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eBay Invests in Sneaker Authentication

eBay is getting serious about sneaker resale.

The online marketplace entered into a definitive agreement last week to acquire Sneaker Con’s authentication business. eBay did not disclose any further details about the transaction, except to say that it was signed and closed Nov. 24.

The deal arrived more than a year after eBay—with the help of Sneaker Con, a leading sneaker event company—expanded its Authenticity Guarantee program to cover all new and pre-owned collectible sneakers sold for more than $100 in the U.S. Since then, more than 1.55 million sneakers have been authenticated on its platform globally, eBay said.

eBay’s initial partnership with Sneaker Con saw the pair collaborate on the creation of a new authentication facility, as well as a checklist of product specifications and processes designed to ensure accurate vetting. The acquisition, it said, is “an extension” of that ongoing collaboration.

“We partnered with Sneaker Con to launch sneaker authentication on eBay last year because the team shared our passion for the category—with best-in-class capabilities to deliver what our customers want most,” Jordan Sweetnam, senior vice president and general manager of eBay North America, said in a statement. “The response to our authentication offering has been overwhelming, and this acquisition allows us to continue to transform eBay and bring a higher level of trust and confidence to every transaction.”

eBay originally launched its Authenticity Guarantee program in September 2020 for every watch sold over $2,000. In addition to adding footwear a month later, the platform also has expanded the service to cover bags and handbags from select brands that are sold for $500 or more. eBay said it plans to “continue to build upon its offerings to accommodate resale market trends.”

Sneaker Con has orchestrated events for sneaker lovers to buy, sell and trade sought-after footwear since 2009. It launched its authentication business in 2018 to complement this work. Sneaker Con’s events business was not part of the transaction, said Alan Vinogradov, CEO and co-founder of Sneaker Con.