Learning about Julie Wainwright’s the RealReal

For thousands of years, humans have been concerned with being better than others – or at least appearing that way. As such, excessively expensive luxury goods aren’t a new thing. Today’s hottest luxury clothing and accessory brands aren’t thousands of years old, though – speaking of thousands – many such items’ prices range all across the thousands.

People still want to buy luxury consumer goods even if they can’t readily afford them. That’s where luxury consignment stores like The RealReal step in. Using such websites, locating specific items is often difficult, though The RealReal and company typically offer broad selections of all luxury clothing, accessory, and lifestyle brands.

#What is The RealReal?

Julie Wainwright, most previously the Chief Executive Officer of both Reel.com and Pets.com, created the luxury good consignment sale hub in 2011. Having made a career in e-commerce well before her most recent digital venture was founded, Wainwright decided to create the company after she recognized a niche that had generally gone unfulfilled.

That niche was finding luxury goods for sale from reputable online retailers. Julie Wainwright has remarked that the Internet’s most sizeable online retailers like Amazon weren’t typically able to handle luxury good sales because its market wasn’t active enough; Amazon and other full-sized digital retailers struggle to handle expensive products with little demand because the scale is the name of their figurative game.

#Here’s how Julie Wainwright thought of RealReal

Ms. Wainwright and a friend – both upper-class people – were out shopping and ran across a small store with no more than a few items made by top-shelf designer brands. The next day, Julie Wainwright remembers trying to sell various clothes, accessories, and other goods of designers’ manufacture and having a hard time.

Selling them online was difficult because potential buyers couldn’t authenticate the legitimacy of such items; the only time consumers felt comfortable buying products was from tried-and-true online retailers with long histories. Wainwright then tried selling her items through a brick-and-mortar retailer on consignment, though collecting her share of revenues turned out to be elusive. Lastly, Julie thought she should at least try a pawn shop out, though she claimed the experience to be “disgusting.”

#RealReal isn’t just in operation for turning profits

The company, even though almost all of its sales come through the Internet, offers classes to virtually everyone at its select brick-and-mortar locations. Wainwright enjoys helping the general public understand how to differentiate between fake and real items of various brands for free; after the experiences she had in 2010 – going to pawn shops, consignment retailers, and trying out eBay – Julie Wainwright felt sympathetic to everyone out for designer products that wasn’t an expert in top-shelf retail sales.

#Julie Wainwright’s e-commerce creation is unique in a number of ways

Not too many businesses fund research programs at colleges and universities, though Wainwright ponied up an undisclosed sum to have a principal gemologist’s position named after the company at the University of Arizona’s College of Science.

Julie has invested in professional photographers to capture the true, unique form of every item the company has for sale. Most other digital retailers simply use stock photos, though plenty of other retailers – both of top-shelf and consumer-class goods – are following suit after Wainwright.

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