The RealReal, Its Story, And How It Came About

People generally purchase luxury goods because they convey social status and wealth; rarely do consumers look to brands like Louis Vuitton and Hermes for their quality. If luxury goods were cheap, they obviously wouldn’t hold the perceived value they’re known for; however, many people desire high-dollar brands. As such, people who aren’t wealthy or have considerably high incomes are interested in purchasing luxury goods via secondhand markets.

 

But here’s the problem with secondhand markets for luxury goods

 

Luxury handbags, shorts, and shoes don’t grow on trees – they’re produced by manufacturers. Businesses manufacture clothing and accessories all over the world at slim margins. Many are OK with breaking the law by creating counterfeit goods for sale on unregulated black markets.

 

These counterfeit items don’t always look exactly like the goods they replicate, though they certainly can. Few people want to run the risk of purchasing knockoff goods via secondhand luxury markets; after all, if others can spot that someone’s luxury items are fake, there’s no point in owning them.

 

Just until recently, consumers weren’t fortunate enough to have a reliable secondhand market for luxury goods to trust. However, after United States entrepreneur Julie Wainwright founded The RealReal, people all over the world have been able to spend less on real-deal, high-class items made by brands among the likes of Gucci and Supreme.

 

Who is Julie Wainwright?

 

Julie Wainwright has worked in business throughout her time as an adult on planet Earth. Ms. Wainwright started working for The Clorox Company – its name is self-explanatory; they started off with only Clorox under their belt, though the company is now a conglomerate – right after going to college, though she dealt with information technology within the business’ doors and also managed The Clorox Company’s brand.

 

She first became a chief executive officer in the late 1980s as Wes Boyd’s replacement at Berkeley Systems. Just a few years after hopping on board, Julie Wainwright was laid off.

 

Around the time of her departure, she found employment at the then-young Reel.com as its CEO and president. Eventually, Reel.com was gobbled up by Hollywood Video for $100 million. She next worked at Pets.ccom, though the website was short-lived.

 

In 2011, she created what’s known as the best secondhand market for luxury goods around the world – RealReal.

 

What is RealReal and what does it stand for?

 

The RealReal is a fully-fledged corporation that employs just north of 1,500 people. In the company’s most recent financial statements, Wainwright’s corporate creation indicated that it brought in some $500 million in gross sales.

 

Wainwright first thought of creating a secondhand market for expensive luxury goods after she tried selling some of her own. She recalls visiting pawn shops in hopes of selling some of her used items, though she didn’t receive high offers and felt “disgusting” spending time in such stores. Wainwright also knew she could outsource batches of her luxury-branded goods, though selling items on consignment is often associated with difficulties related to collecting payment from partnered retailers.

 

eBay didn’t work too well for Wainwright’s goals of reselling her used luxury items en masse because customers couldn’t be certain that such products were legitimate. That’s why she wanted to bring a resale platform to luxury goods – and she’s done just that.

 

It goes without saying that The RealReal is a unique company, though it goes above and beyond other resale markets for used goods in several ways. One such way of getting ahead for Julie Wainwright and company is by hiring professional photographers to take pictures of all items in stock.

 

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