As the popularity of collectible items continues to rise, eBay will be hosting events to authenticate items on-site in various U.S. cities, including sought-out items like high-end watches, shoes and trading cards, the company announced on Wednesday. Customers will be given an estimation of their product's worth and the option to sell it on eBay.
The company jumpstarted the event series in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, to be followed by events in Seattle, Las Vegas, Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas in the coming weeks. EBay will add more categories to its Authenticity Guarantee program in the next few months, per the announcement.
EBay is also tapping into celebrities and athletes to showcase their collections. Basketball player Trae Young featured his new and vintage luxury watches, including from the likes of Rolex, Cartier, Hublot and Tissot, during the Atlanta event, the company said.
In its pursuit of the collectibles market, eBay is hosting pop-up events to authenticate items in person.
The international resale market for trading cards, watches and sneakers are in the billions and could continue to rise, according to eBay's announcement, which means authentication is all the more critical for enthusiasts and investors. The e-commerce veteran said its platform has adapted to meet the most popular categories collectors and enthusiasts are looking for over the years.
"Younger generations have upended the idea of a traditional portfolio by marrying their passions with financial opportunity," Jordan Sweetnam, senior vice president of eBay North America, said in a statement. "We've transformed the eBay experience to reflect that change in behavior, ensuring the authenticity of the most covetable, collectible and investment-worthy items in our marketplace."
EBay and other e-commerce platforms, chiefly Amazon, have experienced their fair share of counterfeit issues. To combat the sale of fake goods, eBay launched its Authenticity Guarantee program last fall to verify sports memorabilia, high-end watches and sneakers worth more than $100.
But as e-commerce platforms introduce initiatives aimed at combating knockoff sales, retailers and online marketplaces can't agree on how to protect online shoppers from fakes, leaving consumers to fend for themselves.
Last September, retailers and trade organizations united to form the Buy Safe America Coalition, a group advocating for safeguards against stolen and fake goods, including the INFORM Consumers Act, which would require online marketplaces to gather and verify merchant information. But earlier this year, online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and OfferUp teamed up to create the Coalition to Protect America's Small Sellers, which aims to preserve sellers' privacy and opposes the proposed legislation requiring merchant disclosures.
Meanwhile, a Red Points survey released last October found that more than half of consumers would request a refund for fake goods, and more than a quarter purchased counterfeit goods on Black Friday.