Copping a second-hand handbag off eBay can be a great way to bag a slice of luxury fashion at a fraction of the price you’d pay for a brand new edition. And it’s great for the environment, too. However, in the past, it’s been tricky to avoid scammers trying their luck by flogging fakes. Now, that’s set to change, with the auction site bringing in expert “authenticators” to check over handbags before they go up for sale.
From now on, handbags worth £500+ by a range of luxury designers will come with an eBay authenticity guarantee. Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy are among the brands covered in the new scheme. The marketplace site has already introduced a similar scheme for pricey trainers and watches, which has led to an uptick in sales, with customers feeling more confident when it comes to buying pre-loved designer fashion.
Across the resale business as a whole, expert authentication is becoming a big deal, as consumers attempt to keep costs down and embrace sustainable fashion. Last year, the second-hand luxury market was worth an estimated $37.2 billion (£30.5 million), reports DW. So it’s really no surprise that, along with eBay, a number of other second-hand luxury sellers including The RealReal and Goat Group are also offering similar guarantees that legitimise their designer goods.
The methods used by authenticators are top-secret to avoid giving counterfeiters any inside knowledge. “There’s a reason authentication is shrouded in mystery,” Rachel Reavley of luxury resale site Hardly Ever Worn It told Vogue. “We have learnt the stringent rules on how to authenticate luxury fashion and accessories over time — and that isn’t a handbook we want to give back to the marketplace or expose to counterfeiters.”
Tom Hiddleston's girlfriend (and rumoured fiancée) Zawe Ashton is one happy customer who’s backed the move. She can be seen modelling an armful of colourful designer handbags for eBay in a promo shot.