The resale market has been a mainstay of sneaker culture for some time now, with platforms like StockX and GOAT vying for priority for those who’ve taken an L. More recently, the luxury sector has spawned a path into resale, with platforms like The Real Real and Vestiaire Collective appealing to buyers looking for used goods.
Earlier this year, we wondered if eBay could really become the next StockX. Since then, eBay has continued to up the stakes in its rigorous authentication process to re-establish the platform as a trusted site for enthusiasts to track down the one that got away.
“We know the sneaker obsession across the world hasn’t slowed down,” says eBay Australia sneaker expert Alaister Low, revealing that “the category has continued to grow on eBay Australia with growth at triple digits over the past three years.
It’s no surprise, then, that the platform tightened up in Sydney, Australia, when it opened its first authentication center last year. Today, the online retailer has a network of six centers that have authenticated more than 1.5 million pairs of sneakers worldwide.
In May, eBay announced that its authenticity program was being extended to luxury goods, offering peace of mind to those who shop for men’s and women’s luxury handbags across 16 designer brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dior , Gucci and Prada. Currently being piloted in Australia, there are plans to offer the same deluxe authentication services at eBay’s global authentication centers over the next few months.
When goods arrive at one of the authentication centers, they are meticulously inspected by experts who look at things like logo placement, stitching, leather quality and even smell before receiving the blue tick. from eBay. Rest assured that when a bag or pair of authenticated designer sneakers show up at your doorstep, you’ll be able to unbox them and scan the attached NFC tag to prove their legitimacy.
To show what happens during the authentication process, eBay recently launched The Museum of Authentics, a platform to engage with the sneaker community and give fans a chance to see some of the world’s most coveted sneakers in the same roof. At the Melbourne site, visitors can also watch experts authenticate sneakers in real time before they are listed online.
Among the rare exhibits is a pair of worn and double Air Jordan 1s signed by Michael Jordan himself. This particular pair is a size 13.5 left shoe and a 13 right shoe (to fit Jordan’s famous shoe sizes) and is valued at over $500,000 based on the auction price of a pair. similar pair sold last.
YEEZY shoe innovation creator Cesar Idrobo was also commissioned by eBay to create a prototype for display at the Museum of Authentics. Idrobo, who worked alongside Steven Smith at adidas before landing his current gig at YEEZY, has taken a “laisser faire” approach. “During production, I let the raw materials fall naturally and shape the silhouette of the shoe. I wanted to portray the innocence of human creativity,” he told Highsnobiety. When I pressed Idrobo to what he planned to do with the prototype, he remained timid.
Maybe the prototype will end up on eBay? Only time will tell if eBay can catch up with StockX. But in the meantime, I’ll watch this.