EBay on Wednesday debuted its "Certified Refurbished" feature for gently used items. The platform has teamed up with companies like Dirt Devil, Hoover and Philips to sell refurbished items with a two-year Allstate Warranty.
To participate in eBay's program, refurbished items must be cleaned, inspected, in like-new condition and refurbished by the product manufacturer. Items must also be in new packaging with original or new accessories. Consumers who purchase products through the program can return items in their original condition within 30 days, the company said.
Other brands participating in the initiative include Lenovo, Microsoft, Acer, KitchenAid and Ninja. The program is available for consumers and sellers in the U.S., and merchants have begun to apply for the program in Australia, per the press release.
With the Certified Refurbished program, eBay wants to help customers feel more comfortable shopping for refurbished products over its platform, Jordan Sweetnam, senior vice president and general manager for eBay's North American market, said in a statement. Sweetnam also mentioned that demand for refurbished goods on the platform has increased. Per its October survey of 1,000 consumers, the company found that 78% of consumers would accept a refurbished electronic gift, but only 32% of respondents had ever given a refurbished gift.
The taboo around buying secondhand has increasingly diminished — particularly among younger cohorts of shoppers. According to a Deloitte report released during last year's holiday season, 61% of Gen Z consumers and 43% of millennials planned to gift used goods, with the majority of consumers citing saving money as the No. 1 reason for doing so. With the economic uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has brought on, it's possible even more consumers will turn to used goods this holiday season.
Other major retailers have responded to this consumer shift: Pottery Barn and Ikea have begun offering recycled versions of their products, and several others like Gap, Madewell, Macy's and J.C. Penney have partnered with resale platform ThredUp to sell used goods.
This initiative from eBay is one of several steps the company has taken to build trust with online shoppers. Over the past few months, the company has launched authentication protocols for sports memorabilia, high-end watches and shoes.
Though eBay and other third-party marketplaces have tried to build trust with consumers, retailers and regulators remain skeptical of whether these platforms can police the products sold through them. Last month, consumer groups, retailers and manufacturers united to join the Buy Safe America Coalition, which advocates for the passage of legislation requiring digital marketplaces to gather and verify seller information. Meanwhile, regulators have been examining the sales of fake goods via Amazon.