“San Francisco based e-commerce entrepreneur, Julie Wainwright established a fashion website which she called the RealReal. The company was established in 2011 and is known for selling authentic second hand designer consignments.
The company works with a consignment model, where sellers bring their goods over to the company, after due assessment on the value, the company then sells the items and share the proceeds. The company employs an in-house authentication team that reviews every item to ensure there are no fake products before they put them up for sale to the general public on their website.
RealReal started off as site where only women’s luxury fashion are sold. but now, they have expanded into selling of menswear, art, watches, jewelry etc. Last year, the company sold over $100 million in watches and fine jewelry.
The reason RealReal takes on selling jewelry in addition to the primary focus of selling apparels was to cater for their client base, who were always asking for their jewelry to be sold for them on the website. The company accepted for clients to bring in their jewelry and watches for sale on the site. There is a gemology and a watch expert on site to check the quality before it gets listed to the public. And this gesture exploded the business.
The RealReal business keeps expanding since inception. The company which was established only in Francisco, is now cutting across the whole USA and has opened about six valuation offices in the last 18 months. The valuation offices are located in New York, L.A., Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The RealReal company have over 800 employees across the country and has made about $123 million in venture funding by 2017. With the goal of achieving $500 million in gross merchandise value at the end of 2018.
The CEO of RealReal, Julie Wainwright mentioned she won’t be financing another investment after her company’s next round of private financing. But surprisingly, she is planning to embark on a new investment. This could be because the market for second hand goods is expanding and they need to ensure they are on top of it. On the other hand, it could be that the company is yet to reach the targeted goal for their investments in the sales of second hand goods.”