Is The RealReal Selling Counterfeits?


Forbes released an article yesterday written by Richard Kestenbaum, Co-founder and Partner at Triangle Capital LLC on his experience of purchasing a counterfeit Dior Toile de Jouy Dior Book Tote.

So, does The RealReal sell counterfeits? Yes and no. Yes, because there are countless posts online with people receiving counterfeits and then here’s this articel but one thing I want to point out is this on not what The Real Real is about and should not be penalized for a mistake.

They have done more for the resale industry than any other company and when you’re that big, people are going to try and knock you down.

Do I believe that they sold a counterfeit? Yes. Do I believe that they did it on purpose? No. That’s the difference here.With the sheer amount of volume that they touch every single day, there is bound to counterfeits infiltrating their supply chain (hello, just use Entrupy) but it’s not a malicious thing and this article that was written makes it like it was.

While I believe it’s a known fact that copywriters are also tasked with authenticating items that come in, clearly their authentication process is in need of updating.

Monkey comparisonPhoto credit Triangle Capital LLC

Monkey comparison Photo credit Triangle Capital LLC

“The employees I met were open about having copywriters doing the authenticating, and I saw it myself. They do it by dividing products into what they consider to be “high-risk” or “low-risk” categories. Products that are known to attract forgers–either because they are very desirable, very popular, very expensive or some combination of the three–are sent to high-risk authenticators, who have more training and knowledge.

My sources say that the high-risk authenticators do as good a job as any human can; the problem is that not enough of the products go to them, and that’s how fakes get through. As a result, consumers are buying fakes, and no one knows how many because too many products are authenticated by copywriters.”

Any company that does the volume that The RealReal does, mistakes are going to happen and the fact that they stand behind it and accept the returns, just shows you again, they are on the top for a reason,

What I don’t understand is why this article was even written. First off, it;s kind of a hit job on the RealReal and what I cannot figure out is why the writer, Richard, purchased such a specific bag. Did he know it was counterfeit? How? Who told him or who is he working with?


The thrift store business has gone big-time. What used to be a local, mom-and-pop business has been tech-enabled, allowing what were local inventories of unique items to be available worldwide. Facilitated by venture capital and private equity, the resale business (as it’s now known) has scaled up, handling thousands of items and hundreds of millions of dollars of product.

The appeal is manifold: Consumers save money on brands they love and help the environment by giving old products new life. Consumers who’ve grown tired of (or just plain grown out of) what’s in their closets can turn their stuff into money to buy replacement products or other products they prefer. The impact goes well beyond resale and has potential to further chip away at the performance of department stores and off-price retailers like Burlington Coat, TJX (owner of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and others) and Ross Stores.

One of the key aspects of a resale company is authentication. There are a lot of fakes in the market, especially if the brands are high-end. (My fellow Forbes contributor and mentor Walter Loeb has an article about fakes here.) Having an intermediary with expertise who vouches for authenticity is an enormous value-add for consumers because it often takes an expert to detect forgeries. To continue reading

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