The Real Real and the Alleged Maybes

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I was on Twitter the other day, talking with the girls and allegedly The Real Real is still having a problem with fakes:

I know that they are opening up a few more brick and mortar stores, including one here in Texas (Austin) so, I wanted to see if this is still very much a thing or if this was just a one off issue.

I did a few quick googles and found this article: The RealReal Is Still Battling Fakes. It Won’t Be Easy To Get It Right.

The author is Richard Kestenbaum, the same writer who bought a Christian Dior bag for $3600 on The Real Real that ended up being fake. He wrote this article about his experience which prompted CNBC to conduct their own set of investigations.

Valued at over $1 billion, The Real Real has a tall order to fill because as we all send in more and more of our gently used designer items to be sold, one of their authenticators has to take the time to INDIVIDUALLY authenticate every single piece they receive. That means they have to know not only what real Gucci looks like but they also have to know what the old and new Gucci fakes floating around on the market look like too.

I mean, I must admit that it has to be a taxing and detailed job but, to me, it is a job that must be done with the utmost attention to detail and care. To me, the authenticators have the most important job at The Real Real. The customer promise hangs on their work. I mean it’s all in the name.

So, now we know. The Real Real has some GREAT stuff on there when it is real. But, every once and a while you might come across or even buy something, that isn’t. Honestly though I would still take my chances. Here are 5 ways to be smart about it the next time you do.

1.) Get to know the product that you are looking for, – Check the designer’s site to take a look at the collection if it is new or check their archives if it is old. That way you will have some kind of idea about what the piece should look like.

2.) Youtube it! – I have looked up bags that I wanted to purchase and watched reaction and reviews about them on Youtube a few times. Also, if it is a brand that us usually reproduced, there are sometimes videos about how to spot fakes.

3.) Inspect the the picture of the bag/product being sold on the secondhand site. – Sometimes if you know what you’re looking for you can see things that might be off in the pictures of the product being sold. You can also click here to see what fakes of your faves can sometimes look like.

4.) If you’re skeptable and it seems too good to be true… honestly trust your gut and just leave it.

5.) If you did all of those things and you get the product and you’re still unsure send it to a third party authenticator. – There are a few good ones, like LegitGrails, who have as many as four people working to authenticate every single item. You can’t go wrong with that.

Finally, after all of that, you should be able sleep better at night knowing for certain that your bag, shoes, or vintage cufflinks are real and that you did indeed get designer for a deal. If not, remember, “Beauty has a price” and go to the actual House and buy it. It’s called luxury for a reason.

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