Buying (And Selling) Secondhand on the UES

Post-pandemic, consignment is gearing up for a boom

| 23 Mar 2022 | 11:19

Back in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when city dwellers sanitized their groceries for fear of contamination, shopping secondhand may have lost some of its appeal. Trying on pre-worn clothes? A real risk, or so it seemed.

But as well-meaning pandemic-era precautions were debunked, consignment picked up momentum again — and its future is looking shockingly bright. Over the next few years, resale is predicted to drive a huge increase in the secondhand market, from an estimated $36 billion in 2021 to $77 billion by 2025, according to a 2021 report from popular online consignment site thredUP. The previous year’s report found that on thredUP, at least, interest in pre-loved luxury brands in particular was on the rise.

If you’re looking to shop and sell secondhand locally, the Upper East Side has no lack of options (and lots of luxury). Here’s all you need to get started.


163 East 87th Street, (212) 477-1123,

Matiell has its roots in the East Village, though now it operates exclusively on the Upper East Side. The store boasts designer clothes, accessories and shoes for women and men, from Chanel, Prada, AllSaints, DVF and more. For those looking to consign items from their own closets: Matiell has a particular hankering for handbags and accessories. You can get paid upfront or consign more traditionally (receiving a percentage of the selling price once an item finds its new home) in person or online.


1125 Madison Avenue, (212) 737-7273,

Open since 1954 and run by three generations of the Kosof family, Michael’s moved to its new spot on Madison Avenue after almost 65 years in business in its original location only a few blocks away. The store specializes in designer clothes, accessories and shoes — mostly under two years old — from brands like Fendi, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and more. Consignment is for a percentage of the selling price or store credit, with options to bring items in person, send photos for pick up or ship.

La Boutique Resale

1132 Madison Avenue, (212) 517-8099,

La Boutique Resale first opened in 1994; ever since, it’s claimed to be where celebrities and models drop off their designer clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry. Brands stocked in the Madison Avenue store include Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Dries Van Noten and more — including vintage. To consign, contact the store via phone or email before bringing items for an appointment in person (or to schedule pick up).

Designer Revival

324 East 81st Street, (212) 734-3639,

Designer Revival, run by founder and “fashionista” Tiffany Keriakos, has been around now for over 30 years. It’s a tried-and-true spot for secondhand designer, vintage and contemporary women’s clothing, bags, jewelry, shoes and accessories — all evaluated for authenticity. Consignors can ship, drop off or schedule pick-up for the items they’re ready to part with for a percentage paid upon sale.

Gentlemen’s Resale

322 East 81st Street, (212) 734-2739,

Gentlemen’s Resale got its start in 1992 on the Upper East Side, which it’s called home for three decades now. Its goal: to “improve sustainability in fashion” — specifically for men. The shop offers men’s luxury clothes, shoes, watches, accessories, “travel gear” and more, accepting consignment items that are currently in season. You’ll get paid 50 percent of the determined price after anything sells and can email photos, call or visit in person to start the consignment process.

The RealReal

870 Madison Avenue, (212) 203-3139,

Founded in 2011, The RealReal sells “authenticated luxury resale,” both online and in stores across the city (and country). It boasts men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, handbags and watches, with a selection from the likes of Gucci, Hermès, Rolex, Canada Goose and other high-end brands. Consignment can be shipped, picked up at home or dropped off at a store. You’ll receive site credit, a direct deposit or a check for a percentage of the price once an item sells, or get paid upfront.


575 Madison Avenue, (844) 373-7723,

Rebag is the newest of the bunch, founded in 2014 — but already there are multiple locations in Manhattan and country-wide. It’s a spot specifically for designer bags, watches, jewelry and other accessories, where you can bring items from your closet to be appraised and authenticated in person. You’ll even get paid before items sell (with an option of store credit, if you choose).

For Whatever Doesn’t Make the Luxury Cut (And If You’d Like To Donate)

Housing Works

1730 Second Avenue, (212) 722-8306,

Housing Works, a local nonprofit, was founded in 1990 to battle homelessness and support those impacted by HIV/AIDS via both activism and business ventures. The organization opened its first thrift shop in Chelsea in 1992 and now has multiple stores across Manhattan, including this Yorkville location. Housing Works accepts clothing, accessories, furniture and home goods, and runs off of donations rather than consignment.

Goodwill NYNJ

1704 Second Avenue, (212) 831-1830,

Last but not least, likely the most well-known recipient of donations: Goodwill. The New York branch got its start in Brooklyn in 1915. You can shop and donate clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, home goods and more — and if you’re donating, you’ll receive a tax receipt for your contribution to the nonprofit. Donations are accepted in person, at drop off bins or by a handful of other methods detailed on the organization’s website.