Some New York and Los Angeles residents may have noticed an intriguing sight Thursday as eBay opened its first luxury handbags in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn and Silver Lake in Los Angeles.
Installations that are only available for two days are similar, but not quite the same, as vending machines for cosmetics, headphones or tourist shopping at airports. The devices function more like tech-enabled gaming centers, with registered entrants answering trivia questions for a chance to win one of six bags such as Hermès Birkin, Chanel Classic, Prada Diagramme, Louis Vuitton Nano Speedy Monogram and others.
“EBay’s luxury retailers are constantly thinking about their next designer handbag,” said Tirath Kamdar, the company’s general manager for luxury. “In the same way that traditional vending machines solve for convenience, eBay makes luxury instantly available and brings designer handbags directly to enthusiasts in New York and Los Angeles – while demonstrating the incredible inventory available in the market.”
Players register in advance at eBayHandbagMachine.com before they can activate one of the machines, although a limited number of walk-ups will be available. Once there, they will face luxury-based questions designed to test their knowledge of “all-things-handbags,” eBay said. It also makes the game available to the wider public via its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
All of the handbags were verified through the company’s “Luxury Handbag Authenticity Guarantee”, a program that first covered premium watches and collectible sneakers before rolling out for bags in June.
Since then, it has approved more than 1 million items across all three categories, according to the company, which also noted that when the program expanded this summer, its luxury sales reached an all-time high of 30 percent over a one-year increase.
EBay also unveiled a short film called “A Ice for Authenticity,” a video told by celebrity fashion stylist Law Roach that takes viewers behind the scenes of the show.