How to Better Serve Millennial Buyers on eBay

millennial hipsters online

Getty Images/Eva-Katalin

Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are defined as people born between 1980 and 2004. At this point in their lives, they are college students through thirty-somethings. They are the most diverse generation in history. according to data provided by the US Census Bureau, they are expected to surpass the Baby Boomer generation as the United States' largest living generation this year.

Since millennials are such a large group, have such huge purchasing power, are internet savvy, and frequently shop online, it is wise to understand them as consumers so we can better serve them on eBay.

A Few Facts About Millennials as Consumers

Millennials don’t pay attention to mass advertising but they are very tuned into social media and blogs. Share your listings on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Millennials are more likely to trust a post that their friends and peers respond to than an ad on Facebook or Google. If you are a blogger, include a few links to your eBay listings here and there. Not only will posting listings on your blog create backlinks to your listings, but you will gain credibility with buyers.

eBay estimates as many as 40% of all sales are made on mobile devices. This number is likely to increase in the future as the world is becoming more technologically savvy. According to an article on, 85% of the millennial generation own mobile phones.

85% of the millennial generation translates to 70 million people in the United States alone that could be shopping on eBay with their mobile phones. Optimizing listings for eBay mobile is critical to reaching millennial buyers. If listings aren’t mobile-friendly, buyers may skip over the listing and move on to the next one. eBay provides very specific strategies for optimizing for mobile devices.

Brands Loved by Millennials

In addition to understanding how millennials shop, it is important to learn the brands they buy. Here is a list of 5 brands that millennials love and are frequently bought and sold on eBay. Look for these brands when you are at thrift stores, on Facebook sale groups, or at garage sales. 

  1. Ikea. Most people think of furniture when they think of Ikea, but there is much more to the brand. Ikea sells many other items including home decor, linens, window treatments and accessories, pet items, health and beauty supplies, and baby items, In fact, eBay shows almost 51,000 items currently for sale with the keyword Ikea. There are 13,000 sold items with the keyword Ikea, 3,400 of them being pre-owned. These numbers indicate there is a demand for this brand, and people are going to eBay to both buy and sell it.
  2. Victoria's Secret. This sexy international brand is well recognized just about everywhere. Most famous for provocative lingerie, Victoria's Secret also sells sportswear, body sprays, and sleepwear. Anything with PINK plastered across the rear-end is a good seller. eBay shows over 135,000 listings for used items with Victoria's Secret in the title, 30,000+ sold listings, of which 3,500 are items in preowned condition. 
  3. Hunter Boots. This is actually an established European brand that has caught on in the U.S. Created in 1856 in Scotland, Hunter has a history of innovation and pioneering design. These boots retail for $150 new. eBay shows over 1,800 active listings for Hunter Boots in used condition, and 4,500 sold listings. It is rare to see a brand that has more items sold that actively listed — this indicates a shortage which is a good thing for sellers. The less there is of something, the more buyers will pay.
  4. Kendra Scott Jewelry. This is a boutique jewelry brand made of natural stones in unique designs. Kendra Scott is a multi-million dollar brand loved globally. eBay has shown as many as 1,800 active listings for this brand, over 6,900 sold, 1,191 preowned. 
  5. Vineyard Vines. This store originated in Martha's Vineyard and sells upscale, preppy, and expensive clothing including ties, button-down shirts, polo shirts, shorts, swimwear, t-shirts, and sleepwear. eBay has shown as many as 12,000 active listings for this brand, 24,000 sold listings, 14,000 of which are preowned.

Understanding your customers is a smart way to expand your product line, provide better service, and ultimately grow your business. As Seth Godin says, “Find products for your customers, not customers for your products.” As the millennials age, they will have greater purchasing power and will become the influencing generation.