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eBay Launches Authentication Service To Combat Sales Of Counterfeit Sneakers

eBay last week launched its sneaker authentication service which will verify that sneakers sold on its platform are the real deal and not counterfeit products. It is beginning with its most popular styles but hopes that by 2021 it will authenticate all pairs priced at over $100. The decision by eBay to offer its sneaker guarantee follows its similar, successful program covering watches sold in the U.S. for $2,000 or more.

The platform, which sells a pair of sneakers every 1.5 seconds and handles an average of half a million sneaker listings every day, has partnered with a third-party company, Sneaker Con, to authenticate items. When a sale is made, the buyer ships the sneakers to an “authentication facility” where they’re inspected to make sure they match the listing’s title, description, and images. If they pass the inspection, an eBay tag is attached to them, and they’re sent on to the buyer. The same process covers returns in order to prevent buyers from trying to return fake sneakers to legitimate sellers.

The launch of the program comes ahead of some of the most hotly anticipated sneaker launches of the year including the Air Jordan 11 “25th Anniversary” releases on the December 12th and The Yeezy 350 “Bred” from 2017, which is slated to return in December.

Although the process will inevitably make shipping times longer, customers are expected to put up with the delay in exchange for the peace of mind the service offers.

The sneaker resale market has continued to thrive, even during the pandemic when so many other apparel business models have collapsed and some sneakerheads have reported making $30,000 per month. The market is expected to reach a staggering $30 Billion by 2030 up from $6 Billion today.

The move by eBay is believed to be in response to websites like StockX and GOAT who provide robust authentication programs for customers and have been eating into eBay’s market share in recent years. Both companies have been valued at over $1 Billion. Although eBay has been slow to offer a similar service, one expects its sheer size and resources will allow it to grow its market share significantly in the coming year. 

The service is currently available in the US only but it is expected they will roll out the service in other countries if it proves successful. 

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