Ebay's Big Fashion Ideas: Outlets, Group Gifts and More

Ebay, the world's largest clothing and accessories marketplace, is set to roll out thrilling new shopping options. At yesterday's Women's Wear Daily CEO Summit, Ebay CEO John Donahue shared the company's newest ventures that would go way beyond the usual bidding.

First up: outlets. The concept is essentially the same as traditional outlet shopping, one we're both familiar with and fond of, but in the form of an Ebay-branded online outlet mall where designers would partner with the site on their own unique virtual storefronts. Designers Norma Kamali and Narciso Rodriguez have already anted up to collaborate with Ebay, while Derek Lam just announced his upcoming crowd-sourced collection with the auction site. In the UK, Savile Row uses Ebay to sell off year-old merch at a discount, so the new initiative wouldn't be an entire stretch for the retailer. 

Ebay is also, like the rest of creation, clamoring to go mobile, with Donahue talking about how they're bringing Ebay's recently launched Fashion Vault to portable devices like iPads and PDAs. Ebay has also invaded social media, announcing flash sales through Twitter and increasing its visibility on Facebook to bring people in to the site.

Group Gifts, in particular, a groovy new feature that launched Monday, integrates Ebay with PayPal and Facebook to allow people to chip in on big-ticket presents via their friend lists. Hint: we would love a new bike.

Smart, bargain-hunting--or just plain treasure-hunting--fashionistas have been keen on Ebay for years, so hopefully the new CFO and this bevy of fashion-centric ideas will work to their savvy advantage.

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