It looks like a line from a movie.
“Can we make a comeback when we never left?
The American platform eBay comes out of its silence from this Thursday, September 22 to publicize the change of course made by its French subsidiary.
Gone is Black Friday or Green Friday (the version of the commercial event which aims to be more respectful of the environment), no more new items put forward at Christmas on the site, with, implicitly, the desire to promote " responsible consumption in line with customer expectations”.
A new program where second-hand and second-hand items will take center stage.
"It's the return to its original values of eBay,
Back to basics
as the Anglo-Saxons would say," analyzes Carine Moitier, founder of the Cross Border agency, who conducted an analysis of e-commerce sites.
With this strategic shift, the American giant wants to broaden its target, win back some of the millennials who have gone to competition and who only equate eBay with a site for collectors of sneakers or Pokémon cards.
Ten million unique visitors in France
Since the birth of the American distribution platform 25 years ago in the United States before its establishment three years later in France, the world of e-commerce has changed a lot.
The one who had bet before everyone else on the sale of objects between individuals witnessed the birth of young shoots with long teeth like Le Bon Coin or Vinted.
And even on new products, another part of its business, the Amazon ogre leaves only crumbs.
Big in the world (140 million buyers and 88.5 billion euros in turnover), but one player among the others in France.
It is this paradoxical situation that eBay must face.
If the American has 5 million active buyers and a steering wheel of just under 10 million unique visitors (Médiamétrie and Fevad study first quarter 2022) in France, he is far behind the leading trio Amazon- Le Bon Coin-Cdiscount.
The situation does not worry Céline Saada-Benaben, general manager of eBay in France, who points out the extreme fragmentation of the tricolor market.
But the dynamic boss would like to “conquer” her compatriots “in line with values in which we believe, namely more sustainable and equitable consumption”.
As such, all new hires at eBay receive the comic book “Un monde sans fin” by Mathieu Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici as a gift.
To achieve its ambitious project, which involves reducing CO2 emissions, the distribution platform has no choice but to reduce the exposure of new consumer goods.
"Go further on the sale of spare parts to repair household appliances, cars, bicycles".
EBay did not wait for the explosion in Europe of the second-hand market over the past two years to take the turn.
“We are starting from a very good base, assures Céline Saada-Benaben, but we want to go further, for example, on the sale of spare parts to repair household appliances, the car, the bicycle on which we made + 70 % over the past five years or refurbished products well beyond phones and tablets.
As already exists for car parts, eBay services will support sellers and buyers, because "not everyone has the same degree of knowledge in the repair sector".
The strategic change was therefore no longer compatible with Black Friday.
The promotional event at the end of November will no longer be allowed on the site.
For the other strong commercial moment, the Christmas holiday period, “no new product will be put forward, including for decorations”.
For Julien Pillot, “eBay wants to become eBay again”.
The economist and professor at Insec considers that the platform “had to get out of the super-niches such as the sales of old video games or vintage game cards in which it had locked itself.
If the places have been taken on the second hand, the one he describes as an “electronic garage sale” has its place, especially since the spirit of the times is “favorable to projects that respect the environment.
It is the right time.
“There is purchasing power in the cupboards”
eBay's strategic shift is also part of a context of extreme pressure on prices.
“There is purchasing power in the cupboards”, insists Céline Saada-Benaben on this subject.
In the spring, its teams had commissioned a study which estimated that 717 million the number of objects sleeping in cupboards and attics.
In this second, or even third or fourth, hand market, the clothing market is extremely dynamic.
Read alsoBoom in the second-hand market: these brands that resell for you
In its second study of sustainable market places in Europe, the Cross Border agency noted that eBay was already in second place behind Vinted.
“The fashion resale market is currently growing 11 times faster than traditional retail.
By 2030, it will be twice as large as that of Fast Fashion”.