Selling luxury fashion on eBay: everything you need to know
Luxury and fashion goods are thriving online sales categories.
With over 133 million active buyers globally, eBay has become the go-to destination for online sellers looking to enter the luxury fashion market.
Whether you’re an experienced or a rookie online seller, this article will explain:
- Everything you need to know about the rising global position of luxury goods
- eBay features you can leverage into selling luxury fashion products online
- Essential strategies and tools for selling luxury fashion on international marketplaces.
Navigating the expanding luxury shopping landscape
The desire for luxury and high-end brands has never been higher. Factors like status and quality drive this surge in demand and the aspirational value associated with these brands.
Fashion is just a part of the rapidly growing luxury goods market, but a very lucrative one. What defines luxury fashion?
Luxury fashion brands are characterized by exclusivity, premium quality, and high-end status.
According to a Business of Fashion (BoF) Insights analysis from November 2022, US consumers define “luxury items” as products with a retail value of at least $2,000 (less, $500, in the case of jewelry).
The global luxury fashion market is expected to reach $401.73 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.14%. Online luxury fashion sales are also expected to increase substantially during this period.
Most revenue in the segment is generated in the United States ($27,150 million in 2023). The region’s standard of living is high, creating a demand for luxury fashion products nationwide.
Selling luxury goods during periods of economic uncertainty
It may come as a surprise that fashion has a recession-proof quality, as it is considered a luxury rather than a necessity that fulfills basic needs.
However, as a general rule exception, particular non-essential items can still be in high demand during a recession. Why? Because they offer a touch of indulgence during challenging times. These are the so-called “guilty pleasures” people are willing to spend money on to treat themselves.
As research shows, consumers’ intent to splurge is indeed often concentrated around fashion:
The Bain-Altagamma Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study also concludes that the luxury market is better prepared to cope with economic downturns thanks to a wealthy and recession-resilient consumer base to start with. It will thus continue to expand steadily up to ca. 500 million customers by the 2030s.
The resale value of luxury goods
Luxury products are more than just a treat in times of uncertainty.
“The Rise of Resale: Luxury as Currency”, a BoF Insights report developed in partnership with eBay, analyses the behaviors of luxury shoppers in the United States. According to their findings:
Shoppers see luxury as a dependable asset that can gain value over time.
Luxury shoppers believe such items can be treated as an investment.
We observe a growing global market for second-hand goods in the luxury sector. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it will be worth $250 billion by 2027.
The rising potential of luxury fashion on international marketplaces
How did luxury fashion find its new home online, dethroning fancy boutiques in Paris or Milan?
Its way was paved by the fashion retail booming on online marketplaces.
Marketplaces like eBay provide a ready-made platform for fashion sellers to start selling immediately, with minimal setup costs. They offer the opportunity to expand their reach and increase sales by leveraging the existing customer base of established platforms.
Selling fashion on international marketplaces opens doors to a global audience of fashion enthusiasts searching for products that might not be accessible in their domestic market. Especially the specific, sought-after luxury kind, regardless of whether it’s first- or second-hand.
As the Global GM of Luxury at eBay, Tirath Kamdar said in an interview from 2022:
“The secondary market for premium and luxury goods grew significantly [this year], propelled by consumer enthusiasm for collecting, scarcity, and passion investments”.
eBay: the ultimate destination for luxury fashion
The demand for luxury fashion on eBay is on the rise, attracting more and more buyers.
In turn, eBay provides a user-friendly platform for luxury fashion sellers, offering attractive listing tools and resources that simplify the selling process.
Their access to 133 million buyers across 190 countries and cross-category shopping option positions it as a competitive platform among other marketplaces and platforms from the luxury fashion vertical, such as leading retail online stores.
As eBay’s CEO, James Iannone said in an interview with Fortune magazine, luxury became one of the core areas the platform decided to focus on to increase customer satisfaction.
This is why the luxury fashion market on eBay is now developing rapidly. The platform is investing in introducing new features meant to facilitate sales in this category and thus further strengthen eBay’s position in the online luxury fashion market.
Leveraging eBay features for premium fashion
With the growth of online marketplaces and cross-border trade, consumers worldwide can access premium fashion products with unprecedented ease. However, an increasing demand for high-end brands raises some issues.
Authenticity and counterfeit product problems are major challenges in the luxury fashion business.
Inauthentic products flooding the market, from fake designer clothing to knock-off luxury accessories, are causing consumers to be ultra suspicious when doing such shopping. Primarily online, where they can’t inspect the product themselves.
One key factor that sets eBay apart as a platform for luxury fashion is its unique authenticity program and solutions.
EBay understands that maintaining consumer trust and brand reputation is paramount in the luxury goods industry.
This is why it aims to empower sellers to offer premium inventory in a trusted way. And in turn, it allows buyers to make shopping decisions with confidence.
In another effort to provide consumers with reliable product information, eBay recently acquired Certilogo, an AI-powered tool for authenticating apparel and fashion goods.
How Authenticity Guarantee works on eBay
The Authenticity Guarantee function on eBay ensures that all items undergo a rigorous multi-step verification process certifying whether they are genuine.
Items eligible for the program (watches, sneakers, streetwear, handbags, wallets, and jewelry.) are automatically added to it free of charge. Once purchased, experts physically inspect them before being shipped to the buyer.
Such listings are marked with a blue Authenticity Guarantee checkmark badge. Buyers can see the badge on the search results page, the view item page, the checkout page, and their Purchase history page.
Utilizing eBay’s Certified by Brand
Certified by Brand program lets eBay buyers shop new and certified pre-owned watches, handbags, and jewelry directly from brands or authorized sellers.
Buyers can identify listings participating in the program through “Direct from Brand” or “Brand Authorized Seller” badging.
EBay’s luxury fashion success in numbers
In recent years, eBay’s luxury fashion sales results were nothing if not spectacular.
Take a look at the eye-opening numbers that illustrate how eBay is streamlining luxury goods purchases, as well as selected top-selling brands worth considering in a successful luxury fashion portfolio.
Top-selling 2022 luxury brands on eBay*:
- Watches: Hamilton, Omega, Seiko, Tag Heuer, and Tissot.
- Handbags: Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
- Jewelry: Cartier, David Yurman, Gucci, Swarovski, and Tiffany & Co.
*in the US and Canada
2021 luxury fashion sales pace on eBay:
- A handbag was purchased in the US and Canada every 13 seconds.
- Eight watches were sold in the US every minute.
- Eight fine jewelry items were purchased in the US and Canada every minute.
Strategies for Luxury Fashion Sellers on eBay
What steps should online sellers take to start selling luxury fashion products on eBay with success? How to make sure such listings get noticed by the right customers? And ultimately – beat the fierce fashion market competition?
EBay reports that in 2023, their sellers listed more than 170,000 watches, 100,000 handbags, and 1 million items daily.
Use this easy checklist to see whether you’re not omitting any crucial steps when preparing your luxury fashion sales strategy.
1. Optimize luxury fashion product listings
Crafting compelling product descriptions is essential in the case of luxury fashion, but it’s not everything. What will help your listings stay on the first page of search results?
Product visibility is affected by the particularities of the eBay search engine. Optimizing your product listings properly with relevant keywords is crucial. Incorporate relevant search terms naturally across your product titles and descriptions.
It can directly influence the probability of your product portfolio being discovered by potential buyers. Improved search visibility can ultimately lead to more views – and more sales.
2. Localize luxury fashion product offers
Luxury fashion sellers who want to expand globally must implement a solid product localization strategy.
Ecommerce localization is the process of preparing your product listings for a given language or country.
The objective is to provide international buyers with an online shopping experience indistinguishable from their average native experience. This way, sellers can compete on a level playing field with local competitors.
Sizes and measurements are crucial product attributes for clothes and accessories. However, different countries use different sizing and metric systems. For example, size 8 in the UK may be 4 in the USA and 36 in Germany.
Product localization strategy tailored to luxury fashion should be more than just translating listings. It needs to include proper size conversion: converting units of one system into corresponding units of another.
Luckily, product and size localization processes can be fully automated with the help of dedicated ecommerce-optimized localization tools.
3. Invest in stunning luxury fashion product photographs
In the world of fashion, perception is key. You need to make your listings look as luxurious as the fashion you’re selling.
The best way to capture the essence of luxury is to use high-quality product photos. Make sure they are high-resolution, well-lit, polished, visually appealing images. Double-check if the colors are accurate.
Consider investing in professional photographers who understand the art of highlighting intricate details, textures, and craftsmanship of such products.
High-quality visuals will ultimately contribute to the perceived value of your products.
Additionally, optimize your images with alt tags and captions for better discoverability.
4. Implement effective advertising strategies for luxury fashion
Sponsored ads can push your products to the top of search pages and give your store extra traffic.
eBay offers various seller-friendly promotional tools to boost sales. However, you must understand how to use eBay’s Promoted Listings to increase visibility while controlling costs effectively. It might take some patience to find a perfectly balanced bidding strategy.
5. Offer VIP customer service
When it comes to luxury goods, offering exceptional customer service is part of the VIP experience.
Remember that you build your image and reputation on all stages the customer interacts with your business, from browsing your listings to purchasing something to after-sales support.
Conclusion: Is selling luxury fashion on eBay worth it?
The luxury fashion market is rapidly growing with increasing demand for high-end brands. Premium quality has proven to be recession-proof, offering consumers reliability and a touch of indulgence during challenging times.
The increasing demand for high-end brands and eBay’s expansive global reach position the platform as the prime destination for luxury fashion sales. EBay’s commitment to authenticity and rigorous verification processes cater specifically to luxury fashion sellers while giving their buyers the luxury of shopping with confidence.
Selling luxury fashion products on eBay can be profitable for sellers looking to tap into this growing market.
Accelerate your international growth with the LUX fashion eBay Program
EBay offers luxury fashion sellers a dedicated program designed to promote and optimize their listings on up to 8 eBay marketplaces.
It is recommended for luxury fashion sellers who are:
- Not familiar with proper ecommerce localization
- Tired of extra upkeep while synchronizing listings across international markets
- Struggling with product visibility
- In need of profitable marketing automation
The LUX fashion eBay Program is powered by a partnership with Webinterpret, an AI-based solution provider dedicated to supporting merchants with automated listing localization and marketing on a global scale.
If you’re interested in exploring the potential of selling luxury fashion on eBay, sign up for a free trial to get started.
Boost international luxury fashion sales with a 2-month free trial