EBay has expanded its authentication service to include 45,000 certified diamond and gemstone jewelry items. The "thousands of rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings" join luxury handbags and watches already sporting its "Authenticity Verified" label, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
To celebrate the launch, eBay is offering savings on select authenticated jewelry items including a diamond vintage engagement ring, diamond bracelet and diamond earrings, the company said.
EBay debuted its authentication service for luxury handbags just over a year ago and for luxury watches earlier this year. EBay and ESPN also recently announced that ESPN.com is improving discovery of eBay's sports equipment, fashion apparel, memorabilia and collectibles.
Amid eBay's move from an auction site to a more straightforward "buy it now" marketplace, the company has worked to entice bigger-spending shoppers with higher priced luxury items, a space also occupied by The RealReal.
But the plethora of fakes sold through such marketplaces has irritated both consumers and brands, and authentication has emerged to ease those concerns. For its part, The RealReal claims to provide the largest selection of pre-owned, authenticated, luxury items — including fashion, fine jewelry, watches, fine art and home goods — and, probably thanks at least in part to its authentication, some upscale brands appear to be welcoming the site. Kering, the parent company of upscale brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others, have told analysts that they're actively working with The RealReal on merchandising rather than undermining shoppers' ability to find previously owned items.
Not all are so amenable: Chanel earlier this month sued The RealReal in federal court, alleging that the consignment retailer "sells Chanel-branded products, including handbags, which it purports to be genuine but are in fact counterfeit," a charge The RealReal said it "unequivocally rejects."
Such tussles are unlikely to stanch sales of second-hand goods even in the luxury space, making trustworthy authentication essential to marketplaces' ability to fetch top dollar. Specialty sneaker retailer Stadium Goods, for example, which has the backing of LVMH's investment arm and has tied up with Farfetch, also diligently authenticates its valuable second-hand shoes.
"Expanding the eBay Authenticate service provides customers an added layer of trust and confidence as they shop for fine jewelry this holiday and beyond," eBay Authenticate Senior Director James Hendy said in a statement, contending that eBay has "the largest selection of luxury goods, which includes tens of thousands of jewelry items, fine watches, and rare and designer handbags."