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eBay Says ‘Sneaker Jesus’ Cements its Status as Godfather of Sneaker Resale

Though StockX and Goat are the go-to source for many sneaker resale customers, eBay was once the sole digital destination for sneakerheads looking to cop the latest kicks.

On Tuesday, eBay took steps to enforce its claim as the original sneaker resale website, announcing the withdrawal of all sneaker resale fees (usually amounting to about 10 percent for each purchase) on sales topping $100.

The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant also shared plans to close out 2019 with a bevy of rare releases as a part of its “December Drop” series in collaboration with Stadium Goods, including four days of Yeezy roll-outs at prices below retail. Users should expect popular styles to release in larger quantities throughout the month, eBay said, including perennially popular Nike x Sacai and Air Jordan x Travis Scott collaborations.

“As the originator of the sneaker resale game, eBay continues to be a top source for emerging and collectible styles, and with high demand, we want our sellers and buyers to get in on the action,” said Jeff Chan, head of men’s footwear and apparel at eBay, which sold 6 million pairs of sneakers this year.

“For our community of diehard sneakerheads, eliminating selling fees allows them to turn their kicks into more cash to fund future purchases,” Chan added, “and results in a more robust sneaker inventory for shoppers everywhere.”

Ebay announces that it will no longer charge seller fees for sneaker resellers, big december sneaker drop
Chris Holbrook, or “Sneaker Jesus,” is one of the highest-profile sellers to enter into a collaboration with eBay. eBay

The auction and retail platform claimed to hold the “widest and most unique inventory” of rare sneakers around, relative to rivals like StockX and Goat. There are 1.5 million sneakers currently listed for sale on eBay, which expects that number to increase over time.

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During February’s NBA All-Star Game, eBay flexed its resale muscles in an effort to regain its status in the pantheon of sneaker resale. The auction site released 23 exclusive styles for buyers during the weekend and even brought in noted sneakerhead and Houston Rockets small forward PJ Tucker to participate in a panel and presentation at a popup in Charlotte, N.C.

It’s no secret that eBay’s reputation as a sneaker resale powerhouse has lagged some of the more flashy and popular platforms. But eBay points to sellers like Chris Holbrook—aka Sneaker Jesus—who has used the platform to turn a $100,000 business into $1.5 million in sales.

eBay has an opportunity to stand toe-to-toe with its competition in an industry Cowen & Co. said was worth around $2 billion in 2019 and could reach $6 billion by 2025.

In an interview with the New York Times exploring the rise of StockX and sneaker resale in June, NPD’s senior industry advisor Matt Powell said eBay helped make sneaker resale into a “cottage industry” but that new platforms like StockX have the ability to turn it into a bona fide business.