The Real Real’s Subtle Score

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On Thursday, April 2nd, there were two stories about The Real Real that hit the news but only one seemed to make the rounds everywhere.

Early that morning, the National Law Review reported that Judge Vernon Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York , dismissed a motion brought on by TRR against Chanel but what I’ve found interesting is not an hour later, Bloomberg released a video taped March 4th with Julie Wainwright getting her back up about their authentication practices and how they are the only company that authenticates 100% of the items they receive.

“In its decision, the court held that Chanel had plausibly alleged that TRR’s advertising regarding the authenticity of the products it sells was literally false or, in the alternative, impliedly false and likely to mislead or confuse customers.”

First off, is there any successful consignment store in business today that does not use some sort of authentication method? I can’t think of any that I would actually purchase anything from that does not authenticate EVERY SINGLE ITEM so the fact that she (Julie) keeps pushing that point is mute.

My second point is I understand that fakes will infiltrate the supply chain, especially when you’re processing that many items a month but at this point, why doesn’t she just admit it? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, her ego is going to be the downfall of that company.

Returns are going to happen and The RealReal’s customers, I think, appreciate the process that when they do purchase a counterfeit item, it can be returned but maybe change your message to something like you do everything “humanely” possible to make sure that your customers receive authentic luxury goods.” See? Not hard at all!

No consignment or resale store out there can claim to only sell 100% authentic items, it’s impossible and while I know you may have a different view, look at it this way. When you are processing items from 10+ different brands, how on earth can you know whether those items are indeed authentic? Employ “industry professionals” who specialize in just that brand? Think of the cost in that and even if you did have someone that knew, say, Chanel better than most, unless they actually worked at the brand for years and years, they still don’t know everything so your 100% needs to be downgraded to about 90%.

To read the article, click here. To read the filing, click here. To watch the Bloomberg video, click here.

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