eBay Opens Designer Handbag Authentication Hub In Japan To Promote Cross Border Trade

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay is opening a new designer handbag authentication center to facilitate cross border trade from Japan to the US.

The new service was revealed in an email to buyers promoting how eBay is improving the customer experience and opening up more opportunities for cross border trade.

Shopping from Japan-based sellers just got easier

We have some exciting news to share. eBay is launching a new Hub in Japan that will allow handbags and accessories eligible for Authenticity Guarantee and shipping from Japan to be authenticated in the country.

This is an example of how eBay is bringing Japanese sellers closer to U.S. customers, and how we are constantly working to improve the customer experience.

What’s changing for you:

  • Your handbag(s) and accessories will be authenticated in our new Japan warehouse by our qualified third-party authenticators prior to shipping.
  • When you purchase handbag(s) and accessories eligible for Authenticity Guarantee from our Japan sellers, two payment options for taxes, customs, and fees will be provided during the final checkout.

According to eBay's help and policy page for the new program, there will be different options for how taxes, customs and fees are handled depending on the value of the sale.

What you need to know about buying Authenticity Guarantee items from Japan

When purchasing handbags from Japan through the Authenticity Guarantee program, buyers will experience two separate checkout options when it comes to taxes, customs and fees.

If the item is $2499 or less you won’t pay duties and tax during checkout on eBay. However, you may have to pay the carrier or customs directly for duties and tax prior to delivery.

For items $2500 or more you will pay for the item price, shipping, and any applicable taxes/customs charges when checking out on eBay.

Note: For additional security all items will require signature upon delivery.

Who is responsible for paying customs, duties and taxes?

Buyers are responsible for paying customs, duties and taxes as required.
For items where you select to pay at delivery, you will pay for delivery charges at checkout, but you will not pay for import charges and duties until your item is being delivered.

You will receive an invoice from the shipping carrier to pay any import charges and duties to set up delivery.

What happens if I don't pay my customs fees?

As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to check which customs and import charges may apply, and to pay them.

If you have any questions concerning the payment of your customs fees, you can contact the shipping company through the email you received.

CEO Jamie Iannone teased this new program last month during eBay's Q3 2023 earnings call, in response to a question about growth of the vertical focus strategy.

eBay Disappoints With Q3 2023 Results & Weak Q4 Guidance
eBay released Q3 2023 earnings on November 7, with disappointing results and weak guidance for Q4 raising concern among investors.

Colin Sebastian from Baird asked:

...Jamie, there was some discussion at the seller conference a few weeks back about extending focus categories to more verticals. I think home and electronics were a couple of those in discussion.

I wonder how quickly we should see focus coverage grow in proportion to total listings. And if that's true, is that something that could drive volume growth through 2024?

Iannone answered:

So as you know with focus categories, we don't pre-announce the next categories that we're going into for competitive reasons, etcetera. We do continue to roll out new areas, as well as invest back into areas of the business.

So, have a look at this quarter. We launched UK authentication for jewelry in our UK business. We're actually opening up an authentication center in Japan to allow for cross-border trade out of Japan, which is great.

We launched or expanded in P&A, our guaranteed fit program. So that had launched just in the U.S. We've seen great results by creating a game-changing level of trust in that category, and we've expanded that now to UK and Germany this quarter and we're excited to see the impact of that on those markets.

Our other categories like refurbished continue to do well. We've seen double-digit growth from that perspective. We launched some new enhancements in trading cards this quarter with the new classification system that we've put in place and new direct submission in the Vault.

So we're going to continue to balance new focus category opportunities, expansion to other categories like we did with jewelry in the UK, and like we did recently with Streetwear, as well as investing back into focus categories and what's working, because we like the ROI of those investments.

Sellers and analysts alike have been growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of expansion to additional categories as must of the "expansion" in the last year has been tinkering around the edges like adding new countries or smaller adjacent subcategories like Streetwear rather than tackling the bigger challenges of categories like home and electronics.

Unfortunately, while this new authentication center in Japan may incrementally increase cross border sales for luxury handbags, it does little to address those larger concerns about lack of growth and innovation in Jamie's vertical focus strategy.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of eBay's new authentication hub in Japan and how the vertical focus strategy is working (or not) for your eBay business!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!