How The RealReal Cashes In on Pre-Owned Luxury Brands | WSJ

How The RealReal Cashes In on Pre-Owned Luxury Brands | WSJ

(light piano chords) – [Announcer] The Real Real,
a luxury consignment company with names like Hermes, Gucci,
and Stella reign supreme. The recently publicly listed company says it’s revolutionizing
resale and expects to sell nearly $1 billion
in luxury goods this year in retail stores and online. Anyone can consign by
shipping to the company, dropping of at one of
their consignment offices, or depending where you live and how much you’re
consigning, from your own home. Gavin Waters is one of
the Real Real’s so called luxury managers tasked
with these home visits before the items are
authenticated and listed for sale on the site. – Hi. – Hello. – So good to see you. – [Announcer] On this day, he’s consulting with Erin Hazelton, a writer who is one of the
Real Real’s VIP consignors. – You see anything here that
screams, get out of my closet? This is a Chanel. – Okay. You know, I kind of love this. – So what about this Victoria Beckham bag? I hardly used it, but I love it. – I think this half moon shape
is sort of on the decline so I would do it now before
it’s an even lower price. – I don’t like getting rid of Alaia, but I think it’s time. – This is a hard one. – So I feel like you know
that rule if you’ve had it for two years and you haven’t worn it. – It’s time to go. – Yeah. – So what I’m looking for when I’m going through a consignor’s pieces
is definitely the brand value. I think if it’s a brand
that’s super hot right now like Gucci, Balenciaga,
Dior, it definitely helps to go onto our marketplace. But I think cut also has
a big thing to do with it. What’s the story with this? – So, last year when I finished
treatment for breast cancer, this is the outfit I
wore to ring the bell. I get to do the first one. Ready? (bell ringing) It’s all Xs, goodbye cancer. – That’s gonna be in the
collection forever, of course. – But then there’s a
pair of pants that I wore the first day of chemo. I don’t know if I need to keep them. – Not that that’s memory. – You know what, goodbye. Goodbye. – I’d rather not have these here. I think when describing Erin’s collection, you see so much of her
personality and the fun pieces, the serious pieces, the dramatic pieces. It’s really sophisticated. The materials, the quality
are all incredible, but there’s a large sense of fun with her. When you know Erin and
you see her dressing, I think it just is such a
personification of who she is and the life that she
brings to everything. – It was really beautiful. – Oh, I think it’s true, no,
I think it’s such a privilege. – You’re so nice. Who knew I would get
emotional about clothes. – That’s a personal thing. I mean, I think, you know. – My other children. – You go a lotta kids in here. – Seriously. I have been consigning for four years. I consign a lot so I have
VIP status which means I get 70% return on any
item that’s over $200. Sometimes I get 20 bucks,
sometimes I sell things and I get a lot more than that. These shoes for sure,
I’m ready to part with. – (mumbles). – Oh no, don’t do that to me. – I know, I always make you second guess. – I was excited about doing
Ebay, but just the work of like shooting it, dealing with people. – I get to keep it. – The Real Real takes a cut,
but you don’t do anything. Gavin comes here, takes the stuff, done. – [Driver] Hello. – The pieces I got from
Erin today as always a great assortment. She’s a smaller size
which definitely helps. We got some Alaia pieces. Alaia sells really really
well on our platform. It has a very strong almost
cult following for the cut and the design. Those pieces are fairly
close to retail and they sell pretty consistently on our marketplace. – [Announcer] The Real
Real has three brick and mortar stores in
New York and Los Angeles and 11 luxury consignment
offices across the United States. Authentication is an essential part of the company’s strategy with its 100% authenticity
guaranteed promise. – I just left on of my VIPs. I want to see if you have a
chance to look some stuff over. – Sure, yeah, drop it off. – Perfect. – [Announcer] The Real
Real says it authenticates thousands of items per day. – Authentication is
paramount to our business we’re called the Real Real. It’s so important that we
put it in our name twice. Guaranteeing that everything
we sell is the real deal, the legit article is so important. Authenticity is what
differentiates us from a lot of other players in the market. – [Announcer] But the Real
Real’s authentication strategy has ruffled some feathers. French fashion house Chanel
has sued the Real Real accusing the company of selling fakes. Chanel’s website states
that there is only one way to ensure that articles are genuine, purchase them only in Chanel boutiques or from retailers authorized by Chanel. The Real Real says it unequivocally
rejects Chanel’s claims and will continue to accept pieces from all in demand luxury brands. Wetzbarger inspects one of Erin Hazelton’s dresses, the Alaia. – You wouldn’t necessarily
think that a brand like Alaia would be counterfeited,
but it absolutely is. On an inferior counterfeit piece, they would have fewer seams, fewer pieces, to make it cheaper and faster. Often times on counterfeits,
they’ll use letter sizing, small, medium, large, extra large. But most French and Italian
brands will use European sizing, 38, 40, 42, et cetera. So that’s something to look out for. I’ve been in luxury resale for a long time and it started off as
everyone’s dirty little secret. Even consignors and customers
didn’t want to talk about it. But now people are proud and they’re sharing their success stories. And brands are starting
to come around too. They know that if there’s
equity in their products in the secondary market, then
their product is more popular in the retail market. You’re not gonna buy a
car you can’t resell, you’re not gonna buy a house
that depreciates in value. It’s the same way with fashion, people are making savvy
investment decisions in their wardrobe knowing and thinking about the resale value. (upbeat contemporary music) – I think people are just
slowly becoming more conscious about the environment. Clothes don’t break down
and you can donate them. But if they don’t sell,
they go into, you know, an landfill somewhere
and sit there for years and years and years. Isn’t that amazing? – Wow. I mean, (mumbles), that is amazing. – It’s better than just
sitting in somebody’s closet. At least somebody else gets to
wear it and feel good in it. You know what I mean? It has a second life. It’s like I guess, a piece of art.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I’m in vintage luxury business and their authentification is not reliable, I’ve seen counterfeit items on their website on multiple occasions. And because they authentificate “thousands of items”, they do a sloppy job, working on the turnover and not the quality.

  2. 5:10 You can touch the Birkins! ❤️❤️❤️
    I'm so going to visit The RealReal. I might find a good Burberry Trenchcoat that I like.

  3. I dropped off a $5000 Vera Wang dress at the store in melrose. They took it and then promptly LOST IT. They said they would pay me what they would have listed it for… and lowballed me with a payout of $135 bc they had nothing to appraise! It was so offensive. Now I couldn’t even get my dress back to sell somewhere else. It took weeks of back and forth with them to pay me a little more, but still heinously low considering they lost my item but I just wanted to get it over with. My first and LAST dealing with them. Don’t bother consigning with The Real Real!! Avoid these crooks!

  4. ابتعدوا مني يالرجال الحشرات العروبية الشفارة يوما ما ساقلتكم و ااشعل الحرب عليكم ابتعد مني يالنصابة الله يدمركم كما دمرتوني لا اريد الزواج بكم يالمذلولين

  5. Don’t use this site!!! They sell fakes. Not even a week ago a new report from the business of fashion was published sayin that they have people who are not qualified to the the job of verifying items doing the job an expert should be doing so a lot of fake products are being sold. They even had a fake copy of a designer who only made heels and they were selling flats and the designer out them saying they were selling fake items. Do not buy from them!!!

  6. I just recently read an article on Google about the real real that said, most of their stuffs are not really authenticated coz the authenticators have to authenticate a number of many goods to be able to meet their daily and monthly goals …. so they don’t take their time to authenticate lots of their stuffs .. so I’ve switched to fashionphile now , I don’t trust the real real anymore..

    They say they 100% authenticate but they really don’t ..

  7. I'm guessing if a charity gets a authentic Chanel bag they will sue that charity for selling a bag they consider fake even though it's authentic defintely not buying anything Chanel now!

  8. You're better off listing your own stuff on eBay, these people take a lot and charge too much. Also, the guy at 3:51 doesn't have enough rings on.

  9. People who come are great but then the site lists your items for nothing and allow people to use a 20% coupon on top of that! You have no control over what they ask! If it sells before you ask for it back, you’re out of luck! Sell on your own! If you want to buy things, you can get great though. Just be careful that they are not fakes and are Realreal

  10. I bought my first bag from them… only to find I could have bought a new one in Europe for the same price.LOL

  11. 70 percent viscose and 25 percent polymade, ewwwwww the fabric quality of that alaia dress is horrible. Well only 'if' its of the outer fabric and not the inner lining. Though from the skirt part i see no inner lining

  12. The " RealSteal" lost 2 very expensive and rare designer clothing items. They lied to me for months after asking for them back. They took no responsibility for " not being able to find my new Chanel and other high end French designer clothing." Do NOT to business with the "RealSteal !"

  13. I love the real real! I have bought so many items from them in great quality and all authentic!! Best online re-seller there is.

  14. This was beautiful. I loved her environmental and social thoughts at the end. Someone else can feel happy and something doesn’t go to landfill for a thousand years before breaking down. I hope this buyer consciousness and the second life of a piece is being implemented by brands going forward.

  15. Go to @Reinvintagecollection they sell authentic archive fashion, actually there are plenty of other small businesses that sell REAL luxury brands and furniture on Instagram who are owned and ran by people who work in the industry as stylist ect. It’s a legit passion for them not just a finesse game of chain stores or a “Higher” end Plato’s closet 😆

  16. I just cant get over him wearing nasty sliders with a suit! YUCK!!!!! Lazy people shoes! unless you are at the beach or in the shower sliders are not proper foot wear! And your feet will remind you of it later in life! and expensive clothes? Divide it out by how many times you will wear it to justify it……If you only wear something once, why would you spend hundreds or thousands on it, I don't care if you are rich! It's wasteful

  17. Wow….its hard to imagine that this world exists. The clothes i give to goodwill are often rejected…..REJECTED BY GOODWILL! How can THAT many people afford to spend that much money on clothing? How is that possible??? Absolutely fascinating!

  18. I work as a fashion promoter for many luxury brands, I have to go to the main warehouse to check the quality of the items sometimes, trust me the real price of them are like 3-4 times cheaper. So when they sell off like 50%, they still get a lot of profit from these items. The real value is not for the items, it is for the company, for the luxurious boutiques in special positions in the malls, for the handsome bonuses to the staff LOL and for the experience. Wealthy people are dumb!

  19. in japan some used luxury brands are cheap. some of the items went to japan surplus and ukay ukay here in philippines

  20. I made very good bargains at TheRealReal. It's my absolute favorite consignment store. I love them. Highly recommended!

  21. This company should be more transparent with the items they sell. I purchased an $800 Louis Vuitton backpack from them that was in worse condition than their pictures showed. The Real Real purposefully took pictures in angles that hid the damage to the straps of the backpack. Now I have to pay more money for Louis Vuitton to replace the straps. Had I known this item was faulty I would not have purchased it. Selling bags as "final sale" while hiding their true condition and expecting the consumer to be okay with their sneaky sales tactics is abhorrent.

  22. Don't waste your money go to Goodwill, salvation army, thrifty store.
    Billion dollar industry yeah right, it's all rich people's game don't fall for it.
    Pay your rent, pay car insurance, pay gas, buy your children some clothes & shoes, buy a new car don't waste your money on high end brand names it's all scam.

  23. Yeah – us big girls have NO chance. Shoes and accessories, maybe. And comparing cars to clothing doesn't work. Clothing is intimate; it's been lived in, sweated in, perfumed in, and been right next to your skin. A car can't say that.

  24. These people think that if you raise your voice at the end of each sentence then that is the truth. Just came from Diet Prada.

  25. I use to work at the realreal and it felt like prison. The only thing management cared about was only the quota and it randomly got raised all the time. I use to see copywriters getting fired left and right due to not hitting their quota or having to many correction. It is true that no one outside of the authentication department was trained to authenticate. Working in the facility in Secaucus, NJ I felt like a bird trapped between concrete walls with no windows. Everyone working like slaves just to hit the quota meanwhile management would just get together, gossip and treat you like a number. I've seen people have mental breakdown and it got so bad that everyday I woke up I would punch the wall of my room because I did not want to go there, I had rather kill myself than be there. They treat the employees like robots and they lie to their customers.

  26. I love the real real!!! A perfect way to get luxury brands without all the hassle of going to a luxury boutique and retailers.

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