eBay Love Island Partnership Impact

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What has been the impact of the eBay Love Island Partnership? Optiseller has been analysing the data to reveal trends for pre-loved fashion.

Debates around fashion and its impact on the environment have been ongoing for years, combined with the cost of living crisis, it makes sense that pre-loved clothing is becoming increasingly popular. However, it wasn’t until Love Island, arguably one of the UK’s most loved reality shows, teamed up with eBay to encourage the buying of ‘pre-loved’ clothing that it started making headlines across the UK.

This was a bold move for eBay as Love Island can be viewed as slightly risque, and indeed Ofcom received well over 3,000 complaints after on episode aired this season. But regardless of the nature of the show, it has the potential to expose eBay to a new, often younger, audience as well as highlighting the sustainable advantages of pre-loved fashion.

For the duration of the series, eBay hosted a style edit inspired by the Islanders’ outfits on their site, as well as the Love Island app, hosting a shopfront directly to the eBay style edit, with eBay providing the contents of the cast’s wardrobe every night.

The big question is what impact would the eBay Love Island Partnership have on the pre-loved clothing market?

As data lovers and experts, we couldn’t wait to analyse the relationship between this exciting partnership and listing behaviours. We gathered data from selected fashion stores on eBay UK who have listed some of Love Island’s most loved, and similar, brands. We then monitored the number of listings pre and post partnership announcement and gathered sales data for these stores. The split was then broken down to men and women; used, new and unknown; clothing, shoes, accessories, and handbags. We were then able to determine the impact of Love Island on the accessibility of pre-loved clothes on the marketplace – and these were the results.

Raymond Booth, Chief Technology Officer, Optiseller

eBay Love Island Partnership impact on pre-loved fashion

1) Listings and Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) by brand

Taking a look at the difference between men and women’s listings by brand, there is a clear difference between what is listed for men in comparison to women. Women have more high street brands at their disposal, which makes sense given the coming and going of trends in women’s fashion, whereas men’s trends are less fleeting.

The top 5 clothing brands listed for men were higher end and designer brands such as:

  • Marks & Spencer
  • Hugo Boss
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Superdry

Whereas the top listed brands for women’s clothing were:

  • Zara
  • New Look
  • ASOS
  • Boohoo
  • Pretty Little Thing

Having seen this data, it may surprise you that out of all brands analysed, Zara had the highest GMV of any clothing brand listed on eBay UK regardless of gender. Zara listings have generated 43% higher GMV than Hugo Boss which generated the second highest GMV of the brands analysed.

In fact, while the highest GMV contains the same high-end brands filtered for men, the pattern is the same for women, with cheaper high street and fast fashion brands generating the most sales. Based on this, we can gather that men are investing in higher quality fashion, whereas women are buying more items at a lower cost.

Interestingly, women’s handmade clothing across both new and old is generating a high GMV, it is actually the second highest across all clothing categories. This shows a trend in sustainable, slow fashion for independent sellers designing and making their own garments, which is an alternative take on sustainability but equally valuable.

2) Total listings, stores, pricing and listing age

In terms of availability, we noticed that women’s fashion had more listings by far with 21.9K stores listing used clothing in the brands assessed, and just 15.2K for men. There were 50% more listings for women’s pre-loved clothing than men’s.

There is also a huge difference in average price for these pre-loved listings, sitting at £12.21 for women in contrast to £25.00 for men. Ultimately, the data shows that when it comes to affordable items, it is far simpler for women to shop pre-loved, but men have ready access to higher end pieces. It could be argued that this reflects the culture of shopping. Women are also snapping up these items quicker, the average listing age for clothing in the women’s category is 37.27 days versus 38.43 days for men.

3) Effect of Love Island on total listings

Optiseller don’t like to think of anything as a coincidence, so looking at the data, the eBay Love Island partnership effect is undeniable. When we compare the number of listings before the Love Island partnership announcement with key dates in the series, even the ultimate Love Island hater couldn’t ignore these stats.

By examining the live listings on 28th of March, for example, it can be seen what listing behaviours were like before the partnership announcement. By comparing this to the 30th of May, just over a week after the announcement of eBay and Love Island’s partnership, there was a 990% increase in the number of live listings. Since then, the listings posted have been consistently higher than the beginning of the year.

In the space of 3 months, listing numbers for pre-loved fashion increased exponentially, again taking the 28th of March- before the collaboration with Love Island, then comparing with the 27th of June- with Love Island in full swing, there was an increase in live listings in these weeks by a massive 1026%.

4) Authenticity of designer fashion items

In June 2021 eBay introduced authentication for handbags, since then there have been processes implemented for trainers and watches. This authentication process makes it safer and easier to list/sell used high end items as they will be authenticated based on the condition they were listed in, meaning items don’t have to be fresh out of the box to be sold. These moves were leaps in the right direction to make buying designer items safer, more accessible and also sustainable. This is definitely on trend as shoppers are making more ethical purchase decisions rather than fast fashion purchases for a capsule wardrobe. This new authentication process will give buyers the same confidence in the product as they would buying it new, avoiding disappointment caused by misleading images or descriptions.

The future of selling pre-loved items looks bright, with fashion leading the way for other industries. The burst in listings over the past 3 months has paved the way for development in this industry. There have already been various moves to improve the buyer and seller experience on the marketplace with authentication processes established, now that eBay have seen such an uplift, there’s no way they’ll be stopping here! This marks a new era of pre-loved selling with accessibility at an all-time high, and the influence of the Love Island cast shifting public opinion from buying second hand being a necessity, to shopping pre-loved because they can. Ultimately, I think we can all agree that eBay are the true winners of Love Island 2022.

– Richard Falconer, Chief Operations Officer, Optiseller


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