Self-listed selling outlet eBay is launching a program that will enable a better, more secure experience for both buyers and sellers of designer fashion. It’s called eBay Authenticate, and its purpose is to help ensure that high-end fashion items sold really are by the brands they’re sold as. The program eventually will expand to include other high-end products, but will begin with clothing and accessories.
The eBay Authenticate program will give sellers the option to add authentication to listings in certain categories for a fee. The listing will say that the product will be verified by an expert. If sellers do not choose to add authentication, the buyers can opt in (then they pay the fee for the service).
Before an eBay Authenticate item ships to the buyer, one of eBay’s professional authenticators will ensure that it is genuine. In the case the item fails verification, the customer will receive a refund. If a fake item slips by the authentication process, the refund could double.
Although eBay is not focused on fashion exclusively, fashion items make up a sizeable percentage of their listings, according to Tech Crunch. As Tech Crunch observes, competition has come onto the online selling market for fashion in recent years, to the tune of sites like Vinted and Poshmark. And the relatively new VillageLuxe curates its members’ items to ensure authenticity and quality, allowing customers to rent high-end fashion from each other’s closets. Many outlets offer designer brands from private sellers.
But as anyone who’s ever been bamboozled by a fake product—in person—can attest to, it’s easy to fake a brand with a few tags and some careful stitching. A lot of imitations are clearly not the real deal, but plenty of others are more sophisticated. And it’s even easier to sell a fake online. All the buyer has to verify the product with are pictures, which the seller can obtain from other sources, and a description, which the seller writes. An online buyer can run into fakes even without the seller’s complicity; if the person listing a product obtained it from a fraudulent source, then they might unknowingly pass on the counterfeit.
The eBay Authenticate service aims to increase the confidence buyers have in the products they’re shopping, as well as increase trust and sale income for reliable sellers.
Featured Image via Flickr/Cali4Beach