Despite starting its life solely in the digital realm, eBay has continuously been expanding its operations into the real world by hosting a number of in-person events and activations that allow its community-based platform to transcend its original virtual roots. The rise of e-commerce and peer-to-peer platforms such as eBay have made it incredibly easy for both individuals and companies to buy and sell items in a highly efficient manner. However, when it comes to high-value goods, such as luxury watches, jewelry, or designer handbags, some individuals still have reservations about completely removing the in-person aspect of the buying and selling process. eBay’s latest expanse into the real world comes in the form of the eBay Luxury Exchange, which is a physical store located in New York City’s Diamond District that accepts pre-owned luxury goods as currency and allows individuals to trade in their unwanted high-value items and walk out of the store with something new that catches their eye.
As watch enthusiasts, it’s always important to first and foremost buy what you like. However, it is undeniable that certain luxury timepieces can be worth significant sums of money, and it’s also natural for people’s tastes to change over time. According to “The Rise of Resale: Luxury As Currency” – a report from BoF Insights (the data and analysis think-tank from The Business of Fashion) that was conducted in partnership with eBay – more than half of the shoppers who were surveyed in the United States said that they view their luxury goods as a form of currency and would be open to exchanging them for other items. Additionally, approximately 80% of the surveyed shoppers stated that they believe the value of certain luxury goods is less volatile than other investment assets they own. While buying watches solely for investment purposes isn’t exactly a recommended way of building out a collection that you sincerely enjoy wearing, it’s undeniable that watches and many other luxury items can often function as a form of currency, and even those who do not view their luxury purchases as investments still need to have a secure way of both buying new items and liquidating those that they no longer wish to own.
Resale transactions are incredibly common when it comes to high-value items, and in the same way that countless people purchase used cars each year, a similar statement applies to luxury goods. The same BoF Insights survey found that within just the past year, 26% of surveyed shoppers bought a secondhand luxury accessory, while approximately 13% had also sold one. Additionally, 57% of the believe that the value of their luxury items will likely appreciate if they care for their condition, and this is supported by the fact that 62% of the surveyed shoppers who are actively selling items on resale websites have sold at least one luxury accessory for more money than they originally paid for it. Even among those who do not actively sell items, nearly half of all surveyed luxury shoppers admitted that they keep an eye on the current market value of their luxury accessories, and it’s undeniable that these high-value and liquid items can function as a form of currency.
When it comes to buying and selling high-value luxury products online, most people’s reservations simply stem from the lack of an in-person aspect to the transaction. The same BoF Insights survey found that 82% of luxury shoppers list physical authentication as the most important feature to convince them to buy high-value items secondhand. To a certain degree, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee does provide independent physical authentication for luxury goods, and this protects both buyers and sellers by having one of eBay’s team of experts independently evaluate each item before the transaction is finalized and the product makes its way to the person who ultimately purchased it. However, there will always be some people who still prefer an in-person experience, and this is where the new eBay Luxury Exchange comes into play.
How it works is that customers can have their luxury items appraised on-site and assigned a value by one of eBay’s experts, which they can then use to shop the store’s inventory of luxury watches, jewelry, and designer handbags. Should the person find new items they wish to purchase, they can simply buy them with the trade-in currency and walk out of the store that same day with their newly acquired luxury goods. If nothing in the store’s current inventory catches their eye, customers can then choose to visit the store’s on-site photo studio and list their items on eBay themselves, instead of exchanging them at that time or being forced to find a different outlet for their unwanted luxury products. Not only does this remove the hassle of first having to sell a watch before you can then buy a new one, but it also gives buyers the instant gratification of seeing a watch in person, falling in love with it, and then being able to immediately start wearing it and enjoying it, without first having to wait for it to arrive in the mail.
Being able to walk out of a store with a new watch on your wrist is truly a great feeling, and it is arguably the single thing that collectors miss most when purchasing a timepiece online. Additionally, photographing items and listing them on eBay has historically been one of the greatest barriers for individuals who simply want to sell the high-value items that they no longer need, and eBay’s Luxury Exchange concept aims to provide solutions for both of these obstacles by offering a one-stop-shop for people to trade in their old luxury goods for new items that will make them happy. For more information about the eBay Luxury Exchange, please visit the official website.