Ebay sold 4.2 million jewelry items in 2021—that’s about eight pieces of jewelry sold every minute. Yes, the original online marketplace for second-hand goods is still a major player in jewelry retail. And now it’s looking to increase its credibility in the category.
The company announced last week that it’s partnering with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to authenticate a steady flow of fine jewelry pieces on the site. Ebay already offers its Authenticity Guarantee service for four categories: watches, sneakers, handbags, and trading cards.
Tirath Kamdar, general manager of luxury at eBay, tells The Zing Report, “Jewelry has always been a popular category and demand is only increasing. Expanding our Authenticity Guarantee service to fine jewelry was essential for our luxury business.”
Kamdar says the company reached out to GIA to be its jewelry authenticator because, “GIA is recognized by the industry as the global standard for gem authentication…making them the ideal collaborator for eBay. GIA’s category knowledge is unparalleled and will ensure that buyers can shop, and sellers can sell, with total confidence. We are proud to collaborate with them.”
New and pre-owned fine jewelry sold for $500+ will be available for the Authenticity Guarantee service; sellers can choose to have their pieces assessed and showcased on the service’s home page.
Here’s how it works: Sellers who hope to be eligible for the guarantee send their wares to GIA, where experts (including gemologists) physically inspect items to verify that they’re properly described in listings; the multi-point inspection verifies metal type and purity, gemstone type and quality, and overall condition.
GIA chief operating officer Pritesh Patel tells The Zing Report, “We’re leveraging the existing expertise of our laboratory staff and gemologists, and using the sophisticated instrumentation used in our laboratories. Right now, a team in Carlsbad, California [GIA’s headquarters] is handling this work for eBay.” He adds that the team there “will expand as the volume of pieces grows.”
Items that have been inspected and “guaranteed” are then shipped directly to shoppers from GIA, packaged with a unique authentication card bearing a QR code (they can scan the code to access their item’s documentation).
Shoppers can browse and buy all of eBay’s authenticated jewelry at eBay.com/authenticjewelry. Currently, the product pages feature lots of un-branded fine jewelry but by the end of this year will also include pieces from top designer brands such as Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Yurman, Chopard, Harry Winston, Hermes, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co., according to the same release.
Again, jewelry represents big business for eBay. Purchases of fine jewelry from top jewelry brands on eBay in the past six months are up 38% year-over-year in 2021, and sales of poplar herringbone style bracelets and necklaces on the site are up 48% and 26% year-over-year, respectively.
Ebay has authenticated more than two million items across authenticated categories since introducing Authenticity Guarantee in 2020, and in the next two years, it expects that number to surpass five million.
All images courtesy of eBay