One of the world’s top luxury consignors, The RealReal, is unequivocally shifting the way we shop, accessorize and experience fashion as a whole. The company knows all too well that luxury goods will always be a global hot commodity. They want others to understand that their pre-owned luxury goods can have a resale value of up to 80 percent. The company has positively encouraged its members to resell what they no longer use instead of discarding it in the trash. This not only helps its members make a good return on their investments, but it also helps to promote recycling.
As of today, the RealReal has over 9 million members and is reportedly worth more than $450 million. They have consigned over 8 million luxury items including ultra-rare pieces by Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Celine, and Rolex through its online, brick-and-mortar and pop-up shops. The luxury consignor’s chief merchant for its San Francisco office, Rati Levesque, focuses on educating its merchants on what’s currently trending up or spiraling down. She uses real-time data so the sales team can decide what item’s resale price should be raised, or what item should be stored away until it’s trending again.
The world of fashion is very fickle and ever-changing, a top designer’s piece that was once deemed outdated can make its way to the top again in an instant. And that is exactly what this company wants you to remember; your luxury goods will always have the potential to stay marketable. Levesque, an economics major, used to own an upscale boutique before she helped launched the RealReal back in 2011. The real-time data that she constantly updates her sales team with are eventually used to help each consignor successfully resell their goods. It’s up to them to let the consignors know that those fabulous pairs of Gucci boots are now selling like hotcakes, and now is the perfect time to give up a pair if they’re no longer wearing them.
Levesque also researches the past history of any type of luxury item that was ever consigned through the company. If an item didn’t sell well in the past, it was simply because it was overpriced. They would have to price these items a bit lower in hopes to see them move out of their ever-increasing inventory. She explained that everything showcased in-store is also available online during the same time. Due to this feature, the brick-and-mortar stores have practically turned into miniature warehouses where items can be picked, packed and shipped out if needed.
To help the sales team keep a constant eye on their inventory, the company relies on an RFID chip that is placed inside every tag. They can easily locate a vintage Louis Vuitton dress to have it shipped out immediately if it sells online. Or, if a customer takes an item in the fitting room, it will conveniently be placed on temporary hold online. The company has hired a team of stylists at their brick-and-mortar stores in New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA, to help push out inventory. They are trained to converse with their customers, in a rather tactful way, to let them know that what they’re buying will still hold its resale value and that they can make a nice profit when they’re done using it. It is a win-win situation that millions worldwide can’t help but agreed with.