eBay is developing a new authentication program for some of its higher-end items to create a network of professional authenticators it can use to verify that products are legitimate.
Under the name eBay Authenticate, the program will begin with a pilot program in the US for top-end handbags. It plans to spread to more items throughout the year and hopes to grow the program internationally.
When listing an item in the target inventory set—such as high-end handbags—sellers will have an opportunity to opt-in to the authentication service for a fee. In return, there will be messaging on their listing that highlights that the item will be reviewed by a professional authenticator before it’s delivered to the buyer. If the item sells, a professional will authenticate the item. If the item passes inspection, the item will be forwarded to the buyer.
For listings in the target inventory set where the seller hasn’t adopted the authentication service, the buyer will still have the ability to utilize the service for a fee.
To further bolster consumer trust in the program, if a buyer receives an item following inspection and it’s found to be inauthentic, eBay will refund the buyer two times the cost of the original purchase price.
According to eBay, for sellers, the service will help them drive sales, promote products, and get top dollar for their items. For buyers, the service adds another layer of trust to allow them to shop confidently—no matter the price point.
Details on pricing for the service will be shared at a later date.