Online marketplace Ebay wants to gain more respectability with regard to its sneaker (resell) business: the San Jose-based company announces the expansion of its 'Authenticity Guarantee' service for sneaker sales on the platform. All new and pre-owned collectible sneakers sold on Ebay for over $100 in the U.S. will be fully vetted and verified by an independent team of industry experts.

The service launches this month with the initial authentication of the most popular sneaker styles and brands on the marketplace; by early 2021 all $100+ sneaker sales will be monitored through the program. The launch follows the Authenticity Guarantee service for every watch sold over $2,000 in the U.S., which started in September.

And this is how the program should work: When a sneakers purchase is made, the seller ships it directly to Ebay's authentication facility. For the authentication process Ebay has partnered with Sneaker Con to create a new state-of-the-art facility – leveraging the top authenticators in the industry, a checklist of product specifications, and processes to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Sneaker Con confirms consistency with the listing title, description, and images, and then performs a multi-point physical authentication inspection. An Ebay tag, guaranteeing its authenticity is attached to the sneakers to finalize the process. Afterwards the sneakers are sent via expedited shipping to the buyer.

Ebay wants to push its sneaker business
Photo: Ebay
Ebay wants to push its sneaker business
For sellers who choose to offer returns, the sneaker authentication program ensures the exact item initially sold is returned to the seller, via a verified returns process. Returns are shipped back directly to the authentication center, where the third-party experts verify each item and its condition before returning to the seller.

The announcement also builds on Ebay canceling selling fees on any sneakers purchase of $100 or more, a means to attract more top sneaker sellers and bring the most coveted inventory to the marketplace.

"Authentication has become an expectation for today's consumers in categories of high passion and high value, and this program makes Ebay the most attractive platform for enthusiasts in these categories," says Jordan Sweetnam, SVP and General Manager of Ebay North America.

As Ebay itself says, in 2019 it sold nearly six million sneakers in North America.