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Is Vestiaire Collective Legit? What You Need to Know Before You Buy

The secondhand marketplace can help you overhaul your wardrobe.

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One of the easiest ways to become more sustainable is by shopping for clothing secondhand. There are a few ways to do this: You could hit up the local thrift store, trade items with friends, or move your search online. If that's your goal—and you tend to have expensive taste—then you've likely heard of Vestiaire Collective. And if you're considering making a purchase, you've probably decided to research: Is Vestiaire Collective legit?

Unlike many resale sites like Poshmark, Depop, and ThredUp, the pieces on Vestiaire Collective tend to cost a pretty penny. The retailer sells designer brands like Chanel, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga, and more, and some Hermes bags on the site cost as much as $258,000. So, before you make a purchase, you want to make sure you know exactly how the service works, what you can expect, and that you'll receive authentic items each time you shop. Keep reading to learn more about Vestiaire Collective, from what separates it from other resale sites to how to avoid scams.

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What Is the Vestiaire Collective?

Vestiaire Collective mobile app icon on phone screen top view
Postmodern Studio / Shutterstock

Vestiaire Collective started in 2009 and is based in Paris. "It's a peer-to-peer marketplace, in which users join the platform and sell their pre-owned luxury products to other users," says Michael Zakkour, digital commerce and retail expert for 5 New Digital.

The items sold are typically in good to excellent condition, and the seller will explain each piece's current state and any signs of wear.

You can shop for categories like women's, men's, and children's clothing, bags, shoes, jewelry, watches, and vintage. According to Reuters, the company was valued at around 1.1 billion euros in January 2024, and sales on the platform increased 25 percent from the year prior as fashionistas aim to curate more sustainable closets.

Unlike other platforms that focus on clothing and accessories, Vestiaire Collective really focuses on luxury items. In Nov. 2022, the company began banning several fast-fashion brands, including Boohoo, Shein, Zara, and Gap, from the platform; in 2023, it banned a second wave of fast-fashion stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters, and Mango.

It's different from the secondhand shop TheRealReal in that sellers list and price items themselves rather than sending them to one central location to be listed there.

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How Does the Vestiaire Collective Work?

Vestiaire Collective, the RealReal, and Rue La La mobile app icons are seen on a smartphone
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The platform works just like many other resale marketplaces. "Sellers list their items on the platform, providing detailed descriptions, photographs, and the condition of the item," explains Zakkour. "Once an item is sold, it is shipped to Vestiaire Collective for authentication, and their team of experts checks the quality and authenticity of each item."

Once the item is authenticated, it's shipped to the buyer; if it's refused during the authentication process, a refund is issued. However, that's only the case if you select Authenticated Shipping for $15 dollars.

If you choose Direct Shipping, the item will ship straight to you from the seller, although some high-risk items will be digitally authenticated for quality control (as a bonus, the item also ships faster because it doesn't need to make a pitstop on the way to you). If you use Direct Shipping, you have 72 hours from the time of delivery to report any issues with the order.

A key difference from other resale websites is that instead of needing to purchase an item at the listed price, buyers can make an offer with their own price. The seller will then get to approve or reject it or make a counteroffer (sellers can also choose to turn off this feature, so buyers can't haggle with everyone). You can't make an offer for less than 70 percent of the piece's original price.

You also won't have the option for returns on most items, although you can relist the piece on Vestiaire Collective. If you decide to do that within 72 hours, it's free of charge, meaning you keep all earnings from the sale instead of giving Vestiaire Collective a cut.

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Is the Vestiaire Collective a Legit Website?

Person holding cellphone with webpage of French e-commerce company Vestiaire Collective on screen with logo
T. Schneider / Shutterstock

By all accounts, Vestiaire Collective is a legit website—and if you make an order, you'll likely receive what you ordered in the condition it was described and within a reasonable time frame.

However, "The first rule of shopping always applies: Buyer beware," says Jessica Doyle, shopping expert at Give Freely.

Most issues with the platform occur because of its basic premise. "Marketplaces, in general, face these types of challenges because the transaction is happening between individuals, not a company to a consumer," notes Doyle.

But these issues aren't more present on Vestiaire Collective than on other marketplaces—they're just something to be aware of whenever online shopping on such a platform.

Of course, these issues don't always present a huge red flag, so it's important to trust your gut. If something seems fishy, too good to be true, or just a little bit off, it's better to avoid it.

Authenticity Guarantee

Vestiaire Collective has a team of experts who attend the Vestiaire Academy to ensure quality control and oversee its authentication process. "The Academy specializes in honing skills so our experts can recognize the hallmarks of authentic," they write.

If you believe you've received a counterfeit item, you can have it re-authenticated. If it is counterfeit, you'll receive a refund.

Commitment to Sustainability

Buying pre-loved items already helps the environment because it reduces the demand and production of new clothing. Plus, the items on Vestiaire Collective tend to be of higher quality, which means they'll last longer and require replacement less often.

"We prevent three times more emissions than we generate, without offsetting," reads the company website, and they aim to reduce emissions each year.

Seller Protection

If Vestiaire Collective's quality control team does not approve the item you'd like to sell, the company's customer support team will cancel the sale and return the piece to you free of charge.

The same thing happens if a buyer cancels their order after receiving a quality control report: You can have the item returned to you for free or have Vestiaire Collective relist it. If it sells again, they'll ship it out for free once it sells.

Buyer Protection

Buyers are able to use several forms of authentication, and if they believe they received a counterfeit, they can file for a return. Payment methods are just as secure as most online marketplaces; you'll want to monitor your accounts regularly on the off chance of fraud or hacking, but your information is safe with Vestiaire Collective.

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Are There Any Scams on Vestiaire Collective to Look Out For?

Close up of woman sitting on the couch using credit card and laptop to shop online from home.
iStock

Fake Merchandise

One of the biggest and scariest possible scams on Vestiaire Collective is getting a fake version of the item you ordered—and with high-ticket items like fake bags, that can cost you.

"The platform boasts a 99.9 percent accuracy rate [according to its Trust Report] when it comes to authenticity, but it's not hard to find Vestiaire Collective reviews in which shoppers say they have been sold a fake," says Doyle. "So if that bag walks like a fake and talks like a fake, it could be a fake."

If you suspect an issue before ordering, use Authenticated Shipping. If you believe something might be defective after receiving it, you can submit it for a second evaluation. "In the event that we made an error in our initial assessment, you will be fully refunded," reads the company's website.

Receiving the Wrong Item

A few shoppers who filed complaints against Vestiaire Collective on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) say the item they received was different from the one that was described in both big and small ways.

One person said the purse they received was a micro-size, whereas the product was listed as a small purse (two sizes that had technical dimensions on the designer's website); another person said the interior of a purse they ordered was plastic instead of the cotton that was listed. "It was also frayed and there was a stitch completely missing at the tag that was sewn in to the bag," they write.

In both cases, the shoppers had trouble receiving a refund in a timely fashion.

Buyers Claiming an Issue With an Item

This one impacts people looking to sell their goods on Vestiaire Collective. According to one Reddit user: "I just sold a designer straw bag a few days ago there, and everything was as described in the listing. The buyer received it today and I received a message by email saying the buyer reported a problem. But it didn't specify what the issue was. Just said my payment was on hold."

They say the buyer contacted Vestiaire Collective, saying the bag was damaged and demanding a full refund. Vestiaire Collective allowed the refund, and the seller was left with no sale. Other sellers commented on the post, claiming similar; some even mentioned buyers damaging the bag after receipt and then sending the damaged item back to get a refund.

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What Are the Safest Payment Methods to Use on Vestiaire Collective?

Credit Card: These can protect you from fraud; if you need to dispute a payment, simply file a claim with your bank—it's a much better option than paying debit, where recovering funds that are lost due to fraud is much more challenging.

PayPal: This service also offers protection in case of fraud and keeps your financial information private when online shopping.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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