eBay continues its growth in jewelry

eBay has become the most visited Web site on the Internet. Its annual gross sales have reached nearly $15 million, and the site has 68 million registered users. And its jewelry and watch categories continue to grow and provide opportunities for retail jewelers.

For the second straight year at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas 2003, representatives from eBay—in this case Keith Fox, jewelry and watches, senior manager, and Shannon Zeig, jewelry, gemstones, and watches manager—told jewelers how they can use the Web portal to do everything from selling excess inventory to placing their own “storefront” on the site to sell full jewelry items or conduct a traditional online auction.

Fox said an item of jewelry is sold every two seconds on the Web portal. In addition, 500 diamond rings are sold each day, 27 gemstones every hour, and a gold jewelry item every minute.

The company, which was once a pure auction site, has expanded its services to include fixed-priced selling (eBay stores) and ways to better sell pre-season, year-end, and liquidation product. The company has also added to its auction service by providing a way to set a reserve price.

Fox said that the eBay store is a great way for jewelers to gain a presence on the Web site. It allows store owners and manufacturers to sell as much of their product as they want under the store’s name.

Zeig went over many of the options available to eBay users to help them make a sale. She said that it may take 15 minutes to register and place your first item on the site, but once the template is set up, the process is much faster.

She strongly advocates selling items with a starting bid of one dollar. “Some of the most successful auctions start off with a dollar,” she said. “It has the highest risk and the highest returns.”

To accustom retailers to the auction site, eBay will conduct seminars today at 10:00 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. in Room 207