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CSA Exclusive: eBay exec discusses Refurbished storefront

Dawn Block
Dawn Block, VP, hard goods, eBay

eBay is keeping up with the times as it expands its Refurbished program for like-new products.

Dawn Block, VP, hard goods, eBay, recently spoke with Chain Store Age about eBay Refurbished. Launched in November 2021, eBay Refurbished offers refurbished “like-new” items from brands including Apple, Samsung and Dyson.

Block discussed eBay’s rationale for rolling out the service and explained how it has been continuing to increase its scope since it was first introduced as an expansion upon the October 2020 launch of the Certified Refurbished section of the eBay site.

“We decided to introduce eBay Refurbished due to a combination of inflation and product scarcity,” explained Block. “As a backdrop to the fourth quarter of 2021, it was a challenge for shoppers on eBay to source hard-to-find items. Resale of like-new products with certification seemed like a good solution.”

eBay Refurbished products are sold directly by premium brands, as well as by top eBay sellers, which Block says are all “tightly vetted.” In addition, all eBay Refurbished purchases include a one- or two-year Allstate warranty and are backed by eBay’s own money-back guarantee and a free 30-day return window.

Shoppers can choose from one of four eBay Refurbished product conditions:

  • Certified Refurbished: Items are in pristine, like-new condition, backed by a two-year warranty, and come in new packaging with manuals and accessories.
  • Excellent: Items are in like-new condition, backed by a one-year warranty, and come in new packaging with manuals and accessories.
  • Very Good: Items show minimal wear, are backed by a one-year warranty, and come in new packaging.
  • Good: Items show moderate wear, are backed by a one-year warranty, and come in new packaging.

“We’re educating potential partners about potentially incorporating refurbished products into their inventory and how it works,” said Block. “It can bolster a seller’s revenue.”

eBay is also expanding the roster of premium brands participating in the program. Currently, participating brands include Apple, Samsung and Dyson.

In addition, Block said that by keeping already-manufactured products in the supply chain and out of the waste stream, the eBay Refurbished program aligns with ever-increasing consumer awareness of sustainability issues.

“According to the EPA, refurbishing a desktop computer diverts the equivalent of the energy that would be used to power 30,000 smartphones,” said Block. “Sustainability is increasingly top of mind among consumers.”

Block said that top-selling product categories in the eBay Refurbished program include smartphones, vacuum cleaners, and game systems.

“Hundreds of thousands of items will be added this year,” stated Block. “We will add more product categories.”

Survey – Refurbished goods meet consumer approval
According to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults eBay commissioned with Wakefield Research in late 2021, consumers are increasingly open to refurbished products. Results included:

  • 62% of respondents were considering buying refurbished electronics.
  • 84% of respondents were open to receiving refurbished gifts during the 2021 holiday season.
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents have gifted a refurbished item in the past - up from 32% in 2020. This includes 64% of millennials who have already gifted a refurbished item, up from 48% in 2020.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe gifting refurbished items is also a way to shop sustainably.

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay enabled over $87 billion of gross merchandise volume in 2021.

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