US online auction giant eBay has made a return, in a very low-key but stylish way, to the China market. It recently launched a joint-venture ecommerce store at ebay.xiu.com — dubbed “eBay Style” — that focuses on mid-range to high-end clothing, handbags, and accessories.
It features brands like Banana Republic and Clinique, right up to couture labels such as Guess and Coach. In total, there are already 5 000 brands on-board. eBay Style feels similar to the FashionVault market on its US website.
For this new attempt at the China market, eBay has partnered with the experienced local B2C e-tailer Xiu.com, which itself specializes in luxury brand clothing.
In many respects, eBay Style is a very late entrant to China’s luxury ecommerce segment, where it’s up against a wealth of competitors, from UK e-tailer Net-A-Porter, to high-end stores backed by major portals such as 360Top, to Xiu itself.
The company says that its items come from eBay’s top merchants, which is different to the usual B2C model among China’s top specialist ecommerce sites.
To ensure that this is all available when mobile, eBay Style has launched its own iPad app, which can be found here.
eBay’s original auction site began to fail in China soon after it entered the market in 2004. It eventually lost the battle to the local newcomer, Taobao, which enabled people to open up virtual stores.