Do you remember the eBay Valet consignment program from the past? Surprisingly, the online marketplace has revived the program under a new moniker, ‘eBay Consignment.’
The original concierge program launched in 2014 under the ‘eBay Valet’ branding and was discontinued in 2018, apparently due to ongoing challenges with the service. Back then, eBay said, “We are always looking to provide the best experience for our customers.”
Clearly not an endorsement that the program was successful, as it sounded more like a concession it was having issues ‘delighting customers,’ to use today’s corporate speak.
So, what’s different this time around? eBay is partnering with an experienced and long-time eBay seller, Linda’s Stuff, clearly hoping that outsourcing this revived program will be managed better by someone who knows how to deal with consignments.
Just like the last time, the new eBay Consignment service aims to service individual sellers who are less experienced in selling items online or on eBay. It’s not a program for professional sellers, especially when you see the costs (see later in the post).
eBay Consignment – The Sequel
eBay says eBay Consignment powered by Linda’s Stuff streamlines the selling process, making it easier for sellers to list their high-end handbags and eligible accessories on the marketplace. Here’s how it works:
- Submit Your Item(s): Individuals start by filling out an intake form, accessible through a dedicated page on eBay. This form helps you provide essential information about the item(s) you wish to consign.
- Prepaid Shipping Label: Once the form is completed, eligible brands and categories are automatically identified. You will then submit the form and receive a prepaid shipping label to send your item(s) to Linda’s Stuff.
- Professional Assistance: Once they receive the item(s) receiving the consigned items, Linda’s Stuff experts handle the entire selling process, including photography, research, pricing, and listing creation.
- Wait for Your Items to Sell: After the items are listed, sellers can sit back and relax as potential buyers browse and make purchases.
- Collect Your Earnings: Once a sale is made, you will receive your earnings, and Linda’s Stuff handles the shipping and customer service aspects of the transaction.
At launch, eBay said the new consignment program exclusively focuses on select luxury brands in categories such as Women’s Bags & Handbags, Women’s Wallets, Women’s Belts, and other related categories, including Men’s Bags, Men’s Wallets, and Men’s Belts. The eligible brands for this program encompass an array of high-end designers, including but not limited to Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Versace.
Why did they enter the consignment business again? eBay didn’t say, but it seems concierge-type marketplaces are gaining some momentum. Companies, such as The RealReal, have demonstrated a demand for the hands-off selling approach in luxury items, which may bring in more varied inventory.
Still, it’s a niche market. In its last reported quarter, The RealReal generated $423 million of General Merchandise Volume (GMV) across a broader spectrum of categories than eBay is re-launching with.
Certainly, eBay’s reach is much greater than The RealReal, but despite this fact, it likely will have a minimal impact on the company’s GMV.
But unlike its previous dubious attempt to offer this service, its partnership with Linda’s Stuff should leverage the seller’s existing processes and expertise to ensure authenticity, reliability and efficiency for both buyers and sellers this time around.
eBay said it will still use its authentication guarantee service on eligible items as an additional confidence builder for individual sellers, provided they meet the eligibility criteria of those programs.
In short, the new eBay consignment program is an opportunity for individuals to declutter their wardrobes and turn their eligible luxury handbags and accessories into cash without the hassle of managing the selling process themselves.
With trusted experts handling the details, individuals should be able to confidently consign their items through eBay’s new consignment service and get paid via PayPal or check. But it comes at a hefty price and with “hidden” fees and policies!
For items under $1,000, eBay Consignment will cost sellers 40% of the final sale price. For products priced between $1,000 and $4,999, sellers will pay 25%, and for anything over $5,000, sellers will give up 20% of the sale.
Furthermore, sellers will have to wait a while before getting paid. eBay said it will take about 45 to 50 days to receive payment after the sale (30 days to finalize the sale/invoice and 7 to 10 business days to process the payment).
One other issue is that if an item doesn’t seem to sell, sellers will have to request a return, which costs $25. But there is a catch! After 365 days, the selling partner (Linda’s Stuff) may keep the item(s) if you fail to contact them to arrange for return shipping before the deadline.
In real-world terms, you want to make sure that the items you plan to sell through eBay Consignment will be popular. This way you avoid having to pay the return fee or even losing the item.
eBay claims that, on average, it should take around 90 days for items to sell. So, if it doesn’t sell within 6 months, it might be a good idea to get it back.
If you’re still interested in exploring the eBay consignment program or learning more about the eligible brands and categories, visit eBay’s dedicated page here. Again, be sure to read the fine print of this program.
The Bottom Line
This is a reasonable reboot of eBay’s previous consignment program, and it leverages the processes of a well-known and long-time seller. But this may annoy other consignment sellers, who will see this as giving preferential treatment to a single seller.
However, this ‘workaround’ also enables eBay to maintain its claim that they are not competing with sellers. I have previously identified other programs where this statement is getting into gray areas, and this seems to be another one.
Because individuals selling items through this program are subject to the whims and decisions of a third party, this is not a program for professional sellers. If you know the eBay selling mechanics, you want to sell items yourself, even if it’s something out of your typical range of categories.
For the occasional seller, eBay Consignment simplifies the process. However, individuals still need to realize that there is always a risk with potential problems (it’s not risk-free), and Linday’s Stuff is going to follow eBay’s policies to the tee to cover their business and reputation.
That’s why, it will take 45 to 50 days to get paid.
eBay Consignment is available in the United States only. The company has not signaled any expansion plans for this program beyond the U.S. or the launch categories.
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