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The RealReal: Selling Authentic Luxury Products Online

The RealReal: Selling Authentic Luxury Products Online

The internet is a great resource for people who are looking for pre-owned items that are being sold for a lower price. However, the risk of buying fakes is high, especially if someone is looking at a pre-owned luxury item. This dilemma of people who do not want to buy fakes online gave Julie Wainwright the idea to establish a different kind of retail business. In 2011, she founded The RealReal, which has become the largest pre-owned luxury online retailer in the world. Through her efforts, the company became known around the world, and they managed to increase their market size to serve millions of people who are looking to buy pre-owned luxury items. Julie Wainwright’s decision to create that kind of business allowed her to become a successful entrepreneur.


The company owns a huge warehouse situated in Brisbane, California, and most of the items obtained from their consignors are being brought here for further authentication and testing. Once the item managed to get through the meticulous eyes of the authenticating experts, it will be photographed and uploaded to their website. Julie Wainwright said that the company is able to upload between 2,000 to 4,000 new items daily, and they are expecting these items to be shipped within 72 hours. With more than 10,000 consignors on their list, the company would never run out of supply. More people are also approaching them to become their consignors, which has become a great opportunity for those who own luxury items.


There are two ways on how to become a consignor. According to Julie Wainwright, they can send a luxury manager to a location where the consignor lives if there are 10 or more luxury items to be presented. This program, called the White Glove service, will pick up the items from the consignor’s home and ship it to their warehouse without any cost. On the other hand, if there are less than 10 items presented, the consignor can ship it to the company’s warehouse without any cost. They can ask for a free consignment kit that will be provided by the company. At the warehouse, the items will be authenticated, and once it is approved, it will be uploaded to their online store.

About the Brand

Julie Wainwright welcomes all luxury brands, but she highlighted that there are some which outperform the others. Gucci, for example, is one of their best-selling brands in the warehouse. The management of Gucci embraced the business structure of The RealReal and has welcomed the reselling of Gucci branded items on their website. On the other hand, there are brands who have been vocal against the business structure established by Julie Wainwright. Take Chanel for example, which has recently filed a case against the company. Chanel has been accusing Julie Wainwright and her company of selling fake products, and Chanel also wanted the company to stop selling their brands because they are not an official retailer. Julie Wainwright dismissed the lawsuit filed against her company and stated that she can face them in court without the fear of having her business closed down. She was backed with those who love the service from the company, saying that the fiasco means that Chanel does not want people from buying their products at a lower price.

The RealReal

Despite the lawsuit filed against The RealReal, Julie Wainwright is still optimistic that the company will continue to operate. More people are becoming interested in the business structure of the company, and they are signing in as an official consignor. Julie Wainwright is also happy to announce that their consignors who are sending items for their online store kept on supporting the luxury retail industry by buying new luxury items.


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