Oof, it is not a good time to be The RealReal. The designer resale site has been making headlines as of late, after it was (once again) called out for selling knockoffs after a full report by CNBC. Now, we have more insight into how mistakes like this were made and unfortunately, it's worse than we thought.
For starters, when CNBC interviewed the company's CEO, Julie Wainwright, it was revealed that copywriters were also authenticating up to 160 pieces per day. The setup, of course, left a lot of room for error, and CNBC was later sent a weekly report originally received by The RealReal copywriters at the company’s warehouse in Brisbane, California. Titled "Copywriting Faux and Tell," it was meant to show "published and returned counterfeits," as well as examples of dupes.
These weren't just tricky-to-spot mess-ups, either — they were realreal bad.
Shoes that said Jimmy Ghoo. Moncler pants labeled “T-shirt.” Items that were meant to be made in Italy, while their tag clearly said China. While it is laughable, it's important to remember that The RealReal promised an expert was carefully looking over every item, and also claimed that "everything we sell is 100% real.” Following CNBC's original bombshell report, the 100% real part was deleted.
According a release, The RealReal did spot 4,000 fakes in October while processing 490,000 items. The company also reached out to InStyle to clarify that these documents "were counterfeit products from a variety of sources, including those identified during our authentication process." It claims that some of what was included in the report was not actually sold on TheRealReal.
Still, there's no denying that Twitter is full of examples of customers demanding a refund, after they realized the item they purchased (or just saw while browsing) was so clearly faux.
@NBCNewsBusiness@MSNBC @therealreal— Pamela Isom (@Pam_ICESafety) November 19, 2019
The RealReal is FakeFake! They sent me a FAKE Manolo. Luckily I own a Real Manolo on the Left. The label on the Fake doesnt have the trademark, the heal is thicker and the leather is hard, not soft! #WhereRAuthenticators pic.twitter.com/tlO5XS3hqt
Yo @therealreal, is this @Dior #BookTote a fake? The center patterns are slightly different & cut off @ the tip in your item & the flowers on the corners are placed completely differently. 🤷🏽♀️ pic.twitter.com/72BuDDZgxs— Penny Madashell, Resister Sister Thot Bot 🤖 (@rukiddingmelolz) July 12, 2019
Looks like there's a lot of work to be done. And considering The RealReal's stock is down $384.5 million after CNBC's investigation, they'll need to get on that, ASAP.