The RealReal

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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 Our Score User Score
#1 7.3 3.2 Read Review
#2 6.2 1.5 Read Review
#3 5.4 3.9 Read Review
#9 4.1 3.2 Current

The Good

  • Wide Variety of Product Selection
  • Numerous Promotions and Sales on Luxury Items
  • Membership and Consignor Privileges

This online company provides its customers with many benefits for both shopping and selling products through their website.

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

  • High Price-tag for Pre-owned Merchandise
  • Complicated Shipping and Handling Procedure
  • Difficult Return Process

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:

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.

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.

37 The RealReal Reviews

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  • User Score

    8

    June 9th, 2017 Madison, WI

    Very satisfied with the merchandise purchased. The shipping rate is flat no matter the weight of clothing and jewelry and the return option IS NOT difficult and explained upon receipt of merchandise.

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  • User Score

    0

    May 28th, 2017 Prairieville, LA

    I purchased two LV handbags one of them is in very bad condition when they said it's in very good condition, the leather stinks really bad and the strap completely ripped off. I contacted customer service but they just ignored me. DONT BUY FROM THIS SITE

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  • User Score

    3

    May 13th, 2017

    During the last one year, I have spent a few thousands dollars on The RealReal. I made many purchases. In general, you can't really trust in what they said about the condition of the sales items. I recently bought a Roberto Cavali silk dres. In the website, it says it's in VERY GOOD Condition. However I found the dress was torn at the under arm area. I wonder whether the appraiser was half sleeping while making that judgement. A few other occasions, I found the pictures did not quite do the justification of what the sales items really looked like. Surprise! Some are good, and some are bad. I guess that's the shortcoming of online purchase. However, The RealReal charges nearly $12 per shipment and charges more for restocking and shipping fees for return, That really deters returning even the items I bought did not fit me or not what I expected. So, the items aren't that cheap if you take into account these unexpected expenses. And, The RealReal always makes money either way you do. And, once, I bought an item which clearly labeled NOT FOR SALE. I got a full refund. All in all, don't get too excited about shopping on the site.

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  • User Score

    0

    April 14th, 2017 Fredericktown, OH

    Terrible customer service. Received several damaged items that they wouldn't do anything about. Took items for consignment that were never listed or returned. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!

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    0 0
  • User Score

    1

    April 13th, 2017

    I bought a pair of YSL boots for $500 that is a fake and/or was faked to look newer. I wore them once and it appears some kind of plastic vinyl was placed to the sole to make them look newer. [SEE IMAGES] This vinyl is peeling and showing on the edges and is unsightly. Looking at the sole of other used YSL boot soles that show wore but not this plastic stuff. Clearly, this vinyl was used to disguise the fact that these shoes would have to be resoled straight away. I ask for a partial refund to cover the cost to resole these boots -- and since they are very likely to be fake. I am a size 33/34 so it takes me months to find stylish quality boots. They only offered that I return them. If I wasn't so desperate with extra small feet I'd have returned them. Instead, I have to live with overpaying for used shoes (cost me $160 to resole - so now I paid $750 for shoes that are $800 new)

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  • User Score

    0

    April 10th, 2017 Chatsworth, GA

    I sent The Real Real a Balenciaga Motocross Giant 12 iPad Case which I originally purchased at Barneys for over $400 several years ago. I shipped it in November of 2016 in perfect condition, and they JUST NOW SOLD IT on April 6th!! They listed it originally at $175, but said they would never go below 50% off. Instead they sold it for $75 (over 50% off), leaving me with a measly $42.63 commission! I could have done better selling it on Craig's List or Ebay! I HIGHLY do not recommend using The Real Real. It was a waste of my time and money!!!

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  • User Score

    0

    March 9th, 2017

    For international returns, they offer ZERO support. Despite asking to bill a return shipping to their DHL account (which would have been less costly) and have them deduct those costs from the refund, they refused to accommodate, saying they can't be responsible. Appalling! What they don't realize (and don't care about) is buyers in foreign countries are forced to pay customs and duties for these purchases, unless there is proof that the item is being returned, which the courier which did the original delivery could easily provide. If they can't provide the kind of customer service that one would expect to overseas customers, then maybe they shouldn't sell internationally in the first place. I won't be shopping with them again.

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  • User Score

    10

    February 8th, 2017 Dallas, TX

    I have gotten several pre-owned designer items from The Real Real. The quality has always been superior and the cost is reasonable based on the quality and brand. Most of the items come in their original packaging, but those that do not are packed in The Real Real's own fabric bag. I love this site and have never had a problem with counterfeits or items not being as described.

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    1 0
  • User Score

    0

    February 1st, 2017

    I consigned a Chanel bag with them, they ripped me off, sold it at one price and sent me a check for a price much lower than erases the entire bag sale off my account as if I wouldn't know the sale was ever made, I took pictures of everything so I had the proof when the bag was sold and for what price and commission rate, talked to customer support on the phone and they guaranteed I would get what I have proof off but when I email them to see why this issue hasn't been resolved yet the ignored me, 3 different reps I talked and they just ignored me but had no problem taking to me when they wanted me to consign more items.

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  • User Score

    10

    January 21st, 2017 Scottsdale, AZ

    I have purchased numerous things from The Real Real and never been disappointed. I look at the item I want thoroughly and read all the descriptive information. I have never received anything that was the least bit worn or shoddy in any way. I have purchased several things at a fraction of the original cost that were literally never worn. I have not had the same experience from other online consignment sites. I know that whenever I order something from The Real Real that the item will arrive in a timely manner and be "like new". I have also returned a few things due to sizing issues and never had a problem with that part of the site either. I have also sold many things on this site and had a great experience with their pricing of my items and received my checks for sold items when they are promised. This site is a legitimate place for purchasing items significantly lower than purchasing new and I always feel as though I have really gotten a deal! In addition, each item is wrapped in tissue and most things arrive in a drawstring bag. Good psychology in sending things as though they are new! This is my "go to" site when I am looking for anything before deciding to buy new.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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