eBay Takes on The RealReal With Certified Brand Program

Despite the setback caused by its investment in Cudoni, a resale platform startup that was forced to shut down due to lack of traction, eBay confirmed during its earnings call on Wednesday (April 26) its continued commitment to doubling down in the category. The company reported revenue standing at $2.5 billion, reflecting a 1% increase on an as-reported basis, thanks to its own efforts. 

See also: eBay Doubles Down on Luxury Sector Despite Cudoni Shutdown  

Merely 24 hours after, eBay has revealed the introduction of its latest initiative, the Certified by Brand program, which entails a direct collaboration with luxury brands to expand their footprint in the secondary market. 

The program aims to provide consumers with a broader range of sought-after and collectible luxury items while also ensuring authenticity through eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee. eBay will offer newly released, certified pre-owned, limited-edition, or exclusive “only on eBay” stock from prestigious brands such as Konstantin Chaykin, Zodiac Watches and Le Vian. 

According to Tirath Kamdar, the global general manager of luxury at eBay, “Certified inventory in the resale market presents an undeniable chance for brands and authorized retailers, and eBay is the perfect collaborator for those seeking expansion. eBay’s Certified by Brand program provides both purchasers and brands with a wider selection of luxury products to buy and sell with assurance and certainty.” 

The Certified by Brand program aims to offer a variety of products, including watches, handbags and jewelry from a selection of luxury brands. Each item listed in the program is expected to be identified as either “Direct From Brand” or “Brand Authorized Seller” with a special badging system and information on Certified by Brand, making it easy for buyers to identify program listing — a similar approach eBay has taken with its Authenticity Guarantee checkmark, which distinguishes verified inventory. 

The Benefit to Partners

Through the program brand partners will be granted access to consumer insights from eBay’s network of buyers which will allow them to strategically decide on the pricing of their brand inventory in the secondary market.

Moreover, by accessing diverse channels on the eBay platform to amplify their messaging, brands and authorized sellers can maintain authority over their brand equity and image, thereby stimulating growth and accelerating inventory turnover. 

The Benefit to Buyers

In an effort to instill continued confidence in every purchasing transaction for the buyer, eBay is ensuring that all listings from certified brands are identifiable via differentiated badging — the Certified by Brand badge and Direct From Brand badge.  

The Certified by Brand program, which features brand-backed inventory, offers a minimum one-year warranty for watch brands, and a certificate of authenticity with purchase for jewelry and handbag items.  

The Direct From Brand category consists of new or pre-owned inventory that either originates directly from the brand’s manufacturer or has undergone prior authentication by the brand. Meanwhile, the Brand-Authorized Seller category includes new or pre-owned inventory supplied by a seller authorized by the brand.  

At the moment, the program includes several participating brands, such as All Day, Purpose, Terrain (ADPT), Alberto Milani, ALOR, Badgley Mischka, Diana M., Ernst Benz, I.Reiss, Judith Ripka, Konstantin Chaykin, Le Vian, Lika Behar Collection, Perrelet, RPaige, Roman+Jules, Vianney Halter and Zodiac Watches. 

eBay’s History in Authentication and Luxury

In 2020, eBay launched the Authenticity Guarantee service in the U.S. market, for trading cards. Since then, the service has expanded to watches, handbags, jewelry and sneakers, and is now available in five countries.  

“Demand for luxury items on eBay is soaring — an iconic Hermes Birkin bag was recently sold for $98,000, and our watches business doubled last quarter,  Kamdar said  in 2021. 

Although platforms such as The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, and Rebag enable sellers to sell pre-owned items, they haven’t yet extended the invitation to brands who want to own their resale experience on their platform. However, Poshmark offers this opportunity. 

On the other hand, branded resale solutions like Recurate and Trove aim to empower brands such as Lululemon, Canada Goose, and Carhartt to gain a foothold in the resale market. eBay, meanwhile, appears to be following in the footsteps of Poshmark while leveraging insights that it considers competitive. 

See also: Trove Leads Lululemon, Canada Goose and Carhartt Into Resale Boom   

eBay by the Numbers

eBay reveals that its witnessed growing traction within the luxury sector with double-digit annualized growth since Q4 of 2019 in focus categories including watches, handbags, jewelry and sneakers. In the three largest markets, which are the U.S., U.K. and Germany, for items listed at prices exceeding $500 for watches and handbags, and $300 for jewelry, average daily fixed-price live listings increased by double digits as of March compared to the previous year.  

However, despite this growth, a significant percentage of these items are listed are noted to be pre-owned. In 2022, over 60% of watches, over 50% of handbags, and over 30% of jewelry listings were categorized as pre-owned. Despite this, eBay said there were still more than 170,000 watches, over 100,000 handbags, and more than 1 million jewelry listings on average per day in 2022, showcasing the popularity of the luxury category on eBay.