eBay head of luxury Brooke Eichhorn reveals how the marketplace plans to capitalise on demand for designer purchases.

What percentage of overall sales does the luxury category make up on eBay Australia?

“The market size for luxury retailing in Australia is approximately $4 billion and is projected to grow over the next five years. Our customers love to buy luxury goods and want peace of mind that they’re getting the real deal.

“eBay launched our Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers last year and recently expanded to luxury handbags. We saw double digit growth in sneakers in just a few months and globally, we’ve authenticated more than 1.5-million sneakers. Handbags are also booming with a luxury handbag listed on every two minutes with the majority of those sold pre-loved.”

How has the category grown in recent years? 

“Luxury handbags have never been more in demand. Globally, we’re seeing 69% of luxury shoppers buy pre-loved handbags because of their affordability and to find rare and vintage items.

“Since COVID, we’ve seen more Australians selling their pre-loved items. While this was driven by people spending more time at home cleaning out their wardrobes, it’s also a wider trend - led by Gen Z - with sustainably top of mind.

“eBay is committed to building the re-commerce industry in Australia by enabling businesses to thrive and grow. A trend we've noticed is bricks and mortar consignment stores and luxury re-commerce SMBs selling on eBay as part of a multi-channel strategy.”

Do you expect luxury purchases to grow and if so, by how much?

“The expansion of eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee to luxury handbags gives buyers the confidence to purchase luxury high-value items. We expect to see continued growth in this category with more buyer trust and protections for sellers.

“We’re also encouraging more Australians to contribute to the circular economy by becoming sellers. When someone is ready to re-sell their handbag, they simply scan their authentication card with a phone and can re-list the item on eBay in just a few clicks.”

What's the best performing sub-category within that space?

“Handbags continue to perform well in this category. In May, a Chanel lambskin heart bag from the luxury fashion house’s 2022 collection sold for over $10,000, which is higher than its RRP in store. By comparison, the most expensive sneaker sold in May was a 1985 Air Jordan 1 High Chicago for more than $5,500.”

What are the best selling brands and price points?

“Handbags above $350 from 16 luxury brands are eligible for eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee. The most popular brands sold on eBay are Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. It’s clear Australians are keen to get their hands on a luxury style that is high quality, holds its value over time and can potentially be sold for a profit later on.

“On eBay, the value of timeless designer handbags has increased significantly over the last few years - for example, Hermes Birkin (up 54%), Chanel quilted bags (up 45%) and Dior Saddlebags (up 84%).”

How does eBay screen for counterfeit goods and what prompted the new Guarantee program?

“According to the Australian Border Force, counterfeit handbags are one of the most commonly seized items. Equally, the growth in popularity for sneakers has resulted in them becoming one of the most counterfeited products, according to the US Customs and Border Protection.

“eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee gives Australians confidence and is part of our wider eBay commitment to providing Australians a trusted place to buy and sell.

“Sneakers and handbags are expertly authenticated via a physical multi-point inspection by our highly-trained authenticators. This process includes everything from the material quality to the construction of the sneaker or bag and hardware. When a buyer purchases an eligible item, just look for the blue tick, it is shipped to our Sydney authentication centre.

“Only once the item is verified is it shipped to the buyer with an NFC tag or card containing an encrypted digital authentication certificate featuring details about the item such as the brand, model and date of authentication.”

Are there plans to extend this Guarantee to other categories?

“With the demand for luxury fashion growing in Australia on eBay, wallets would be another category we could expand too. In the United States, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee includes other categories including trading cards and watches. The beauty of eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee is that it can be expanded to other luxury categories to give even more Australians the confidence to shop luxury items safely and securely. Watch this space.”

Are there any other projects within this space eBay is working on?

“We know that managing challenged inventory in a sustainable manner is a growing issue for retailers. eBay Australia has partnered with Upstrem to offer a channel for Australian retailers to resell and maximise the value of challenged inventory, rather than it going to landfill.

“eBay continues to innovate in the collectables space with more features coming to help buyers and investors track the value of their items over time with dynamic pricing guidance and the ability to save collections on eBay as well as the eBay Vault - a storage facility and digital marketplace for trading cards and collectables launching first in the US - and there are plans to later expand into luxury goods.”

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