eBay is currently the 4th biggest online marketplace in the world. It boasts 160 million active shoppers and buyers flock there to buy everything from Britney Spears’ bubble gum to a diamond engagement ring.
But buying goods through eBay has always come with risks, especially where big ticket items like designer goods were concerned. Many buyers have been duped into purchasing what they thought were genuine luxury goods for a price that really was too good to be true. As a result, buyers’ confidence in eBay when it came to luxury goods took a hit, and sellers selling truly authentic products suffered.
Today, we are going to take you through some of the ways brands in the luxury goods market can increase their confidence on eBay. We’ll take you through how it works and how both sellers and buyers can benefit from the Authenticate Program! So, grab a coffee, sit back, and enjoy!
What Exactly Is The Authenticate Program?
The Senior Director of eBay Authenticate expressed that, “With eBay there is always a question of authentication,” says James Hendy, Senior Director of eBay Authenticate. “Even though we have some fantastic policies in place, like our VeRO [Verified Rights Owner] program, you only need to look at all the competitors that have sprung up that are all led by authentication. We realised that we need to do more about creating an environment where the buyer will feel more confident.”
“eBay has the largest selection of luxury goods – from rare and designer handbags to fine wristwatches – and we know this community wants an added layer of trust and confidence when buying in these categories,” Hendy continued. Which is why, in 2017, the marketplace designed and launched the eBay Authenticate Program—a “white glove” authentication service that verifies, lists, and sells luxury goods on behalf of sellers to ensure products are genuine, and give consumers an extra level of confidence when making luxury purchases.
“We’re adding third-party authentication to this inventory because we know the importance buyers place on trust for high-value purchases,” Hendy announced proudly at the launch. At the time, the Authenticate Program only extended to luxury handbags and wallets, but during 2018 eBay extended the program to cover other high-end goods such as watches and jewelry.
So How does it work?
eBay Authenticate is twofold—it assists both the buyer and the seller. Buyers are guaranteed that goods included in the eBay Authenticate program are authentic (in fact, eBay are so confident in the program that they’re offering buyers a double your money back guarantee!). While sellers are enabled to offer peace of mind about their products to potential buyers and take advantage of one of the lowest fees on the verified resale market at 20%—meaning the seller receives 80% of the final selling price (nearly twice as much as comparable online services).
How can sellers take advantage of the Authenticate Program?
To take advantage of eBay Authenticate, sellers are advised to follow these steps:
- Visit http://www.ebay.com/authentication to start listing an eligible luxury handbag/wallet, watch, or jewellery item and select “Sell with eBay Authenticate.” When you enter the title of the handbag to list it, eBay leverage machine learning to determine initial eligibility. If the bag is eligible for Authenticate, an option to create an order will appear.
- Send in the handbag using a prepaid shipping label or drop it off at a participating FedEx Office location. FedEx Office will pack and ship it to the experts for free.
- Industry experts verify the good’s authenticity, photograph, list, sell, and ship your handbag to its buyer.
How do buyers benefit from the Authenticate Program?
When the buyer receives the luxury item, it’s packaged in an elegant black box with a card verifying authenticity and the item’s details. A review of the service is described below:
“eBay Authenticate offers an experience. The box was new with eBay tape around it, letting me know my new designer bags were inside. Inside I found a triple-layered matte black box, and inside is where I found the bag. eBay Authenticate packs the bags as though they are fragile and precious, and the experience of unboxing exceeded my expectations. The bags also had an eBay dust bag as well as a nice added touch of an eBay branded thank-you notice, again guaranteeing the bag itself. The bag also had an eBay security tag attached to the hardware.”
How does the Authenticate Program benefit brands?
Purely and simply, the program ensures the integrity and reputation of luxury brands are maintained. In other words, the program ensures buyers are not disappointed or confused by counterfeit goods and therefore, don’t form any negative perceptions of the brand and the reputation of the brand suffers as a result.
Right now, the Authenticate program is only available to sellers wanting to sell pre-owned luxury items from the following brands: Balenciaga, Burberry, Céline, Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Valentino, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, and Panerai.
All in all…
The Authenticate Program helps eBay buyers have more confidence in the wealth of inventory on the marketplace, and (crucially for brands) enables eBay sellers to benefit from that confidence. And it’s working. The Authenticate program was first launched in 2017 and Hendy says the experience there has been “fantastic,” leading to an increase in consumer satisfaction as well as the average selling price.
For more eBay insights, our latest eBook, ‘Selling on eBay Marketplace: 9 Surefire Steps For Success’ contains all the information you need to do this.