Luxury bargain hunters love eBay

In recent years, the company has invested in tools for collectors and consumers of luxury goods, including authenticity guarantees for shoes and handbags.


eBay recently launched a collectibles storage facility called eBay Vault, which allows users to store products such as trading cards in a climate-controlled and secure warehouse from where they can sell their goods through the eBay platform.

Ramadge has been with eBay Australia for five years, having assumed the role of Senior Director of Product and Shipping after a decade in Silicon Valley.

He agrees there’s a lot of “doom and gloom” in discussions about rising interest rates and inflation, but says now is the time for a company like eBay to capitalize on what it does best.

“You can sell and free up some cash if you have stuff around the house,” he said.

“And it’s still a place where you can buy those beautiful luxuries, those beautiful hobby items that can keep you happy even in tough economic times.”

Australia is a small part of eBay’s overall business, but documents filed with the company regulator show the company has increased profits amid COVID lockdowns across the country.

The retail giant’s local operations posted a profit of $13.6 million in 2021, a 47 percent increase from 2020.

Australian retail spending has maintained momentum but is likely to slow in the coming months.

Australian retail spending has maintained momentum but is likely to slow in the coming months. Recognition:Edwina cucumbers

At the start of the lockdown in 2020, the platform saw a surge in customers signing up for the first time to sell used goods. Ramadge says this trend is happening again as many households stare at rising mortgage payments.

There are still four months until the festive shopping season kicks off, and with early signs that spending is slowing, there are no expectations that it will be as strong as in previous years.

“I think the macro environment means it’s going to be a challenging shopping season,” Ramadge said.

“The fact that everyone is on the move, combined with the tighter economic environment, means it’s going to be a bit more challenging this year, that’s for sure.”

But there is hope that current conditions will help fuel Australians’ passion for the “circular economy,” where second-hand items change hands rather than shoppers heading to big department stores to buy gifts.

This trend plays to the strengths of eBay.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity and interest in buying and selling the items we love, particularly among younger consumers like Gen Z and in areas like fashion,” Ramadge said.

“So I think there are some trends within the categories that you’re going to see tremendous growth from year to year.”

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Brian Lowry

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