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Company Profile

The RealReal is the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, resale luxury goods, with more than 24 million members. We are revolutionizing luxury resale by providing an end-to-end service that unlocks supply from consignors and creates a trusted, curated marketplace for buyers globally. We aggregate and curate unique, pre-owned luxury supply that is exclusive to The RealReal across multiple categories, including women’s, men’s, kids’, jewelry and watches, and home and art. We have built a vibrant marketplace that we believe expands the overall luxury market, promotes the recirculation of luxury goods and contributes to a more sustainable, circular world.



largest online marketplace for authenticated, resale luxury goods


2021 GMV


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GMV from repeat buyers


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Founder's Letter

June 28, 2019

To Our Current and Future Shareholders,

Welcome to The RealReal!

The RealReal represents my proudest achievement. This is in large part due to the unwavering trust of our consignors and buyers who enthusiastically engage with The RealReal every day. Through the dedication of our 1,700+ employees, and the commitment of our investors, we’ve developed a unique business model and reinvented resale for the luxury-focused, value conscious and sustainably-minded customer.


My years of leading companies seeking to transport old business models into the digital age informed the key tenets and values that drive The RealReal today. We are addressing an enormous market with a disruptive business model that relies on deep data insights and rigorous analysis to drive consignor and buyer engagement. As a result, we are constantly optimizing our business to build the foundation for long-term sustainable growth and profitability.

When I conceived of The RealReal, I was mindful of the competitive dynamics online. I created a map of the strengths of leading online companies and was looking for a market opportunity that would require a unique set of operational competencies to “unlock” its online potential. Then I had my “aha!” moment. I was shopping with a friend at an upscale boutique that carried full-priced designer shoes, jewelry and clothing in the front of the store, and offered beautifully merchandised designer goods on consignment in the back of the store. Much to my surprise, my friend bought the luxury consignment items— something I had never seen her do before. When asked about her purchase decision, she explained that she trusted the shop owner who curated the goods meticulously. She loved that she was finding great value on luxury products from designers she loved like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. She said she would not shop for pre-owned luxury goods at traditional consignment stores or online as she did not trust that they were real. Further, she had never consigned and felt it required too much work. This is when I realized that there was a unique opportunity to bring luxury consignment online.

My research confirmed the immensity of the primary luxury market. That market was expected to reach global annual sales of nearly $300 billion in 2018 with the United States accounting for less than a third of that total. Even more staggering was the cumulative value of under-utilized luxury items in good condition accumulating in people’s homes. I set out to create a business by injecting trust and service into the equation for consignors and buyers and leveraging data and technology to transform the luxury resale market. We opened the virtual doors of The RealReal on June 23, 2011, as the first marketplace solely offering authenticated luxury goods for buyers and full-service consultation and pick-up for consignors. The enthusiastic reception we received from both consignors and buyers quickly made it clear to me that we had a massive worldwide opportunity with significant competitive advantages.

In the intervening years, the five basic pillars upon which we have built our business are set forth below:


  1. Service. We infuse the consignment process with exceptional service, ease of use, pricing transparency and regular payments that keep consignors returning to us consistently.

  2. Trust. The trust engendered by our investment in authentication is the force that attracts buyers and keeps them coming back.

  3. Data. Unique data insights combined with artificial intelligence and our expert analysts’ judgment results in price optimization, increased sales velocity and business model efficiencies.

  4. Technology. Proprietary technology developed over eight years to manage the complexity of operating a marketplace with up to 14,000 single-SKU items per day and 1.6 million transactions in 2018 is an important part of our competitive strength.

  5. Sustainability. Our buyers and consignors are motivated by the awareness that recirculating luxury products (and recouping some of their original investment) is not just good for them personally but good for the planet.

The fifth pillar has become very important in the last few years. What I didn’t appreciate in 2010, but am fully aware of now, is the importance of recirculating luxury goods for sustainability. Since The RealReal’s inception, the fast fashion market has exploded making fashion disposable and is a key contributor to the estimated dump-truck-per-second of apparel added to landfills according to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Increasingly, The RealReal’s buyers and consignors are aware of the negative environmental and societal impact of the new fashion industry. They are embracing resale as a way to buy sustainably and many have replaced their fast fashion purchases with The RealReal purchases.

As the oldest child of commercial artists and entrepreneurs, I learned early on that creativity and passion are the best motivators. You must love what you do, and I hope you will understand and appreciate how passionate my team and I are about our company’s mission. We are well on our way to making The RealReal a global company. We are building a brand that is emotionally engaged with its customers and stands proudly next to the venerable auction houses. We are a rapidly growing and increasingly trustworthy marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods. We aim to become an iconic indispensable partner for the brands who create them.

Going public now paves the way for our next leg of growth. Our initial public offering will provide access to capital, elevate The RealReal brand to drive further business to our marketplace and demand continued discipline from our management team to execute optimally.

As stockholders, you deserve the same from us that our consignors and buyers demand: trust and transparency. We will rely on long-term thinking to inspire our strategy and execution. We will continue to use data to drive our decisions, technology to make the company more efficient, and excellent service to delight our consignors and buyers. We will continue to take risks, experiment, iterate and reduce friction for our customers. Like the luxury brands we respect and honor, over time we hope to become a truly global organization. Our team thinks big.

I look forward to working with you, our employees and our consignors and buyers in the creation of an enduring brand of which we can all be proud.

Keep it The RealReal!

Julie Wainwright
Founder and CEO