Ebay UK to launch authenticity guarantee for second-hand handbags

From £500 and above, handbags from 19 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Bottega Veneta will be reviewed and verified by Ebay’s team of ‘expert’ authenticators.

This follows the successful launch of its authenticity guarantee service for sneakers and watches last year, which resulted in a multimillion-pound sales boost, Ebay said.

Through research, Ebay has identified that 32% of its buyers have been hesitant to buy a second-hand luxury handbag on the platform in the past 24 months due to mistrust and concerns about authenticity.

The online marketplace will work with carefully selected authenticators who will undertake rigorous physical inspection, as well as the use of specialized machinery. The handbag authentication process involves:

  • Thorough inspection: First, the authenticator verifies that the condition of the handbag matches the description in the listing. eBay authenticators inspect the general quality of materials and serialization, and use magnification and measurement to inspect brand logo, hardware, chains, zippers and snaps, analyzing engraving and verifying seams.
  • Proof of Authentication: All bags will have a unique authenticity guarantee card complete with information about the make and model of the handbag, to confirm its authenticity.
  • Verified Returns: Sellers who offer returns have the same protection as buyers. Ebay’s Handbag Authentication Program ensures that the exact item originally sold is returned to the seller through a verified returns process. Returns are sent directly to the Authentication Center, where authenticators check each item and its condition before returning it to the seller. All of this is free.

Drapers speaks with Kirsty Keoghan, Ebay’s Senior Manager, UK Trade, to find out more.

Kirsty Keoghan

Why did you extend the authentication guarantee service to handbags?

There are a few reasons. Unsurprisingly, handbags are a popular item, but we’ve seen an increase in handbag sales. One of the things we heard from our buyers is that 32% were hesitant to buy a handbag on Ebay because they were worried about having a bad experience and wondering if they would get an inauthentic item . This [new service] tells our buyers and sellers that we will step in and check that the items meet their expectations.

This builds trust with our sellers and buyers and means Ebay becomes a much more trusted marketplace.

The other thing is that people are much more aware of the money they are spending. Customers also want to make greener choices and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Has interest in the resale market increased since the pandemic?

From a consumer-to-consumer perspective, people are listing more and more pre-liked items. They think more – instead of throwing things – how they can make money and how they can give them a second life.

How long does the process take?

It depends on how quickly the seller ships the item – [this is] usually 24 hours. And then, generally, the day it reaches us for authentication, it comes back to the buyer the same day. So about four or five days in total.

How is it funded?

Ebay funds this. There are no fees for buyers and sellers.

Will you expand into other categories?

There will potentially be other categories. We try to launch the service and make it right, take feedback and improve it. We’re just getting to our first birthday [of offering the same service] with sneakers, so for now we’ll focus on handbags. But we will launch more categories.

About Jeff M. Thompson

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