Las Vegas—For the first time, eBay will exhibit at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show.
The move comes as pre-owned watch sales are hotter than ever on the e-commerce marketplace. According to eBay, over 25,000 luxury watches from what it considers top brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Patek Philippe, and Cartier were sold in the first months of 2021 alone.
From March 2020 to March 2021, Cartier watch sales rose 75 percent and Rolex sales rose 54 percent.
EBay credits some of the rise in its luxury watch sector to investments it’s made.
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In September 2020, it launched its authenticity guarantee service
for watches (it now authenticates handbags and sneakers, too), in which it provides a physical authentication from independent experts on items priced over $2,000 at no charge to the customer, prior to delivery.
Since the service started, it’s helped facilitate sales of more than 7,000 luxury watches priced over $10,000.
“EBay’s association with this year’s show is a paramount and timely milestone amid a series of achievements for our luxury business over the past year,” noted eBay General Manager of Luxury Tirath Kamdar.
EBay will be at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Wynn Las Vegas on Aug. 24-26. The company will be located at “eBay Boulevard” between the Lafite and Latour Ballrooms, the hallway that was previously home to the Couture Show’s Design Atelier of emerging designers.
On Wednesday, Aug. 25, eBay will host a “Sunset Cocktail Event” at The Wynn Sunset Terrace from 5:30-7 p.m. for cocktails and sweet treats.
On Saturday, Aug. 28, eBay will provide luxury secondhand watch market insights at the JCK Keynote Panel.
National Jeweler chatted with Kamdar ahead of these events.
[This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]
National Jeweler: Why has eBay decided to exhibit for the first time this year at the Antique Jewelry & Watch Show?
Tirath Kamdar: EBay’s participation underscores the ongoing efforts to expand industry engagement with the marketplace, which has become one of the world’s largest online marketplaces of high-passion, high-value, and hard-to-find luxury items, including new and pre-owned timepieces from leading watchmakers, as well as antique, vintage, and contemporary jewelry pieces.
NJ: What have eBay’s watch purchases been like in the last year?
TK: Our watches business accelerated from 16 percent to 38 percent in Q1, and this growth is lifting sales in other areas.
Luxury watches sales reached their highest number of transactions on eBay in the January 2021 to June 2021 six-month period, compared to the last two years.
Tudor and TAG Heuer [are two brands that have] gained popularity amid the pandemic. Rolex, TAG Heuer, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe are of some of our most expensive brands sold over the last three years, with one of the most expensive styles being a Patek Philippe Nautilus Rose Gold Self-winding Chronograph 40MM Watch 5980R-001.
NJ: Can you tell me a bit about the authentication service and how it helps with consumer confidence?
TK: We know trust is important among the watch community, which is why we launched our Authenticity Guarantee service last year in the U.S., where shoppers can browse and shop eBay’s listings with the “Authenticity Guarantee” badge, which indicates the item is eligible for inspection through the new program.
“EBay is a cultural barometer for what is happening in the world.”—Tirath Kamdar, eBay general manager of luxury
EBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service protects both our buyers and sellers. For our buyers, we offer a wide selection of inventory, competitive pricing, and no buyer fees, while ensuring they can find the exact watch they are looking for with confidence that it is authentic and exactly as it is listed.
For our sellers, we offer confidence knowing that a third-party expert is verifying every watch, and if a buyer decides to make a return, the seller will receive the watch back in the same condition it was sent in.
We are evolving our offerings and giving eBay watch customers exactly what they want: incredible selection with an added layer of trust and confidence that their high-value purchases are 100 percent authentic.
NJ: Based on shopper data, can you speak to the latest luxury watch trends?
TK: EBay is a cultural barometer for what is happening in the world, and shoppers flock to eBay for our unique selection of inventory from top brands.
EBay recently released its Luxury Trend Report in partnership with Vogue Business, which showcases a snapshot of luxury trends, the tried-and-true popularity of iconic brands, a look at emerging styles, and consumer sentiments towards luxury and luxury resale.
We found that men are more likely to invest in luxury, as 76 percent of men are investing in pre-owned luxury, with 57 percent of men buying pre-owned luxury at least once a month compared to 37 percent of female shoppers.
Men are also more likely to turn their investment into a sale, with 64 percent of men selling pre-owned luxury purchases compared to women at 50 percent.
Additionally, luxury watch sales have reached a record high. From top brands alone, such as Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Patek Philippe, and Cartier, more than 25,000 watches were sold in the first half of 2021 on eBay.
Following the launch of eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee, many brands saw upticks in searches, such as IWC, whose searches increased 12 percent month-over-month.
NJ: Is there anything else you would like to add?
TK: EBay’s authenticated categories continue to expand, and we are always looking for ways to offer the best experience to our over millions of active shoppers and sellers by enhancing our trusted experience on eBay for even more inventory across luxury categories.
We also continue to explore opportunities to include more offerings that will drive the user experience forward.
For example, once eBay’s authentication inspection is complete, watches receive a unique Authenticity Guarantee certificate with details about the item, including brand and model, in addition to an NFC tag, which is a high-tech digital feature that can conjure authentication information with a tap of a smartphone.