The Vestiaire treatment


The best place to sell your pre-loved designer clothes and accessories. Review of Vestiaire Collective / Gisele Bundchen in Vogue Paris October 2015 (photography: Mario Testino, styling: Emmanuelle Alt) via british fashion blog
I am not that good at keeping secrets, especially when they are of a happy kind. Take Vestiaire Collective, one of my most favourite destinations for finding fashion treasures from the past collections, which without the site I most likely would never be able to acquire. I could have kept it to myself, but then I wouldn't be able to share those little joyful moments of coming across a vintage Balenciaga, Hermes or Bottega Veneta and making them mine at a fraction of their original price (honestly, I am not somebody who can shop at Hermes and Bottega as if they were a Tesco branch, thus have to be real, savvy and creative). 

It's been a year since I made my first purchase and shared the initial (and very pleasant!) experience of buying through Vestiaire. It was such a seamless process that left me wondering what it would really be like to sell through the site, too. Finally, after months and months of digesting the initial thought I gave in and listed a few items last Friday. By Sunday I sold two of them.

And since it was once again a fantastic experience I wanted to talk about the entire process, just to explain the difference between selling on this site vs some well-known online destinations that right now seem so old-fashioned I would not even consider them unless I really had to.

So here's my step-by-step guide that will, hopefully, show everything in detail and also address a few questions and doubts I personally had.

Best place / online site to buy/sell pre-loved & vintage designer clothes, shoes, accessories /  Red May 2014 Chanel bags in fashion editorials via british fashion blog
1. First of all, pick everything you'd like to sell. If you have dust bags, boxes, receipts and cards, always include them. Whenever I buy anything on-line I also save professional photos of the items including those of a model wearing them - these come incredibly handy at times.

2. Take photographs, ideally using a plain background because every images will be "extracted". For obvious reasons, use good lighting. If there are any imperfections, numbers, brand tags or features to be highlighted - take a photo of them.

Natalia Vodianova in Vogue US May 2011 (photography: Bruce Weber) via british fashion blog
3. Unlike other places, Vestiaire is very helpful when it comes to creating a listing. First of all, they will only accept brands in demand, not everything and anything, take into consideration specific terms such as restricted items (for example, exotic leather goods or precious metals may have shopping restrictions) and age (anything bought 20+ years ago will be classified as vintage), ask you for information you may not think of yourself such as dimensions etc. to ensure that each listing is as detailed and clear for the buyers as possible. 

They will also show a few samples of photographs that would be ideal to suit a specific item. It's best to follow their advice, however if you choose to rebel and the team aren't happy with your images they will email you straight away and ask for more photos (yes, everything is processed by an experienced person, not some robot).

The best place to sell your pre-loved designer clothes and accessories. Review of Vestiaire Collective / Andreea Diaconu in Free People lookbook via
4. I also really like the way of setting the listing price. As soon as I listed my items I was given a) suggested prices for similar things sold on Vestiaire b) calculator showing how much I'd receive from each sale based on my listing price c) a message letting me know that my sale price is good.

I then submitted my listings and received an email confirming it. It's worth noting that every single transaction is reviewed by somebody at Vestiaire and you may receive an email saying that a certain item is best to be left until another season (for example, no point of trying to sell a pair of flip flops in January or fur coat in May) or it would require a price reduction to get people interested. Once you confirm your decisions by following links and clicking supplied buttons - it's all done automatically to save time, your photos will be processed and the listings - finalised.

5. The listings go live within 24 hours and you can track them in your account.

6. Every time something was sold I received a text message and email. The text message in particular was rather handy and always a bit of a happy surprise. Now it was the time to post it off to France, which brings me to the point of discussion that I personally find really important.

Karlina Caune in Parisiennes / Vogue Paris September 2013 (photography: David Bellemere, styling: Capucine Safyurtlu) via
7. One of the main reasons I always hesitated to sell on VC is my previous experiences with another site when I had to pack my stuff, physically take it to the post office, pay postage that would not always match the one I was allowed to ask for (yes, eBay limit you to a certain figure and then PayPal would take a chunk of it, too) and wait to see if the buyer is happy (I've heard some horror stories from eBay sellers!).

8. Well, "Vestiaire treatment" means that you will receive a pre-paid label and your parcel will be collected from your front door, which is such a relief, especially when days are busy! All I did was carefully packing no-longer-mine things, calling DHL and arranging a pick up. Considering that everything is sent to Paris, having all costs covered by VC is such a relief! Yes, they include the postage as a part of listing fee, but seriously it's nothing... If I did it myself I could probably get away with a postage charge for something small like a scarf or a necklace, but considering that, say, a pair of heavy platform shoes, a fashion tome or a coat might need to be posted to America or Australia, I'd be in trouble. 
The best place to sell your pre-loved designer clothes and accessories. Review of Vestiaire Collective  /Valentino shoes in fashion editorials / Vogue US
9. The parcel gets to VC within 24 hours, they check the item to ensure it matches the listing description and is authentic. Next, they post it to a buyer and send a payment to my VC wallet within 24 hours of the item passing VC quality control. The amount you receive is about 70% of the listing price and this includes listing fees, postage and quality control. There are no hidden charges or transfer fee after that unless you use PayPal.

I have a choice of transferring the money to my bank or PayPal account or use the cash to shop at Vestiaire - it's like a circle of life portrayed in luxury clothing.

And this is it. Simple, easy and straight-forward. Oh, and before I forget. If you are in London, you can rely on a Concierge Service - it comes with a tiny fee, but means that your items are collected by a courier, photographed professionally and posted to the buyers once sold, so you do absolutely nothing apart from counting your earnings.

Now the only question I have is why on Earth it took me a whole year to get on with it?...  Seriously, don't repeat my mistake - just do it.

Photo source: Gisele Bundchen in Vogue Paris October 2015 (photography: Mario Testino, styling: Emmanuelle Alt), Red May 2014, Natalia Vodianova in Vogue US May 2011 (photography: Bruce Weber), Andreea Diaconu in Free People look book, Karlina Caune in Parisiennes / Vogue Paris September 2013 (photography: David Bellemere, styling: Capucine Safyurtlu), Vogue US, Marloes Horst in Elle France December 2013 (photography: Matt Jones, styling: Elissa Castelbou)


  1. Well, I like VC myself as a concept. It might be an added layer of complexity, but to be honest, it's worth it to make sure your piece is genuine - there are so many fakes out there :)

    1. You are protected from fakes when shopping on VC. First of all, everything is checked post-sale by trained people who know how to spot a fake. If they have any doubts, the seller does not get the money, more over - has to cover postage and listing fees, and the buyer get refund within 24 hours. It's another reason why I prefer this place to eBay where you are never protected from fakes and returning them or requesting your money back can be a total disaster. I haven't experienced it myself since I only used it to sell my stuff, but knew a few people, both buyers and professional sellers who were tricked. It was always heart breaking... and I am not even mentioning the financial side of things.

  2. Congratulations on selling your items Natalia! This may seem like a lot to do, but in the end it adds to the credibility of the site and makes for a practically flawless purchase. It helps both ends!

  3. i have never used this service, but it sounds wonderful. thanks for the fab tips, too!

  4. This sounds like a perfect service. Until now I have always used ebay and it's true that their fees are quite high.


  5. I so badly want to join in on the VC fun. I explore the site very frequently, but sadly, shipping charges to North America, if shipping to my continent is available at all, make otherwise affordable secondhand luxury fashions almost as pricey as new things. Maybe someday soon I'll be lucky enough to live in Europe... and then everything will change!

  6. Yes, the circle of life, indeed! Great post! I do know of that site, I will check it soon!
    xx, Elle