Online marketplace Ebay is further solidifying its position in the luxury product market by introducing a professional authentication service specifically for new and pre-owned handbags sold for more than $500. This move is part of Ebay’s ongoing expansion of its authentication program, which initially started with luxury watches over $2,000 and then expanded to sneakers over $100 in late 2020.

The new authentication service for handbags involves labeling each verified item with an Ebay security tag and an Authenticity Guarantee card. It covers handbags from 16 top global luxury brands, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Celine, and Balenciaga. With this addition, Ebay’s authentication program now covers three of its top-performing categories.

Ebay’s decision to authenticate handbags is in response to the strong market demand. The platform sees an average of 1.41 million handbag listings daily, with five handbags being sold every minute. In 2020, Ebay sold over 2 million handbags in North America alone. The luxury handbag category has experienced significant growth, with a 31% increase in year-over-year purchases of luxury handbags from brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. Mini purses and clutches have also seen substantial growth, with a 72% increase for mini purses and a 30% increase for clutches since February.

By introducing authentication for handbags, Ebay aims to further accelerate this progress. The platform has already experienced strong growth in sneaker sales and the watch business, thanks to its authentication program. Charis Márquez, Ebay’s VP of fashion, emphasizes that the Authenticity Guarantee has revolutionized the way people buy and sell luxury items on the platform. With a handbag purchased on Ebay every 12 seconds, the addition of authentication provides an extra layer of trust and confidence for both buyers and sellers.

To ensure the authenticity of the handbags, sellers will ship purchased items directly to Ebay’s team of professional authenticators. These experts will meticulously inspect each handbag to verify its authenticity. Verified handbags will then be labeled with an Ebay security tag and a unique Authenticity Guarantee card, which provides detailed information about the product. The program also includes verified returns, ensuring that sellers receive the exact item they initially shipped in case of a return.

By expanding its authentication program, Ebay aims to compete with dedicated luxury marketplaces like The RealReal and Poshmark in the second-hand luxury market. This strategic move has already had an impact, as shares in The RealReal dropped around 3% following the announcement of Ebay’s handbag authentication service, and Poshmark saw a decrease of 0.3% in its stock.

In summary, Ebay’s decision to expand its authentication program to include luxury handbags strengthens its position as a leading platform for buying and selling luxury products. The introduction of professional authenticators adds a layer of trust and confidence for buyers and sellers alike. Additionally, this move allows Ebay to rival other dedicated luxury marketplaces and capture a larger share of the second-hand luxury market.

Useful Links:
1. Ebay
2. The RealReal