eBay is hoping to apply its authorised seller programme to the mobility space as part of its new campaign to make itself a one-stop-shop for disability aids.
Its authorised seller programe involves manufacturers and suppliers selling via a specially selected distribution partner on the online marketplace, rather than selling direct to consumers over the site.
It is a system eBay uses across a number of categories and could be used as part of its new Independent Living Hub, which is an online space allowing end-users to search for mobility products via a single platform.
Keith Metcalfe, head of UK lifestyle trading at eBay UK, said that it has a three way relationship between itself, the authorised seller and the manufacturer “to bring products to life” on the platform by showing consumers that the authorised reseller has appropriate training and aftersales service.
He told AMP that he would be “very keen” to develop more of these types of authorised seller relationships with brands in the mobility space.
“eBay partners, we don’t sell products ourselves,” he said. “We’re a marketplace for sellers to come and list on the site.”
“What we’ve done so far is identified some of the biggest sellers of these types of products and we’ve gone out and spent some time with them to understand the unique challenges and opportunities within this field. And we’ve built some trade plans with them.
“We have done and continue to be interested in building relationships with the manufacturers of these products.
“But whether that’s ultimately going to be them selling the products themselves and going direct to consumers on our platform, or whether it’s through our authorised seller programme, we don’t yet know and it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.”
eBay expects to see around 20% year-on-year growth in its mobility category over the coming year, driven by the improved buyer experience.
Metcalfe said that sellers who choose to engage with the site can probably expect to see faster sales growth on eBay than the overall 20% figure predicted for the category.
eBay saw more than 1 million buyers shopping in the medical and mobility category in 2018 and its new hub has already attracted a number of leading brands.
Metcalfe said that both independent and large mobility retailers will be key to its growth in the sector and hopes to work alongside new partners in the coming months.
The full interview with eBay will be published in AMP’s May edition.
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