The RealReal: High End Luxury Fashion Resale

“The RealReal is a seven-year-old high-end resale shop that continues to expand its brand and target market. What began as a site solely focused on the resale of luxury women’s fashion has now expanded into selling jewelry, menswear, and even home décor. Additionally, an actually brick and mortar store has been added in New York City. In a time where so many segments of the market are paring down their actual storefront operations, The RealReal is reportedly considering the launch of more stores as well.

The posh resale shop operates under a consignment style of sales where the seller ships goods to the company and when they are sold receives a percentage of the profit. Item quality is well inspected and the company even employs an “in-house authentication team” to ensure that the pieces being sold are genuine. Of course, even the best assessors are occasionally fooled by an incredibly well-made knock-off piece, but the team at The RealReal strives to make the chances of such things very slim.

There seems to be a growing market for online high-end luxury fashion. Other sites currently selling luxury brands include Poshmark, Tradesy, and Thread Up, which just recently added a luxury aspect to their resale lines. While this type of designer resale was once not considered to be well-received by the original designers, this type of attitude has shifted. In fact, designers are now known to collaborate with some of these sites and encourage the sale of their items in this way. The reason behind this is that they have discovered that the sellers of these resale items are often making room in their closets for new purchases from the very same designer. It’s actually a win-win with a wider-spread brand promotion in conjunction with securing a new sale.

While there has been plenty of discussion as to whether The RealReal will be launching a public IPO, it has recently secured a significant financial boost through private funding. Speculation that the brand intends to expand before launching is rampant; however, there have been no such confirmations by CEO Julie Wainwright.”

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