The RealReal Is Still Battling Fakes. It Won’t Be Easy To Get It Right.

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If you doubt whether the market for second-hand clothes and accessories (“resale”) is exploding, a conversation with a fashionista friend will dispel your concerns. What you’ll hear, as this Vogue writer wrote last week, is, “Practically everyone I know is addicted to vintage and resale sites, spending untold hours both looking for things to love and consigning things that, despite their exquisite provenances, they just don’t want anymore.” BCG says resale of apparel, footwear and accessories is a $30-$40 billion business worldwide and growing at 15-20% per year. The logistics of companies selling resold products are complex. Where new products are created and shipped from the factory in crates of identical products, each resold product is sourced from a different place, gets authenticated individually and is uniquely singular. The largest seller of second-hand fashion with its own proprietary marketplace is The RealReal.

The RealReal is valued at over $1 billion in the public market and lost no less than 30 more...