eBay UK shakes up sneaker market with authentication programme

Press Release

The very first eBay authentication centre is now open to facilitate ‘Authenticity Guarantee’ on sneakers over £150 in the UK. eBay UK has opened the centre as a response to the surge in demand with a pair of sneakers selling every 9 seconds last year on its marketplace.

Through eBay’s latest program, Authenticity Guarantee, the most popular sneaker brands sold on eBay UK for over £150 will be fully vetted and verified by an independent team of industry experts – Sneaker Con. 

“eBay is the original marketplace for sneakers and we remain one of the largest channels that connects sneaker buyers and sellers, with our sneakerhead community growing significantly each year.” said Rob Hattrell, Head of eBay Europe. “This move to launch Authenticity Guarantee in the UK is a big one. We have seen sneakers become an asset class for many- a new way of storing your money as they grow in value over time.  We want enthusiasts to know eBay’s got their back when they are looking to invest in sneakers and we’re here to help sellers build their businesses.”

The program currently authenticates the most popular sneaker styles and brands on the marketplace – Nike, Adidas and New Balance – in new and, most recently, used condition. By the end of the year, the program will ramp to include many more brands and sneakers at lower price points. With just 5% selling fees on sneakers over £100, customers can now sell new or used sneakers with confidence.

This announcement is the latest in a series of activations from eBay that puts the customer first more assertively in the post-pandemic world. Coming only a few days and weeks after the launch of eBay's new Personalisation service, the eBay for Change hub, and ongoing small business finance initiatives

To lead the way on this new initiative eBay UK has appointed its very own sneakerhead, Wahaaj Shabbir as Sneaker Category Manager.

“Sneakerheads come to eBay to buy and sell exclusive sneaker drops that are hard to get your hands on. The most expensive pair of trainers we have sold on the platform so far are the Dior Air Jordan1 AJ1 High OG Grey sneakers which sold for £7k. When you are trading anything worth that much, a guarantee of authentication and protection and knowing that eBay has you covered is so important.”

To power Authenticity Guarantee, eBay has partnered with Sneaker Con, a leading organization for sneaker authentication, making eBay’s sneaker program the only one in the industry using an independent, third-party authenticator.

“We were founded by sneakerheads, for sneakerheads, so partnering with eBay comes naturally considering our mutual rich history in servicing the sneakerhead community,” said Alan Vinogradov, co-founder of Sneaker Con. “We’re excited to take our authentication skills and expertise to the UK to help power eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers.”

How Authenticity Guarantee for Sneakers Works 

When a sneakers purchase is made, the seller ships it directly to eBay's authentication centre for a comprehensive, multi-point physical inspection by independent third-party inspectors. Following this rigorous assessment, the sneakers are sent via expedited shipping to the buyer. Additional details include:

  • Proof of Authentication: Upon receiving the sneakers, the independent authenticator confirms they are consistent with the listing title, description, and images, and then performs a multi-point physical authentication inspection. An eBay tag embedded with NFC chip technology is attached to guarantee its authenticity and finalize the process, driving confidence in the collectability and resale value.

  • Third-Party Authentication: eBay has partnered with an industry leader, Sneaker Con, to create a new state-of-the-art facility in the UK – leveraging top authenticators in the industry, a robust checklist of product specifications, and best-in-class processes to ensure accuracy and efficiency. With rigorous inspection of the box, shoe, and accessories, the authentication underscores eBay's commitment to giving shoppers exactly what they want. 

  • Verified Returns: For sellers who choose to offer returns, eBay's 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 centre, where the third-party experts verify each item and its condition before returning to the seller.

eBay UK sneakers by numbers:

  •  A pair of sneakers sold on eBay every 9 seconds in the UK last year

  • Brits can shop more than half a million luxury sneakers on eBay at any given time

  • The most expensive sneakers purchased on UK so far are the Dior Air Jordan1 AJ1 High OG Grey Sneakers, which sold for £6990

  • The top three most popular types of sneakers in the UK are the Jordan 1s, followed by the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2s and the Nike Air Max 90s.