I like to browse a couple of online consignment shops every now and then—specifically Yoogi’s Closet and The RealReal, which are the only ones I’ve actually purchased from—but I stepped it up this month since my birthday is coming up in a few months and I’m hoping to finally pick up a small Chloé Paraty. (Though my eye was also recently turned by a ten year-old black quilted Chloé Bay carried by Rachael Taylor’s character on The Defenders…)
Over the weekend, I browsed The RealReal’s Rebecca Minkoff section, as usual, hoping to spot an old school RM bag at a good price (this is my Holy Grail RM), and noticed a gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff Collection bag at a deep discount.
The Rebecca Minkoff Collection bags first came out around 2010, and represented a more luxe (and higher-priced) version of her usual line. Some of the bags used existing designs, like the MAB, MAC, and Nikki, adding luxe details like fancier leathers and real gold. Others were new designs exclusive to the line (I believe they may have been released 2012-ish), and I much preferred them to the blinged out classic styles.
RM Collection: Alaina
RM Collection: Allie
Black & Pink
RM Collection: Allie
RM Collection: Cali
RM Collection: Elle
RM Collection: Elle with studs
RM Collection: Maria
RM Collection: Maria
I remain on the hunt for the Allie in Black & Pink and the Studded Elle in Iridescent, but the one I just got is the Alaina in Mango, which retailed for US$850. I snagged it, gently used, off The RealReal for a total of $61. It was listed at US$130, on sale for 30% off, with a store coupon stacked on for $30 off. Shipping to Canada was $35—eek, I know, but they shipped it FedEx International Priority, so it arrived at my door in two days.
30% Off: -$39
$30 Code: -$30
Int’l Shipping: $35
Of course, FedEx means duties, which I didn’t escape. My customs charges came to a total of CA$36.35, which was actually not as bad as I’d expected. FedEx’s brokerage fee was only $0.05 less than Canada Post’s, though I’m not sure if FedEx’s fee varies based on the item value (Canada Post’s fee is flat).
In addition, I’m not sure where this bag was made. I would have thought the more luxe Rebecca Minkoff bags were made in the USA, but there’s no tag or stamp that I can see in or on the bag, so I can’t fault customs for assuming the bag isn’t NAFTA-eligible.
HST (Sales Tax): $15.96
FedEx Fee: $10
HST (Sales Tax) on FedEx Fee 🙄: $1.30
I’m a tiny bit peeved that The RealReal seem to have put down the item value as US$96 instead of the cost pre-shipping ($61), as the FedEx form says the Canadian value for tax is CA$122.77. It’s a minor thing, though, I guess.
But overall, I got a great deal on a discontinued bag that was much more expensive at US$850, and more importantly, it’s in a style I love and will use often.
Bonus: the previous owner left US$0.70 inside the bag. I’m rich, I tell ya! Seriously, that’s like CA$1.
The bag arrived in great time and as described on the site: “Condition: Very Good. Faint surface scratches at hardware; shape has relaxed due to wear.” The only other thing I would add is that the lizard scales seem to be peeling a bit, though this happens with most other lizard stuff I’ve owned or seen, so I wouldn’t be too harsh about that.
From Rebecca Minkoff:
8.5″W x 7″H x 1.5″D
17″ detachable shoulder strap drop
Genuine lizard embossed leather
Flap closure with turn lock
One interior slip pocket
One interior zip pocket
Exclusive lining + dust bag
The bag didn’t come with the dust bag or any cards, but everything else was looking good. The RealReal also includes a cheap-y sort of dust bag with bags that don’t have one.
I’ve bought a couple of other Rebecca Minkoff bags from The RealReal in the past, and I have found them a bit hit or miss with product descriptions. Their photos are not the largest and clearest, either. One bag I received was great, and the other was described as clearly being in better condition than it actually was. They gave me a $25 store credit to make up for the discrepancy, but it expired in about a month and I wasn’t in the market for another bag so quickly, so that was quite pointless.
The RealReal’s bag descriptions are also not as complete as I’ve seen on some other sites (for example, they didn’t have this bag labeled as the Alaina in Mango). These are the main reasons that I haven’t been especially interested in more expensive—and commonly faked—bags from this particular store. I just don’t want to deal with having to return a more expensive item because it wasn’t described properly, or if it turned out to not be authentic, particularly since I’ll be out whatever customs charges I had to pay. If I was in the US, I’d try it out, but as an international buyer, it’s a no-go. (I suppose a really good deal would tempt me, though!)
For less expensive bags like preloved Rebecca Minkoffs, though, The RealReal is my new love, now that Bonanza/Bonanzle is a shadow of what it used to be.
Now, I can’t review the bag right now, since I only just got it! But here are some detailed pics.
Also, here’s the little conversation I had with my three year-old son, Peanut, after the bag arrived:
PEANUT: What’s the box, Mommy?
FIVEZERO: It’s something for Mommy!
P: Is it marshmallows?
F: No, it’s not marshmallows.
P: Is it a cake?
[He always guesses that a parcel contains cake.]
F: No, it’s not a cake. It’s a bag for Mommy.
P: What’s in the bag?
F: It’s just a bag.
[I take the bag out of the box and he asks to wear it. I drape it over him, crossbody-style, and it almost reaches the floor.]
F: Oh, I think it’s too long for you, sweetie. You’re not big enough.
P: I want to be big…like Eugene!
This took me a moment. Then I realized that he was referring to Eugene/Flynn Rider and his knapsack from Tangled, one of his favorite movies:
Anyway, here’s my new bag! While I wouldn’t immediately say it is worth the original retail price of $850, it certainly does feel better made and higher quality than regular line Rebecca Minkoff bags, at least the newer ones that are not as good quality as the old school ones were. The leather is thicker and nicer, the hardware is substantial and looks great, and I really dig all the little details in the design.
The shoulder strap consists of a leather piece on top for comfort. On one side of the leather piece, the metal chain is slimmer and doubled; on the other side, it’s a single, chunkier chain. I love that!
The strap is also removable so the bag can be carried as a clutch. The hidden toggles are cute. The interior of the bag has a single large compartment, with one side zippered pocket, a card pocket, and a key fob (not seen in my photo).
The logo tag is not something that comes with bags in the regular line. It’s detachable, though I really dig the chunky shape and will leave it on the bag for now. The brand name itself is embossed into the leather and isn’t in-your-face.
There are also many little Art Deco-influenced geometric details all over the bag.
Discreet branding on the hardware on top.
Even more discreet branding on the back. Minor dark marking on the bottom right; gonna see if I can clean that off.
I love all the detailing on the leather part of the strap, and the chain itself is wonderful. It might be spoiling me for my RM MACs and other bags with chain straps that are not as nice as this one.
Peanut used to like playing with my bags, or whatever else I was photographing that was within his reach. Olive has taken over the mantle.
The Alaina feels very versatile—I’ll be able to dress it up and down, but mostly down!—and quite seasonless. I’ll be wearing it immediately, and it should transition nicely from the end of summer and straight into cooler weather.