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StockX’s New Authentication Center Helps Aussie Shoppers Skirt Supply Chain Woes

Upon recently securing $255 million to value the company at $3.8 billion, StockX is launching a physical presence down under that could ease the pain of long shipping times and ensuing fees.

The footwear and streetwear resale marketplace is opening a new authentication center in Melbourne, marking the company’s first in the Australia and New Zealand regions and further adding to StockX’s global footprint, which today includes a network of 11 authentication centers and drop-off locations.

In late 2020, StockX opened authentication centers in Portland, Ore., Hong Kong and Toronto, which at the time grew the company’s global network by 50 percent.

Headquartered in Detroit, StockX also has offices in London and Tokyo.

Since 2016, StockX customers in Australia have been able to buy and sell on the platform. But the opening of the new Melbourne Authentication Center would further benefit these shoppers, particularly in today’s commerce environment. Buyers in Australia would see lower shipping fees and shorter shipping times, while sellers would benefit from reduced fees, streamlined shipping and faster payouts.

The new operation also enables bulk shipping for established sellers and introduces “All-In Pricing,” StockX’s proprietary, tech-forward feature that is designed to expertly match Australian buyers with Australian sellers when possible in order to further minimize shipping times and related fees such as import duties.

Given the modern state of the global supply chain, in which many apparel and footwear shipments are held for weeks at a time amid surging product demands, a stronger physical presence in new markets would benefit both consumers and StockX itself.

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“This launch is another example of our doubling down on a commitment to provide an authentic, accessible, and truly local experience to customers across the globe,” StockX CEO Scott Cutler said in a statement. “Not only does opening our doors in Melbourne make for an improved experience for an already engaged, passionate customer base, but it allows us to further deliver on our customer promise to be the world’s leading live marketplace for consumers of current culture.”

Australia is among StockX’s fastest-growing markets, the company says.

According to a recent Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of the marketplace, 19 percent of Australian adults have purchased or plan to purchase limited-edition sneakers in 2021 and among them, 42 percent say they are motivated by the investment opportunity.

The Australia move is a natural expansion for “the stock market of things,” which plays in an industry that appears to be growing at a frenetic pace. Last year, Cowen predicted worldwide resale could rise to nearly $30 billion by 2030.

The authentication centers house dedicated teams that inspect the footwear, apparel or accessory in transit based on checklists of more than 100 data points. The authenticators also inspect packaging and labeling for damages or nicks, and scan the item so that a machine learning-powered screen can show them if they’ve missed anything.

StockX team members have authenticated “tens of millions” of products at a 99.95 percent accuracy rate, the company says. Every product sold is tagged with a tamper-proof authentication tag.

The marketplace has compiled data from every fake product in the history of StockX to build a database of fake techniques around the world. The database is updated daily and constantly serves to keep the team educated and up to date.

The April funding round came on the heels of a $275 million raise in December led by Tiger Global Management, valuing StockX at $2.8 billion at the time. In total, when accounting for the newest $255 million, StockX has raised approximately $690 million.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, StockX closed more than 7.5 million trades and hit $1.8 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), which resulted in revenue of over $400 million. StockX also achieved break-even in the second half of 2020, and says it serves more than 200 million visitors across 200 countries and territories. Today, the platform boasts more than 125,000 product listings including sneakers, apparel, electronics, collectibles and accessories.

The marketplace attracted new buyers during the Covid-19 pandemic as shoppers sought new ways to buy apparel and footwear. Sixty percent of StockX’s active sellers in 2020 made their first sale on the platform last year.

The number of sellers located outside the U.S. more than doubled in 2020, and accounted for more than 30 percent of StockX’s total GMV for the year.