for any closet, but these are a bit more of a statement piece that'll look especially good during fall months. The estimated retail price of $255 made these quite the deal.

What the authentication process was like

Once you receive your items, you have four days to start a return or request verification. Once you submit a request for verification, Tradesy will promptly email a FedEx shipping label. 

My heels were authenticated the day they were received at Tradesy's authentication center. My other items, however, took about three weeks to get back to me.

Tradesy © Tradesy Tradesy

Once each item was authenticated, I received an email with reasoning behind the verification. This made me feel more confident in the verdict.

Cons to consider

Andrea Bossi/Insider © Andrea Bossi/Insider Andrea Bossi/Insider

Because individual sellers upload their own photos, there's a glaring lack of consistency across product shots that gives the site a cheap feeling. Additionally, sellers can list items in any condition — including falling apart.

The bigger issue is the lack of consistency in product descriptions. On Tradesy, there are fields sellers must fill out related to condition, but there's less consistency because the descriptions are largely up to sellers' opinions and biases.

The bottom line

Tradesy is definitely an underappreciated gem — I almost didn't want to write this and drive a deluge of new shoppers who might go buy all the good stuff. Though you can find some questionable items that appear to be falling apart or marred by unforgivable stains, you can also find classic items, negotiate a better price, and ship each item to Tradesy to be officially authenticated by more than the mythical software.

Writer's note: I wrote this from a buyer's perspective, but a seller may have a completely different experience based on interactions with customers and Tradesy's commission rates.

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