The RealReal: Changing The Luxury Goods Consignment Market

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Authentic second-hand designer goods can be difficult to find. I recall a time many years ago, finding a Burberry bag in a second-hand charity shop.

First impressions suggested said bag must be legit because the $$$ price tag suggested so and the pretty piece sat behind locked glass doors. I asked to take a closer look at the bag, but soon realised the Burberry was not all as it first appeared. A quick Google search proved the bag to be a Fake McFakey. I couldn’t blame the hard-working op shop volunteers who wouldn’t know any different. 

Sometimes though, it isn’t as easy to spot a fake. Apparently, authenticity is a real problem when purchasing pre-owned designer goods. This applies to dresses, hand bags, shoes or any other designer piece. There are fakes and copies of designer goods in circulation. The question remains; how do you know what is real and what is not. 

If pre-loved designer fashion is your preferred choice of wear, consignment stores are your best bet. But is there a guarantee that what you buy from a consignment store is 100% legit? Not always.

That said, there are some consignment stores who take authenticity very seriously. The RealReal for example, is one such luxury consignment start up, with a bricks-and-mortar store in Soho, NY.

The RealReal employ designer goods experts who verify each item as authentic before it is placed for sale in their consignment store or online. Independent experts who know a designer fake from a genuine piece.

The RealReal is the work of Julie Wainwright. She saw a need for a pre-loved designer fashion store that focuses on authenticity. The key to Wainwright’s success with RealReal is the ability to guarantee the sale of legitimate designer pieces. Fake items in the luxury market are commonplace, and so to say that each item sold is bona fide designer, whether either online or in-store, is the key to Wainwright’s success. 

Wainwright employs experts who spend considerable time examining each item before it hits the shelf. The reputation of the business is at stake, and designer authenticity in this case, goes a long way.  

Wainwright has been able to secure a whopping $100+ million to finance her brand. This has enabled her business grow and move into a physical store from The RealReal’s previous online-only presence. Some pre-loved designer pieces are better seen in person. 

While The RealReal is a relatively new concept for both sellers and buyers, customers are flocking to the store knowing they are buying bona fide luxury fashion for less. Designer authenticity is the key to The RealReal’s success.

The RealReal: 80 Wooster St, New York, NY 10012, USA 

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