With 175 million active buyers worldwide, eBay is the world’s largest online marketplace. Interestingly, of all merchandise sold on eBay 80% is new, 89% of items sold on eBay are “Buy It Now,” and 71% of items ship for free.
Perhaps the most interesting stat, though, is that a watch is purchased every 5 seconds on eBay in the US.
Amazon may be the hottest eCommerce company right now – I mean you cannot go a day without reading about them in the news – but as far as watches go, eBay reins supreme.
This year represents an inflection point, where more factory authorized watches are available for sale online than ever before, and it will only grow from here.
Enter eBay, the 800-pound gorilla’s new authenticated luxury watch marketplace. Following the launch of an authenticated luxury handbags section last year, San Jose, CA-based eBay Inc. adds watches today.
Both pre-owned and new watches can be sold via the Luxury Authentication Program which consists of a network of experts that verify the authenticity of each watch. We estimate the commission taken by eBay, which is paid by each seller against their final sales fee, to be 18-20% based on the fact that the luxury handbag commission is 20%. Although, eBay has not yet confirmed the exact rate. This means that the cost taken off the selling price will be about double what eBay normally charges (which is 10%).
The new watches will be sourced through “top-rated eBay sellers, according to eBay. At launch none of the new watches will be “authorized” by the brands, however, this may change depending on the success of the program.
Some of the most popular watches in the marketplace, according to eBay, are the Rolex Submariner, Rolex Daytona, Rolex GMT Master-II, Omega Speedmaster, Omega Seamaster, Panerai Luminor 1950, Breitling Navitimer, Patek Philippe Nautilus, Patek Philippe Calatrava, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, IWC Portuguese, IWC Pilots Watch, Hublot Big Bang, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. However, it’s worth noting that AP, Rolex and Patek do not allow online sales in the US currently.
As a private seller, it can be a nightmare to sell your watch, but selling to a retailer can cost you a huge portion of the profit you could make selling it privately, so as a consumer you will still have to weigh if the effort is worth it considering you will receive 80% of the net sales price (whereas selling without the authentication you receive 90% of the net).
Taking on The Real Real, Chrono24, Watchbox, True Facet, Troverie, Hodinkee, Mr. Porter, and countless smaller new and used operations, eBay is sure to be a force to be reckoned with, although it remains to be seen if “authorized dealers” will ever be able allowed to sell on eBay, because that could become the real game changer.
Either way, consumers now have so many more options to choose from – even compared to a year or two ago – and that’s a win.
Check it out here.