The RealReal: How Real is it?

If you haven’t heard yet The RealReal is an ever expanding and very popular online luxury consignment store(now with a brick and mortar location in New York.) Julie Wainwright founded the business back in 2011 and since than has raised over $170 million in investments. The company employs very strict measures when it comes to authenticating each item they receive and prides themselves on only selling the best. On average, sellers see a 50 to 60 percent return on each piece they provide for consignment. Though there was talk of the company going public, for now it looks like Julie Wainwright will be focusing on raising another $100 million in investments to keep growing the company.

In recent years many luxury brands have jumped on the band wagon of thrift, so to speak. They realized the potential benefits in sales for them when it comes to such consignment stores like The RealReal. Many sellers who put up their items for consignment on the site will then turn around and purchase brand new luxury items from the same brands. With turnaround time on average being less than 30 days, the sellers don’t have long to wait to get their funds. Since The RealReal not only sells clothes now but also jewelry, watches, art and more; many luxury brands can look forward to the potential benefits of working along side this company.

The RealReal is not the only one of its kind either. Several other sites have popped up with similar themes. Sites such us Thread Up which in recent years has started offering used luxury brand items as well. Over the last couple years, thrift shopping has grown in popularity, not only due to cost savings but also the positive environmental impact of buying used instead of brand new. For now though, The RealReal leads the pack in this industry and we shall see what the next few years bring.

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