i miss the oldrealreal.
how i went from a devout shopper to a bored skeptic, and where I like to shop now
7am and 4pm PST.
If you’re a TheRealReal (TRR) insider, you know how important those times are. It’s when new arrivals get uploaded to the TRR site. For years, I’d check the new drops daily, on my morning and evening commute.
Now I barely check anymore. I haven’t placed an order in about 2 months, which is saying a lot compared to my historical purchase cadence and frequency.
The gradual demise of TRR is nothing new. I follow Devon Rule’s TikToks breaking down the business challenges TRR faces, though I must admit I don’t understand half the MBA speak. But it makes me feel like I’m in Succession! Corporate bloat! Q2 Earnings! And of course,wrote her internet-breaking piece “TheRealReal is a Total Mess. And I can’t quit it” in 2022. At the time I agreed with every sentiment, but now I think I might be ready to (soft) quit TRR.
Much like UberPool, the early years of TRR felt like a fever dream. It used to be a secondhand designer buyer’s dream. The site was brimming with designer and indie labels at sample sale prices, and pieces were often in mint condition. Because I never shopped “traditional luxury” (ex: Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, etc.), I wasn’t worried about authenticity. No one was (or is) making knockoff Rachel Comey or Paloma Wool. If you knew to check for obscure labels on TRR, the deals were wild.
Oh, and you got $25 off your first order. Which always stacked on the 20% code REAL that was usually active for most items. And everyone on Reddit talked about how there was no way for the site to detect duplicate emails so you could essentially just get $25 off every order if you used a different email address. There were no rules back then.
Let’s take a look at some of my earlier TRR purchases for nostalgia’s sake. Here are some items I scored for ~$50 and ~$100-$150: