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The RealReal: Selling Luxury Pre-Owned Items to the Public

The RealReal

The RealReal is a consignment firm established by Julie Wainwright back in the year 2011. In less than a decade of operations, the company was able to grow drastically, making millions of dollars in profit every year and controlling a larger market size. The establishment of the company was an idea of Julie Wainwright, as she wanted to create a place where people can safely buy pre-owned luxury items without the risk of buying fake products. When she established the company, she had a difficult time looking for consignors who are willing to partner with her business, but because of their persuasive skills, she was able to gather the first few consignors who will be giving her the company’s first products. The idea of selling authentic pre-owned luxury items became a hit, and many people started to transact with her. Their online store reached new markets, and their profit kept on increasing. The company became the leading pre-owned luxury retailer in the United States, and more people started signing a contract to become their official consignor.

In the present, Julie Wainwright’s company revealed that they have millions of customers from around the world, and the demand for pre-owned luxury item is being filled in by dedicated consignors who love working with the company. These consignors own authentic luxury items, but they decide to sell the items which they no longer likes. The company assigns a private expert who would put a price tag on the item being sold, and then taking it from the consignor to be shipped into their warehouses. The largest warehouse owned by the company is situated in Brisbane, California, and every day, thousands of luxury items are being processed on the site. Julie Wainwright said that they are uploading up to 4,000 new items on their online store, and most of the items are being sold in three days. The business structure established by Julie Wainwright is so successful that they had to hire different individuals who would manage the numerous departments under The RealReal.

One of the reasons why the company became successful is because of the way they treat their customers and business partners. Julie Wainwright’s company stated that they are putting considerable price tags on luxury brands like Gucci, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton, encouraging the consignors to agree with the deal presented to them. Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are among the most popular brands in their online shop, and people are buying them and putting it into their collection. However, not all brands are supportive of what the company is doing. Chanel, for example, filed a lawsuit against the company, saying that they are not allowed to sell their items to the public and that they are selling fakes. However, those who are buying from the company stated that Chanel filed a lawsuit because they do not want their items to be sold to the less wealthy people, and it gave the luxury brand a negative image. Julie Wainwright dismissed the accusations from Chanel, saying all of the items they are selling are authentic.

The luxury consignment firm hired experts and connoisseurs who know how to differentiate between the fake ones and the authentic ones. These experts have been working in the industry for years, and their skills were honed by experience. When checking for the authenticity of a brand – like Gucci – they are looking at the level of craftsmanship performed on an item and look at the signs which make it an authentic piece of luxury. When the experts are able to match the determining features of an item, they will tag it as authentic and they will start selling it online. The RealReal continues to grow, and with the effective leadership from Julie Wainwright, experts agree that the company would redefine the world of luxury fashion.


  1. This is a really interesting article. I had heard of them but really didn't know anything much about what they did.

  2. This sounds like a really good idea. I have heard of the Real Real, but I didn't really know it was a consignment seller.

  3. This is a great idea. I will tell my daughter to check it out.


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