The RealReal is a fast-growing online luxury consignor that has a massive inventory of designer merchandise. They offer jewelry, clothing, handbags, shoes and watches from world famous luxury brands including Cartier, Hermès, Prada, Chanel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton to name a few. The RealReal gets very real when it comes to its luxury goods, they have hired horologists, art curators, gemologists and a myriad of other specialists to reassure the company that every last one of its luxury items are a hundred percent authentic. At its New York brick-and-mortar location in the SoHo area, The RealReal’s team of experts in training were wearing stark white gloves and busy eyeing an array of very expensive Hermès Birkin bags that were delicately laid on a table. They were in the middle of authenticating the Birkin bags, one was stated to be worth a little over ten thousand dollars and only two out of the whole lineup of bags were fakes.
These ‘RealReal Experts’ go through a rigorous authentication checklist for every type of luxury item that waltzes into the main warehouse before it’s ready for online sale. For example, the Birkin team would have to check the scent of the leather and it cannot smell akin to nail polish remover because that’s a telltale sign of a fake bag. The authentication of its luxury items and dedication is what makes this trendsetting company a major success. The chief executive officer and founder of the RealReal, Ms. Julie Wainwright, launched her company in 2011, after struggling to sell her own designer goods at whatever was available during the time online and at local pawnshops and consignments. Within the same year after launching, Ms. Wainwright had secured a 1,500 square-foot warehouse rental and stationed her first office there. The RealReal now has over eight million registered members online and tens of thousands of authenticated designer items.