Is That Birkin Real? eBay Launches Authentication Program


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The second-hand bag market has been hot for a while and last spring, we shared a piece (Read: 10 Useful Tips for Buying Pre-Owned Bags) that was hopefully helpful for all of you getting in on the action. It’s a highly personal issue to buy or sell on the secondary market, and many of my thoughts are laid out in detail there.

But one of the most important buying tips was number six: double and triple check the bag’s authenticity. We can’t emphasize this enough, especially for Hermes or vintage pieces. It seems that task might be getting a little easier.

Last month, online retailer and peer-to-peer auction platform eBay announced it’s launching  a program called eBay Authenticate which is intended to provide an additional level of security and trust for high-dollar transactions. For a fee, a network of specialized authenticators will stand in between buyers and sellers to ensure products are legitimate. If a product subject to their protocol is deemed authentic but actually isn’t, eBay will refund the buyer double the original purchase amount.

While the service obviously benefits buyers, there’s also some potential value for sellers. Many individuals who might be willing to part with, say a Birkin, might not be able to convince a buyer their bag is authentic if they have little or no sales history. This could end up increasing the supply levels on the secondary market in general.

All in all, we think this is a great move by eBay and we commend the effort. It remains to be seen how much a seller will have to pay to opt-in to the program, but we’ll find out soon enough since the first product category in their pilot is… you guessed it… handbags!

Stay tuned!

p.s. – just a thought… adding this authentication step will definitely boost eBay customer confidence. Don’t you think it will encourage people to try to consign and purchase on their own with eBay first. What does this ultimately mean? It removes the middle man = greater profits for the seller and lower prices for the buyer!

Let’s talk about this more on BopTalk! Click here. 

Keeping you in the handbag loop,
Your PurseBop

Published: February 8th, 2017
Updated: June 1st, 2017

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5 Responses to “Is That Birkin Real? eBay Launches Authentication Program”

  • How do we know ebay’s authenticators have sufficient knowledge? I can see all sorts of ways buyers and sellers will get hurt. Can one party to a sale force the other to use this service? And are both parties then bound by the decision?

  • I am not sure that it will actually put more profits for the sellers and cheaper prices for the buyers, because knowing eBay it will eventually charge an arm & a leg for the service which will mean sellers have to increase their price to cover it.

  • Not sure about this – I mean if Ebay say something is authentic and it turns out not to be, will you then still be able to put in a claim for a fake item? Will PayPal support you still? I somehow doubt it and think as a buyer you won’t have a leg to stand on? Even the resellers sometimes get it wrong (have seen on Purse Forum where people have brought fake from Reebonz and Fashionphile) and those companies have had the actual item in their hands to authenticate! Ebay will be working off photos I think? Also how do they not know that a seller submits photos of a real bag to get authenticated but the then sends a replica? And lets us not even talk about what additional fees will be on top as “Greedy Bay” set this up and I bet in time to come they will make it compulsary to use their service before you can list the luxury item? Kaching – more money for them and less for you the seller.
    As with everything on eBay they make it look like they are working to protect buyers, but in fact they are working to increase profits – I have never got over the fact they charge almost 10% on top of whatever you sell and that includes the postage and insurance fee – Grrrrrr.
    And how about if your item you are selling is real – you have everything and their “experts” say it isnt and they get it wrong? As I said even the resellers that have had the physical items in their hands can make a mistake (thankfully it is rare) but relying on someone’s photos is always risky.
    I think I would always get an outside authentication too regardless – just to be sure before purchasing. I would not totally rely on eBay that is for sure.

  • You have to be really silly to believe this will make a difference! Considering the number of fake Hermes and Chanel and Prada on EBay every single day across every category this would be an impossible task–especially only from photos. Safest is still from boutiques or from of the better known and already verified re-sellers. Or if you can stand auction frenzy try Artcurial and Christies where their in house experts also go directly to Hermes for verifying exotics. And the very best pieces are always on auction in Monaco in July–these are all vetted with Hermes ateliers—and no one would take a chance with the super moneyed elite!