Online auctioneer and marketplace eBay is easing consumers’ worries when buying luxury goods through its platform with an upcoming authentication program.
While many luxury products are available for purchase through eBay, many consumers are wary regarding the authenticity of the goods. EBay will soon launch its program in which sellers can opt in to have their products certified as authentic by professionals.
“For buyers, the service adds another layer of trust to allow them to shop confidently,” said Laura Chambers, vice president of eBay Consumer Selling. “And for sellers, the service will be most beneficial for those who are looking to part ways with their high-value items, but don’t necessarily have a long established selling history on eBay.
“For our more established sellers, the service may not be as meaningful given they’ve likely established a trusted reputation, but it will certainly be available to all sellers,” she said.
Buying and selling
Sellers of luxury items such as high-end bags will now have the option to pay for eBay’s authentication program. Sellers will be charged a fee and then if deemed authentic, eBay will label the product as such on its listing.
Customers will likely flock to the listings labeled as authentic because they know for sure they are paying for something real. However, if eBay team members who have deemed the product authentic are incorrect, and the item buyer determines so after purchase, eBay will refund them two times the price of the item.
The program will first launch for items within the fashion industry.
EBay has been working to combat the influx of counterfeit items on its seller-to-seller platform. The authentication program follows the 1998 launch of eBay’s Verified Rights Owner program for users to report counterfeit items.
The peer-to-peer platform is hoping to gain more traction over other online sellers of luxury goods such as The RealReal, which verifies all listed items as authentic. Consumers flock to these online consignment shops because they know they are buying the real thing.
EBay’s competition grows everyday as these marketplaces go stronger. For instance, The RealReal brought its luxury wares offline with a holiday pop-up shop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
Opened on Dec. 1, the bricks-and-mortar store was stocked with goods from brands such as Chanel and Gucci, along with fine art and home furnishings. This first pop-up for the startup gave it the opportunity to engage with existing clients in-person, while also introducing its platform to potentially unfamiliar passersby (see more).
But eBay is seeing its own form of success in the luxury sector. In 2015 the online auctioneer saw a record number of high-end automobiles purchased via mobile.
Mobile commerce has altered the retail landscape and has allowed consumers of all means to purchase items when and where they would like. Due the high price points of luxury goods, many brands have been hesitant to allow for ecommerce, but the auto sector does not seem to have the same qualms about selling online and through mobile (see more).
“We view this program as an extension of our existing industry-leading anti-counterfeit initiatives,” Ms. Chambers said. “We utilize a combination of sophisticated detection tools, enforcement and strong relationships with brand owners, retailers and law enforcement agencies to present our customers with a safe, trusted shopping experience.”