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eBay Pours More Resources Into Selling Wine

April 27, 2016, 4:00 PM UTC
A worker places stickers on wine bottles, north of Ramallah
A worker places stickers on wine bottles while packaging them for export at Shiloh Wineries, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah November 8, 2015. Few issues have caused more friction between Israel and the European Union than EU plans to impose labeling on goods produced in Jewish settlements on occupied land. And if Israel is right about the timing, the tensions could get worse." Shiloh Wineries, which exports half of the more than 100,000 bottles of wine it produces annually, built its business around its West Bank location of Shiloh - the ancient capital of Israel before Jerusalem. Picture taken November 8, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner - RTS6C3G
Photograph by Baz Ratner — Reuters

EBay has premiered a new category for lovers of zinfandel, chardonnay, and Bordeaux.

The e-commerce company opened a new area on Wednesday for buying and selling wine, part of its push to be a marketplace for nearly all kinds of merchandise.

EBay previously allowed wine sales in its marketplace, generally in the home and garden category. This is the first time the company has formalized wine sales by creating a specific channel for it where shoppers can filter the selection based on criteria like rare wines, varietal, region, and price.

The new area is in partnership with Drync, a company that provides software for wineries and distributors sell online. Wineries using Drync can now also choose to also sell through eBay.

At launch, eBay will have 11,000 listings for wines that range from rare finds to wines you might drink everyday. EBay’s head of wine, Alyssa Steele, explained that sellers manage the shipping process, so delivery times may vary.

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Steele declined to comment about what fees wineries pay to sell their wine. But she said that it is similar to what other sellers pay to use the platform.

EBay said that the global wine market is estimated to do $35 billion in sales this year providing a potentially lucrative channel for eBay’s marketplace. In some ways, eBay is playing catch up to Amazon, which started its own wine vertical in 2012. Other competitors include Wine.com, and of course, the wineries themselves.

Wine sales online can be tricky. Due to state regulations around the sale and delivery of alcohol, some states don’t allow consumers to ship wine to their homes.

This isn’t the first luxury vertical eBay has tackled in the past year. In 2015, eBay debuted a partnership with Sotheby’s to live stream the auction house’s auctions of artwork on the marketplace.