In the last few years, internet resale company The RealReal has grown more than anyone would ever have thought possible. they are best known for being a place where you can buy big name products like Gucci and Louis Vuitton at a much lower price than retail. The RealReal is not the only site doing this, but they are probably the biggest. While they started out as a place to re-sell designer clothes, they have since branched out into jewelry, art, watches, and other luxury goods.
One very surprising aspect of this story is that some of the big-name designers are actually on board with this. You would think that they would be angry at seeing their products being sold well below retail like that, but according to representatives from Kering (who owns Gucci) they are actively collaborating with TheRealReal. This is mainly because they have seen that their own sales have improved since TheRealReal came on the scene. They say that most of those who buy secondhand Gucci products online will actually be more likely to buy from the company in the future. It seems that giving people a little taste of luxury makes them want more. And in this case, it’s a net positive for business.
As one might imagine, a few criminals will attempt to slip knock-off products onto the site. TheRealReal has a whole team of professionals who vet all products that they receive in order to confirm that they are genuine. A lot of knock-off products from the third world float around, and most of them will masquerade as high-dollar brands in order to raise their street value. So far, TheRealReal has done a pretty good job of keeping these people in the back alley where they belong.
The company is currently seeking about $100 million in new funding. This isn’t really that unrealistic, since they have managed to raise about $170 million over the last few years. Some have interpreted this as a sign that TheRealReal is thriving and some have pointed to it as evidence that they are supposedly failing. While I could make a prediction of my own, I think it is better to wait and see.
Find out more about The RealReal: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/05/the-realreal-is-opening-a-real-store-in-new-york-and-other-news-from-ceo-julie-wainwright/