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eBay Authenticate launches, with focus on luxe handbags

The online marketplace tries to bag more luxury sales with the new program.

Luxury handbags, brought to you by eBay.
Andrew Villa for eBay

Looking to boost buyers' confidence in its pricier fashion listings, eBay on Monday officially launched its new eBay Authenticate program.

The consignment service, first announced in January, will help people sell their new or used wallets and handbags worth at least $500. People can send these items to specialists who will then authenticate, photograph, list, sell and ship the pieces. On eBay's site, these items will include an "Authenticity Verified" label and be backed by a 200 percent money-back guarantee for buyers.

The only 12 brands eligible for the program are Balenciaga, Burberry, Céline, Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Valentino. eBay said it plans to expand Authenticate to more brands and categories next year.

The program offers another new tool in online sellers' continued fight against counterfeiters, with eBay, Amazon, Alibaba and others all using algorithms, human monitors and recent lawsuits to tamp down on the illegal practice.

Authenticate could also help eBay expand in the luxury market, after it's spent years trying to shed an old reputation as a flea market for lower-priced stuff. Luxury sales offer eBay higher commissions and potentially new customers, but there's a lot of competition in online fashion resale, including from Poshmark, Rebagg, The RealReal and others.

eBay already offers lots of expensive stuff, including an annual charity million-dollar auction for a lunch with Warren Buffett and its partnership with auction house Sotheby's.

Authenticate works a lot like eBay Valet, an existing program that lets people mail in their stuff and then eBay partners list and sell them. Both programs offer prepaid US Postal Service shipping for items or people can drop off pieces at participating FedEx Office locations. Valet, though, is offered for a broader range of stuff and for items worth as little as $25 or even less.

People selling through Authenticate will receive 80 percent of the sales proceeds. For a limited time to get people to test out the service, eBay Authenticate will accept luxury handbags valued at $250 or more and sellers will receive 90 percent of the final sale price.

The company listing and selling the items for eBay Authenticate is Eastvale Store in Eastvale, California.

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