eBay’s authenticity guarantee gains traction as luxury watch sales accelerate in Q1

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

eBay has been keen to make noise about its authenticity programme over the past few months, and so it should.

In guaranteeing authentication for watches sold on its platform for $2000 and more, the selling of watches on eBay seems to be growing and growing.

In Q1, eBay saw significant growth in its core categories, with luxury watches one of the key components of this success.


The category saw acceleration of 38% in Q1, as opposed to growth of 16% in Q4 of 2020.

For the group as a whole, a revenue of $3bn was up 42% on an as-reported basis and up 38% on an FX-Neutral basis.

A gross merchandise volume of $27.5bn was up 29% on an as-reported basis, up 24% on an FX-Neutral basis.

Performance in the first three months of the year meant shareholders saw a return of $414m, including $292 million of share repurchases and $122 million paid in cash dividends.

Commenting, Jamie Iannone, CEO at eBay, said: “We delivered another strong quarter for the company and an excellent start to the year for our buyers and sellers. We generated tremendous volume and earnings, with revenue growth the highest it has been since 2005.”

“Last July, I laid out our vision for a Tech-led re-imagination of eBay and our results prove this long-term strategy is working. While we have more work to do, we are confident we are on a path of continued growth in the years ahead.”

The mentioned tech-led re-imagination points towards initiatives like the authenticity guarantee as well as SEO efforts in core categories.

The group predicts the SEO efforts particularly added roughly one point of active buyer growth in Q1.

Commenting on and ahead of WatchPro’s Special Report on trust and authentication earlier this year, Tirath Kamdar, GM of Luxury at eBay, said: “Citing recent innovations like eBay Authenticity Guarantee and services like Escrow, it will speak to the gravity of trust, the obligation of authentication, and the incentive that transparency provides luxury resellers as they seek to expand their clientele base.

“It will show how brands like Patek, Piguet and Rolex have gained increased prominence (without a loss of prestige) among a new generation of collectors via increased online availability. And why, with Gens Y and Z expected to represent more than half of luxury consumers by 2021, the need to legitimize online luxury transactions has never been greater.”

Adding: “And because our inaugural report emphasizes the importance of providing an accountable, reputable and ethical ecommerce platform to maintain the highest degree of trust between buyers, sellers and brands – it must be noted that each report is researched and written by WatchPro.”

The company also launched its first Recommerce Report which revealed that, according to eBay’s latest survey of its sellers, 87% of U.S. respondents say that they have sold pre-owned goods in 2020, and almost three-quarters of sellers surveyed began selling pre-owned goods last year for supplemental income.

You can read the WatchPro and eBay report here:


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