Ebay acquires authentication business from Sneaker Con
As Ebay continues to build out its authentication services, the online marketplace has acquired New York-based event organizer and sneakerhead platform Sneaker Con’s authentication business, Sneaker Con Digital, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which closed on November 24, 2021, expands on the existing partnership between Ebay and Sneaker Con, which has played a key role in powering the marketplace’s Authenticity Guarantee. Ebay first began offering authentication for sneakers over $100 in October 2020, with eligible footwear being appraised by a team of Sneaker Con’s industry experts. According to Ebay, more than 1.55 million sneakers have been authenticated by the program since it was introduced.
“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,” commented Jordan Sweetnam, SVP and GM of Ebay North America, in a release. “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 highlighted quarter-over-quarter growth in the sneaker category as evidence that the introduction of its Authenticity Guarantee “has significantly changed the way people buy and sell sneakers” on the marketplace. There are currently 1.9 million pairs of sneakers available to purchase on the platform every day.
Sneaker Con Digital was launched as a complement to Sneaker Con’s event-organizing activities in 2018, and currently has operations in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany. The company’s events business, which has organized more than 100 Sneaker Con meets in over 30 cities around the world since its foundation in 2009, is not part of the transaction with Ebay.
“Ebay is the industry pioneer and the marketplace was my first exposure to the sneaker community,” said Sneaker Con CEO and co-founder Alan Vinogradov. “We at Sneaker Con remain committed to providing premier global events for our community to come together and share their passion for sneakers.”
As well as sneakers, Ebay offers Authenticity Guarantee services for luxury watches and, since June of this year, handbags. The development of the platform’s authentication capabilities reflect its efforts to compete with the new generation of marketplaces shaping the ongoing resale boom.
These include dedicated luxury marketplaces, such as The RealReal and Poshmark, as well as stock market-inspired StockX, which hosts a range of different product categories, but has specialized in sneakers since its launch. All three of these platforms offer some kind of authentication service in order to reassure buyers that the products they are purchasing are genuine.
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