eBay Authentication Operations Manager Lauren Baker offers an insight into her role with the eCommerce marketplace. 

What does your day-to-day role involve?

I’m on the ground in our authentication facility, supporting our specialist team of expert authenticators and overseeing day-to-day operations. A typical day sees us receiving collectible sneakers and luxury handbags, where we dock receive so they are tracked all throughout the process.

Our team quality checks the items against the eBay listing and then start the task of authenticating. Then the team takes love and care to package these high value items and ship - most are turned around same day. We closely monitor SLAs to make sure we're providing a great customer experience.

An aspect of my role I’m most passionate about is team development. By engaging with our global network of authentication experts, I drive the Australian team’s education and training. Staying abreast of trends and the latest sneaker or handbag styles is crucial, so the team can be trained on the item before it lands in our warehouse.

My role also involves supporting customer service and liaising with our program partners to ensure global uniformity.

Have there been any new developments in your department?

The customer is at the heart of everything we do, from our direct contact with buyers and sellers to the care and detail put into packaging their orders. Our quality control standards are leading the pack.

One thing I’ve introduced is having eBay’s Customer Service team contact customers to ensure they can have trust in their purchase. Due to our stringent quality control, we would reject items that had slight differences from the eBay listing, like a slight mark or a dust bag not being included in the package. Now we offer the customer the opportunity to make that decision which has improved customer satisfaction.

We never compromise on authentication. Our teams travel globally for all levels of training, education and career development, and we pride ourselves on our consistent and ever-evolving global training processes.

What challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome this?

Being aligned with global collaboration from Australia has proven challenging at times. When I joined eBay, I was astounded by the network of specialists and extremely seasoned operators surrounding me.

It was easy to feel like the small fish in the big pond, and at times I didn't always feel I should speak up, but rather followed the lead of those around me given their level of expertise. As my time progressed, so did my confidence in my own voice. I replaced being hungry for global collaboration and communication with leading the conversations. As a result, I’ve been able to drive partnerships and align teams on projects and processes.

Are there planned developments ahead in Authenticity Guarantee?

Looking to 2023, I'm creating a ‘best practice' blueprint for our Australian facility and the global program. The high standards we drove last year have proven that we can be the leaders within our industry.

We will roll out process improvements across operations, customer service and quality control, while developing a consistent experience for our customers across the world.

What do you predict will be the next big change in eCommerce?

Currently, we see fundamental trust barriers to buying high-value luxury products and collectables online.

It is likely we’ll see further developments across AI and customer experience as technology advances. While the use of AI is an exciting development for the industry, authentication by a human provides a higher level of accuracy in the fight against counterfeits since it requires a level of expertise and experience that AI is not yet able to replicate, for example, sensory perspective.

I hope to see other marketplaces valuing trust in terms of authentication and, as a result, greater collaboration between technology and people to innovatively problem-solve.

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