The apparel resale market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2025, and eBay — the largest and most prominent in peer-to-peer consignment, isn’t standing by the wayside as start-ups capitalize on this growth.
This week, eBay is addressing what is often considered the most inconvenient and laborious element of reselling unwanted items online: The shipping.
After testing a drop-off program with FedEx Office in a pilot in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the assisted-selling service is extending the program to 1,600 FedEx Office locations nationally.
This means that eBay sellers can bring items to a FedEx Office location to be shipped to an eBay Valet processing center, where the item will be listed, sold and shipped to the buyer — essentially like dropping off items at Goodwill, but getting money when the item sells.
Although eBay accepts a range of product categories, top-selling items are electronics, high-end clothing and shoes, small appliances and antiques. EBay Valet returns unsold items after a four-week selling period.
During the pilot program, eBay found that most of the customers who participated were new to selling on eBay. And with hundreds of millions being invested in platforms and services that enable peer-to-peer consignment, that is likely not an anomaly.
In July of last year, eBay absorbed Twice, acquiring Twice’s technology and some members of its leadership and technology teams to help improve the performance of eBay Valet. In January, Le Tote bought Threadflip for an undisclosed sum. Other competitors include TheRealReal, which reported revenues of $200 million in 2015; Tradesy, which expects to facilitate more than $300 million in sales by the end of the year; Poshmark, which has raised $70 million and expanded into wholesale, in addition to Thredup (which has alone raised $125 million), Vestiaire Collective and Vinted.
“As a pioneer in peer-to-peer selling, eBay understands that ease and flexibility are critical for consumers looking to sell online,” said eBay vice president of consumer selling Laura Chambers. “That’s why we’re investing in solutions and offerings that streamline every stage of the selling process — from listing, to shipping, to successful sales.”