As consumers become more budget conscious, they often search for ways to purchase luxury items at reduced costs. Though some might be fine with purchasing off-brand versions of these items, others appreciate the quality and workmanship of the real brands. One way to find and afford these items is through consignment shops. Many specialized consignment shops have opened over the years, from furnishings to art and decor to clothing and accessories. One very successful online luxury consignment shop is The RealReal (https://www.therealreal.com ).
The RealReal’s CEO is Julie Wainwright. She founded the online consignment shop in 2011, and the business became very successful. The company has expanded to include brick and mortar stores in Los Angeles and New York City. They consign many brand/designer items including clothing (men’s, women’s, and even children’s), art, watches, home furnishings and decor, and jewelry.
People who own luxury, designer brand items and desire to sell them will many times work through consignment shops such as The RealReal. They will send their items to The RealReal’s central e-commerce center in New Jersey. The items are evaluated initially on their condition, and whether they are suitable for re-sale. Next, each item is inspected for authenticity to confirm that it is actually the brand that it is labeled. For jewelry and watches, they are inspected by actual gemologists and horologists for authenticity. After the item is authenticated, it then goes through a copyrighting process, where the team creates a detailed description of the item, including sizes, dimensions and other measurements. The price is set utilizing The RealReal’s sales database of over 8 million items and market demand. The item is then professionally photographed, stored in the e-commerce centers, and placed online for sale.
The consignment model is very beneficial to many people. The sellers can pay a fee for the shop owners to sell their products, thus relieving the burden of self-advertising and haggling. Shop owners make money without having specific inventory to keep. Consumers can purchase quality items for less. The RealReal consignment shop is a very successful example of this mode of commerce.