eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) is expanding its sneaker authentication guarantee service for sneakers offered on the platform.
Sneaker authentication to begin on October 25 on eBay
The new service for all new and pre-owned sneakers offered through the platform for over $100 in the US, and a team of industry experts will vet and verify the sneakers. The program will start on October 25, 2020, and will cover almost all popular brands and sneakers’ styles and will scale to include sneakers above $100 by early 2021.
This is eBay’s second big authentication announcement after it launched Authenticity Guarantee for each watch sold over $2,000 in the US in September. The announcement builds on the marketplace’s canceling selling fee son sneakers costing $100+. This has helped lure more sneaker sellers to the platform and deliver the most sought-after inventory to the platform at competitive prices.
Collective sneakers are a huge business, and eBay sells a sneaker every 1.5 seconds. Most of the sneakers are limited to a few thousand or even dozens of pairs implying that popular editions can offer tens of thousands of dollars. This means that there is an opportunity for counterfeiting. For instance, in 2019, US Customers and Border Protection seized more than 14,000 counterfeit Nikes shipped to LA from China.
eBay following path of sneaker sellers with authentication
Several companies have come up with tech solutions to counterfeit problems, but physical inspection is one of the most reliable ways of guaranteeing authenticity. According to TechCrunch, the inspection can come down to things like counting how many stitches are there on a pair of sneakers. Authentication services are available on sneaker-focused marketplaces such as GOAT and StockX, which previously gave them a competitive advantage over eBay.
Although eBay has not been offering sneaker authentication until now, sneakers have been a popular selling item on the marketplace. The company said that it sold 6 million sneaker pairs last year. Now with authentication, the company expects to boost sneaker sales on the platform.