The RealReal online clothing store has taken a unique approach to shopping. According to its website it is the leader in authenticated luxury consignment. Started and based in San Francisco, California in March of 2011, this company is growing rapidly into a hot spot for luxury shopping at discount prices. The RealReal offers a large selection of pre-owned and authenticated high-end items including men and women’s luxury fashion, jewelry, and fine art. They sell pieces from designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex, as well as art from artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, along with hundreds of others you can find listed on their website. They offer good benefits for consignors of their products and have countless promotions for shoppers and opportunities to have memberships receiving many more benefits.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Days to Return
Our Score
#1
Low
365
7.8
#2
Average
30 days
7.7
#3
Low
30 days
7.7
#18
The Real Real - Corporate Logo Image.
High
21 Days
6.4

The Good

This online company provides its customers with many benefits for both shopping and selling products through their website. Some of the benefits include:

  • Wide variety of product selection
  • Numerous promotions and sales on luxury items
  • Membership and Consignor privileges

The RealReal has a large selection of pre-owned items. They sell men and women’s merchandise as well as art pieces from well-known artists. Their products range from accessories, dresses, jewelry, handbags, shoes, ties, suits, outerwear and many more. Along with the many luxury fashion items sold, fine art is also sold through consignors. Each item sold goes through an authenticity process where it is evaluated by a team of experts in each respective field. They have professionals on staff including gemologists, horologists, and art appraisers to ensure that each item sold is authentic.

First views of The RealReal’s website show promotions and sales that are easily accessible for the consumer. These promotions are constantly changing and the website gives you clearly marked start and end times for each sale. It is also clearly shown whether or not an item has already been sold or if it is still available. The website has colorful, interactive graphics that catch shoppers attention and make the buying experience both easier and more enjoyable.

Consignors with The RealReal are offered sixty percent of the sale price from the very first time their items are brought to the online store. They can then increase their profits by selling more merchandise, once they reach 7,500 in annual sales their earnings are increased to seventy percent. This company also offers a “white glove” pick up service in most cities. The service is used when a consignor has more than ten designer items and a Luxury Manager will be sent to pick-up the items at no cost. The RealReal also offers benefits for shoppers who join their First Look Membership. This program is only five dollars a month and entitles members to 24-hour advance access to sales and special invitations to monthly promotions.

The Bad

Like many stores, The RealReal is far from perfect. Although selling pre-owned luxury items keeps the business unique, it also creates many of its complications and the company has a difficult time producing pleasing customer reviews. Some of the main concerns for The RealReal are:

  • High price-tag for pre-owned merchandise
  • Complicated shipping and handling procedure
  • Difficult return process

While items with small price tags do exist on The RealReal, they are few and far between. Most of the merchandise sold on the website comes from famous fashion designers and artists and has a price tag to match its origination. Even though the products are pre-owned, they often sell like new. Although there are many sales on the clothing items, and customers are given plenty of opportunity to buy luxury, high-end items at discounted prices, the overall price tag of merchandise on The RealReal is costly.

The Shipping and Handling procedure on The RealReal’s website is anything but user friendly. They do not offer free shipping on any limit of merchandise and will not deliver to P.O. boxes, APO/FPO address, and most of the U.S. Territories. There is also a fee charged to deliver in some areas including Hawaii and Alaska. They ship via FedEx from warehouses in the NY tri-state area and travel to street addresses only in the United States and some international locations. Many of the problems or concerns customers have with shipping and handling can be easily discussed with the company’s customer service team. They are easily accessible through their website or by phone number.

Along with the difficulty of shipping and handling, the return process at The RealReal is not simple. In order to return an item purchased on the website, a return merchandise authorization number must be requested within fourteen days of the shipment date. The customer must then after receiving their authorization number, return the purchase within twenty-one days of the shipment date. The customer is also responsible for all shipment costs of the return. The RealReal then asks customers to allow them a minimum of ten days to process the return item before a refund is given. Additionally, the company will never accept swimwear or sale items for return.

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The Bottom Line

With a unique approach to shopping by selling pre-owned high end luxury items, The RealReal has created an online niche that appeals to many consumers. Their easy to use website has made costumers enjoy purchasing materials through numerous sales and promotions as well as given consignors an easy way to sell their luxury merchandise and earn additional profit by offering sixty to seventy percent of the sale price. They have a wide variety of product selection that is offered for both men and women, and provide customers with benefits by joining their shopping program. Although, this does not mean this company is without faults. Shipping and handling can be challenging for both the consignor and the purchaser and returns through the website are difficult to follow through. The merchandise is also high priced for pre-owned items. The RealReal has been in business a short four years and has rapidly grown into the leader of authenticated luxury consignment. The company has things to work on and in the future could be a perfect destination for luxury merchandise.

Price

The Real Real prices are high in comparison to other online clothing stores. The majority of their items are luxurious and of higher quality.

Experience

They have been in business for 4 years.

Promotions

There are multiple promotions offered throughout this companies site.

Shipping

No free shipping is offered. Costs depend on item and location.

Returns

Returns can be made within 21 days from the purchase date.

Men/Women

Products are available for both men and women.

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27 The RealReal Reviews

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  1. User Score

    8

    January 6th, 2017

    my advise is to look at your purchase item carefully before buying and they do list not returnable on clearance item, over all still good site for brand name. I will still shop this site

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  2. User Score

    5

    December 27th, 2016

    I bought from the Realreal several times and l’m overall satisfied.

    However not all descriptions of their items is accurate. I bought a sweater from them in ‘very good condition’ and it was rather worn with loose seams and had stains on it. I send back pictures to customer service who wasn’t very helpful, but at least I got a store credit for the issue. International shipping is rather expensive.

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  3. User Score

    8

    December 20th, 2016

    I made several purchases from The Real Real this year and I love it. The sizes and conditions were exactly as described. I am new to luxury brands and The Real Real has introduced me to how great a garment or handbag can be. I recently had a purchase stolen due to a careless mistake by a Fed Ex driver. Much to my surprise and delight, The Real Real refunded my purchase. I was touched that they trusted me and cared about my business. I have never consigned with them or purchased items over $250, but I am very happy so far and will continue buying from them.

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  4. User Score

    0

    December 15th, 2016

    I bought chanel booties only to discover they were very very obvious fakes….. they agreed, returned them and….. then put them back up on the site….. but….. when I approached them and said hey… it’s back up you said it was a fake… what’s going on…. they said… no way.. and gave me a canned reaponse. They have 10 more pairs just like them up there all for over $300!!

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    3

  5. User Score

    6

    December 12th, 2016 San Diego, CA

    RR only uses FedEx for delivery, and requires you to sign for packages valued $995 or over. The issue lies with FedEx new non-customer friendly policy of “one delivery attempt only,” for signature- required packages. If a customer isn’t available during a FedEx random attempt, the package is held at a FedEx location and you are required to drive for package pick up. They will not attempt to re-deliver. They deliver up until 8pm which means you are tied to your home/business until then.

    Requests for RR to use another carrier with more customer-friendly policies were met with a “sorry, too bad” type response. Their carrier choice ruins the experience on the consumer end, and acts as a deterrent for purchasing pricier merchandise due to the inevitable inconvenience of Federal Express.

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    1

  6. User Score

    1

    December 1st, 2016 Lewiston, ME

    The customer service of this company is the WORST, hands down I have come across. They refuse any returns even when they are at fault i.e.: item not as described or even worse FAKE Designer bags! They also heavily courted me to get consignment pieces from my collection only to drop the ball after I had done all the work of entering everything into their spread sheets etc. After multiple emails I was told the person who had been handling my consignment account wasn’t with the company anymore and was turned over to another “specialist” from whom I NEVER Heard from even after repeated attempts to contact her. Seriously a terrible company.

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  7. User Score

    0

    November 29th, 2016 Waltham, MA

    Returned a pair of shoes because they where described incorrectly. I sent them back with other items which I got a full refund for but the realreal is stating they know nothing about the shoes. Very poor customer service. They do not want to help or fix their mistake. If you return an item good luck with getting your money back. Unethical company. Its unfortunately that this had to happen where I was a good customer and I will not be buying again from them. Buyer beware.

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    3 1

  8. User Score

    10

    November 18th, 2016

    I have been purchasing and consigning at TheRealReal for over four years and find both their website a treasure trove of merchandise and customer care above the rest.
    They are very prompt in response to a request and have found they resolve issues with prompt courteous service.They aim to please and if not pleased will make it right.
    TheRealReal is my favorite purchasing site bar none.

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    1 3

  9. User Score

    0

    November 15th, 2016 Brooklyn, NY

    DO NOT SHOP ON THIS SITE!!!! I purchased one bag here and it is clearly a fake. not only that, but it was described as “like new” but when I received it, the bag had missing stitching and scratches and a horrible smell. Within one week the leather on the bag began to wear off, as if someone had painted over damaged leather with some sort of marker. I have worn it less than a month and the leather straps are “chipping” – for lack of a better term. This is a total piece of garbage. Do NOT buy from these people.

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    7

  10. User Score

    10

    November 15th, 2016

    I love this website. Great to consign and buy from. I’ve done business with them for the last year and have never been anything but happy. Not sure about all the negative feedback.

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  11. User Score

    10

    November 9th, 2016

    I love their site. Ive purchased a number of items and all have been beautiful and have been very happy with them every single time

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    1 2

  12. User Score

    10

    November 8th, 2016 Louisburg, NC

    The RealReal not only allows you to buy “gently used” high end merchandise at affordable prices their customer service is top notch! I needed to return an item that didn’t fit but I had lost the information sent with it. I emailed them and within 8 hours I had a reply on how and where to return it. When you have questions or concerns they respond immediately
    I highly recommend this site.

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    2

  13. User Score

    0

    October 27th, 2016 Richland, WA

    Purchased a Marc jacobs bag- first time I ever bought used period- I read the description which. Ever mentioned a sharpie mark of the number 3 on inner flap
    Which can be seen. Contacted customer service only to be told it’s not returnable because it was on sale.
    I certainly can not recommend this company. I have contacted my credit card and will let them deal with the “Real Real” I would caution strongly any one considering purchasing through this organization. I wish I had researched and read the reviews before spending a dime.

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    8 1

  14. User Score

    1

    October 24th, 2016

    I can honestly say I was one of the realreals “first” customers….. I was obsessed with the site in its early days, and continued use for several years. I can’t say anything about these claims that they send “fakes” out…… because honestly I have never gotten that impression and definitely never received a fake item….. my problem is with their “consignment” gimmick….. for as much stuff as they have for sale, they are the lousiest consignment operators in history. They are EXTREMELY picky, although clearly accept sub-par items when they’re running low on inventory…. and they will do whatever it takes to pay the owner as little as possible. I sent a box of probably 20 items….. out of all that versace, dior, saint laurent, etc….. they only wanted to “accept” one piece….. then I received a BILL for shipping my items BACK to me…. in the end, after a month of arguing with them, and 2 months of WAITING for them to process items, I received a measly check of $10.11 for a dolce and gabanna shirt they sold for $95….. and then they wanted to KEEP the other 19 items until I paid for shipping to return the box of clothes back to me…. they issued the check to my screen name, not my billing info, so my whopping $10.11 check was therefore useless and unchashable. Which honestly was fine, and I never even bothered. I told them they could have just kept the check and issued me a store credit (which was really all I had wanted anyways) but instead I walked away with nothing but a piece of paper. Terrible customer service, awful gimmick of a consignment deal, this place will ROB you….. that occured 3 years ago, and I have stayed true to my claim I will not shop or consign with them again. The last item I purchased was a supposed Chanel ring from a “cruise 2011 collection”….. and while I cannot claim it was a fake, there is ZERO evidence to support that it was from any collection in 2011, nor anything to even hint at it being in chanels “cruise” or “summer” line….. I wonder how they came to That assumption.

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    7 1

  15. User Score

    2

    October 24th, 2016 Mukwonago, WI

    This company has sent me 4 fakes. I’ve ordered quite a bit (maybe 15 over 2 years) and things are either counterfeit, or FAR worse than described. I’ve had success with about 4 items, in 15 purchases. I’ve even received items a totally different brand than advertised, or different size. Their descriptions are a joke, very lacking. Clothing has holes or missing belt etc.. and even if something is their fault, you are charged shipping and it is never refunded. Even when you insist. The $11 hasn’t been worth the fight, but it’s the principal. SHAME on this company! I’ve given them enough chances, hardly anything is returnable without a fight. Never again. Beware of shopping on this website.

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    7 1

  16. User Score

    3

    October 7th, 2016 New York, NY

    Customer Service is a nightmare. I sent in items two weeks ago to sell and still cannot get them to confirm they were received. The luxury manager doesn’t get back to me. I’m not consigning here ever again. I had a big box of more items to send them, but I’m going to use Vestiaire Collective instead.

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    6

  17. User Score

    0

    September 21st, 2016

    I would have otherwise been perfectly happy with the company and delivery however my dress arrived, with a HUGE hole in each pocket! They are unusable and this was definitely NOT advertised on the dress whatsoever with the dress condition described as “very good”. I will spread the word amongst my friends to never use this company!! Whats more is I have emailed them asking to supply the cost of fixing the dress, but no response!! Terrible customer service!!!

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    9 1

  18. User Score

    0

    September 13th, 2016

    I spent several thousands of dollars with this company. The last sale I did with them was for 5 items. After almost 2 weeks they STILL hadn’t shipped my order. I phoned their customer support because they never answered my email. The rep told me she was sorry, she’d get the warehouse to shop my order, and would refund my shipping charge as credit to my account which was good for 30 days. After a week, they STILL hadn’t shipped my order, but before I could call & complain again, they sent me an email that one of my items, a sweater, was not available for shipment (no reason was given) and they refunded the $41 to my account which was only good as credit FOR THREE DAYS, at which time they took my money. They have gave me an additional credit for my trouble, which was good for 30 days! Are you kidding me? And then they re-post that very same sweater they said was not available back on their website a day later for $95! This is how they treat their first look members, which I paid an additional $10 a month to these people for. I cancelled my membership, deleted their app from my phone, unsubscribed from their emails, sent them a scathing email telling them they’ve lost me as a customer over a measly $41 compared to the thousands I’ve spent with them, and I hope they choke on it.

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    8 1

  19. User Score

    2

    September 11th, 2016 Pueblo, CO

    There are lots of choices and some great offerings at RealReal. Their sales are pretty good. Their customer service is really lousy and they seem to want to hunt for exuses not to help you or find technicalities in why they can’t give you the promotions that they tried so hard to promote.

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    5 2

  20. User Score

    2

    September 9th, 2016 Irvine, CA

    I was expecting product that was gently used – not new with new pricing.. If I wanted new I would have gone to the designers website or amazon.. not impressed

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    3 2