Wednesday, April 28, 2010
eBay Fashion Launch
EBay hopes to reshape its image from a place for last-chance clothes, to the first place fashion-savvy buyers look.
Beginning next week, eBay, the world’s largest clothing seller, will begin what they hope will be the first steps towards becoming the go to website for designer clothing. Although primarily known for selling used clothes, eBay is hoping to change that image by launching a new section designed to compete with the slew of other websites offering designer label clothes at deep discounts.
The new site, fashion.ebay.com, will be aimed at a more designer-friendly crowd, rather than the typical wBay clothing shopper that is scanning through thousands of pages of used clothes. A redesigned interface with a better search engine, gallery views, and easier navigation will help, but eBay is hoping that their new deals with designers such as Brooks Brothers and Hugo Boss will bring in the new shoppers that tend to not consider eBay for their clothing. The new site design also continues the change from strictly an auction house, to a site more akin to private and discount sales, rather than the typical auctions eBay is famous for.
EBay has been working behind the scenes in the fashion world, signing contracts with retailers like Boss and shoe maker Aldo to secure new and discounted stock for their new site. With both new and used clothing for all levels of clothing shoppers, from the guy looking for a pair of jeans, to the person looking for an Armani suit, eBay is hoping to win back some of the revenue that is going to fledgling online shopping websites like gilt.com, and Web giant Amazon.com.
The real question will be whether they can overcome their own image as a place for second hand clothing. But this new site is just the first step for eBay, which is looking for a bigger piece of the lucrative online clothing market. According to the Associated Press, eBay, which sold $7.1 billion in clothing last year, intends to launch an outlet store later this spring to offer 10 million clothing shoppers more options, including some exclusive fashions.
The launch caps off a string of good news for eBay. Earlier this week, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold a ruling in favor of EBay against Tiffany & Co. over the sale of counterfeit goods. The lawsuit claimed that eBay knowingly allowed the sale of counterfeit goods on their website and did not do enough to stop the sales.