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Love at first listing: The impact of the eBay & Love Island Partnership

The impact of eBay’s Partnership with Love Island on pre-loved clothing listings. Could eBay be the real winners of Love Island?

The ultimate team up - The Love Island / eBay partnership 

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. It wasn’t until Love Island, arguably one of the UK’s most loved reality shows teamed up with eBay to encourage buying ‘pre-loved’ clothing. This made headlines across the UK, as the show that creates ready-made influencers would be sporting second hand clothing on our screens every night for 8 weeks. The surprising partnership couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve known the power of Love Island for years, the somewhat controversial series has the public in a chokehold every summer. To have had such an impact on the world of marketplace selling has to be its most impressive move yet. 

If you don’t know, this partnership replaced the usual fast-fashion brands such as I Saw it First and Missguided. 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, and eBay providing the contents of the cast’s wardrobe each day.

How we gathered the data: 

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 brands, 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 able to determine the impact of Love Island on the accessibility of pre-loved clothes on the marketplace. 


Listings and GMV by brand 

Firstly, 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:  

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

Having seen this data, it may surprise you that 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. 


Total listings, stores, pricing and listing age 

In terms of availability, we noticed that women’s fashion had more stores 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 it reflects the culture of shopping with the categories typically for men and women in fashion. 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. 


Effect of Love Island on total listings 

We at Optiseller don’t like to think of anything as a coincidence, so looking at the data, the Love Island 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, we can see 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%. 

Authenticity of designer fashion items 

In June 2021 eBay introduced authentication for handbags, since then there have been processes implemented for sneakers 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. 


Conclusion and looking to the future of Pre-Loved 

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 were the true winners of Love Island 2022.

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