The RealReal: A Fashion Frontier

The RealReal, an online luxury consignor with locations across the US, was the source for an article written in Digiday, an international media publication. The article discussed The RealReal’s unique business niche, their pup-up venture, and how these things contribute to their overall success.

According to Allison Sommer, director of marketing for The RealReal, pop-up stores cultivate increased brand awareness and appreciation by offering a physical location. “Once somebody walks in and gets sucked into the cool features and values of the brand, they become loyalists,” she said.

The first RealReal pop-up in New York brought in 2 million dollars, preceding the one in SoHo which was also a success. The company is looking to test several markets with pop-ups in a variety of locations throughout the following year, given that “the average order value in store is six times that of online orders,” according to Sommer.

As a result of their San Francisco pop-up locale, the company saw a significant increase in online buyers in that area. The RealReal is devoted to creating world-class experiences for their customers, online and in their stores, including such services as an on-site cafe, flower shop, authentication specialists, and gemologists. They will have in-store offices where sellers can receive quotes on luxury items they offer for consignment.

Julie Wainwright, former chief executive of, founded The RealReal in her home in 2011. The idea behind her luxury consignment e-commerce company was that she didn’t want to do anything that Amazon would — or could — do well. She didn’t want a niche that Ebay could encroach on either, and that led to creating a marketplace of pre-owned, authenticated luxury items that would be profitable for sellers and would create trust for buyers.

The unique thing about The RealReal is that they are actually creating a new market as they go; many of their buyers have never bought consignment items and many of their sellers have never consigned before either.

With sophistication, innovation, and an almost religious commitment to authenticity, The RealReal promises to be a benchmark in trustworthy luxury consignment.

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