Heavy Equipment Parked on Sunny Day

eBay Upgrades Heavy Equipment Category to Focus Category Status?

Since Jamie Iannone took over the role of CEO at eBay, the marketplace has been on a path to upgrade specific categories with services to make buyers feel more comfortable making purchases on the platform.

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In most cases, these service upgrades have elevated these categories into focus categories for eBay, where the company feels it can attract enthusiast buyers who make additional purchases on the marketplace.

While there is no official list of focus categories, it’s generally believed they include Premium Sneakers, Luxury Watches, Fine Jewelry, Luxury Handbags, Trading Cards, Vehicle Parts & Accessories (P&A), and Refurbished products.

Except for P&A and refurbished products, eBay offers its Authenticity Guarantee in the other before-mentioned categories.

The eBay Authenticity Guarantee requires sellers to ship items to an authentication center before they are delivered to the customer. This guarantees the buyer receives a genuine item in the condition as described.

For P&A, the company recently launched its Guaranteed Fit program and for refurbished goods, eligible eBay sellers can enroll in its refurbished program which includes a warranty to the buyer based on the condition of the item sold.

In addition, eBay sellers of refurbished smartphones and other eligible devices have access to Phonecheck since last year, an optional premium service that evaluates the condition of devices.

The refurbished program covers a wide list of categories where sellers can also list pre-owned items that are not covered under the program, as well as brand new items.

And many of these categories and service enhancements fall under its broader focus on recommerce, which is the practice of selling pre-owned, or as eBay calls them, pre-loved products.

Recommerce has become especially attractive recently to Gen Z shoppers who are more environmentally conscious and budget shoppers who are trying to mitigate the current economic conditions.

Heavy Equipment — A New Focus Category?

When most people think of eBay, they don’t think of construction or business equipment. But the company has been making inroads in this category through its 2021 partnership and investment in bidadoo, a leading online remarketing and auction company of equipment, trucks, and capital assets.

This week, eBay went a step further by launching a new Verified Condition program for the Heavy Equipment category.

Verified Condition is a new suite of offerings and protections by eBay that gives buyers added trust when making a purchase on the marketplace.

A Verified Condition checkmark will now appear on eligible listings from bidadoo.

That checkmark indicates the equipment has been inspected in person by a bidadoo professional or bidadoo authorized representative, and that the listing comes with a detailed, multipoint condition report and five-star rating system, the company explained in its announcement.

If the buyer receives an item that is not as described, damaged or malfunctioning, the purchase is backed by eBay’s Business Equipment Purchase Protections, which covers items up to $200,000 that are up to 20 years old.

But what makes this new Verified Condition program different from all the other programs eBay has launched is that owners of heavy equipment will have to contact bidadoo to make arrangements to have their equipment inspected.

Bidadoo is the actual seller on eBay, not the company or person that owns the equipment.

So, while one significant purpose of focus categories has been to attract new buyers that will also purchase across other categories on eBay, turning them into enthusiast buyers, the heavy equipment category is less likely to attract such buyers.

One hallmark of its enthusiast buyer strategy has been that these buyers check eBay every day for new deals. A buyer for heavy equipment is less likely to follow in those footsteps, as their purchase is typically a business purchase out of need.

But with bidadoo doubling its volume in 2022, eBay seems to be seeking the opportunity to drive more sales through a service enhancement in a growth category.

And with that, Heavy Equipment may be a new focus category for eBay, potentially helping stabilize its declining General Merchandise Volume (GMV) number.

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