Some residents of New York and Los Angeles may have noticed an intriguing sight Thursday, as eBay opened its first luxury handbag machines in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn and Silver Lake in Los Angeles.
The installations, available for two days only, are similar to, but not quite the same as, vending machines for cosmetics, headphones or tourist merch in airports. The units function more like tech-enabled game centers, with registered participants answering trivia questions for a chance to win one of six bags such as Hermès Birkin, Chanel Classic, Prada Diagramme, Louis Vuitton Nano Speedy Monogram and others.
“EBay’s luxury shoppers are constantly thinking about their next designer handbag,” said Tirath Kamdar, the company’s general manager of luxury. “In the same way traditional vending machines solve for convenience, eBay is making luxury instantly accessible, bringing designer handbags directly to enthusiasts in New York and Los Angeles — while also demonstrating the incredible inventory available on the marketplace.”
Players register in advance at eBayHandbagMachine.com before they can engage one of the machines, though a limited number of walk-ups will be available. Once there, they’ll face luxury-based questions designed to test their knowledge of “all-things-handbags,” eBay said. It’s also making the game available to the broader public through its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
All of the handbags were verified through the company’s “Luxury Handbag Authenticity Guarantee,” a program that first covered premium watches and collectible sneakers before rolling out to bags in June.
Since then, it’s authenticated more than 1 million items across all three categories, according to the company, which also noted that when the program expanded this summer, its luxury sales were hitting an all-time high, with a 30 percent year-over-year increase.
EBay also unveiled a short film called “A Is for Authenticity,” a video narrated by celebrity fashion stylist Law Roach that takes viewers behind the scenes of the program.