Retail

The RealReal Face Investigation Over Goods Authenticity

Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal is facing a federally-filed lawsuit alleging the eCommerce site systematically inflates the weights of diamonds and other precious gems on offer, according to CNBC news.

Plaintiff Gaby Basmadjian of Novi, Michigan, says a diamond ring she purchase from TheRealReal.com for $982.62 on Aug. 20, 2017, was advertised as being 2.10 carats of diamonds. Basmadjian thought that estimate was incorrect upon receipt of the item and hired her own gemologist to appraise it. That gemologist found the ring had just 1.2 carats of diamonds.

According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, a diamond’s stated weight must be within 1/200 of a carat, meaning the ring should have been between 2.0955 to 2.1055 carats for the luxury consignment brand to label it as a 2.10-carat diamond ring.

“There is no indication on the description that the carat weight was approximated,” the court filing said. “[The] defendant held themselves out as experts in the field of gemology, and it was [the] defendant who examined the subject ring and determined its characteristics and selling price.”

The RealReal denies any wrongdoing.

“The lawsuit is without merit and The RealReal will aggressively defend itself against these baseless claims,” the company said in a statement. “We have no further comment on the lawsuit and we look forward to prevailing in court.”

The RealReal bases its prices on the types and weights of its gemstones. The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status at present, seeks to represent consumers who purchased jewelry from The RealReal from 2013 to the present and whose purchases include gemstones featuring a misrepresented weight and value. The goal is to recover the difference between the paid price and an appraisal based on actual weight.

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