The company accepts men's and women's luxury fashion, children's clothing, fine jewellery and watches, and fine art and home. Consignors can earn up to 80% commission for their items, and most sell within a week. The company has a team of certified gemologists and authentication experts on staff who inspect every item received. In 2015 it opened four bricks-and-mortar locations in key markets offering free valuations for fine jewellery and watches with no obligation to consign.
The RealReal leverages key tenants of the circular economy by extending the lifecycle of luxury goods. There are millions of luxury goods in the market, many of which sit in people's homes unused or end up in landfills. By providing an easy way for consignors to remove products from their homes, and buyers to access it, the company has disrupted its industry and removed the friction that has been associated with consignment in the past. The company's appreciation of luxury materials and expert craftsmanship has driven it to continuously innovate across all areas of the cycle including aggregation methods, item processing, merchandising, storage, and shipping.
New initiatives include the addition of new categories, efficiencies in furniture pickup and shipping, integrating sustainable practices in office and warehouse operations, integration of more sustainable shipping materials, and less paper waste in purchases.
The RealReal's goal is to change the way people think about the luxury items they own and purchase. It is no longer true that once an item is purchased its lifespan is over. By making it easy to resell luxury items through consignment, savvy shoppers are 1) taking advantage of an easy consignment service 2) shopping consignment with their earnings 3) re-consigning previously purchased items from consignment.
Luxury items now have several cycles. The net result is consumers seeking and purchasing better quality items that hold their value because they know they have a place they can get maximum return on their investments.
The long-term goal of The RealReal is to completely change consumer mindsets and behaviours to one of consideration of product lifecycles and long-term value of the purchases they make.