With the help of independent experts, eBay will now vet sneakers sold for more than $100 in the U.S. as part of its Authenticity Guarantee program, the company announced earlier this week.
Sellers will send their sneakers to a third-party authentication facility for an inspection to verify that the items sold are consistent with the listing title, description and images. The platform has enlisted Sneaker Con to create a new facility and use its authenticators' expertise, the company said.
For sellers offering returns, the company will also ensure that sold items are returned to the seller. The service, which launches this month, will include all sneakers sold over the platform for more than $100 by early 2021, per the company statement.
The company noted in its statement that the platform houses more than half a million sneaker listings every day, but sneakers are growing increasingly popular worldwide. Jordan Sweetnam, senior vice president and general manager of eBay North America, said in a statement that the decision to introduce sneaker authentication is meant to remove uncertainty during the purchasing process.
Ebay has introduced multiple initiatives aimed at building trust between consumers and online sellers. In September, the platform debuted its "Authenticity Guarantee" program for high-end watches sold for more than $2,000. The company also announced a partnership with Prova Group in July to authenticate sports memorabilia.
Beyond eBay's efforts to earn consumers' trust, other third-party platforms, including Amazon and Verishop, have begun vetting businesses seeking to use their platforms. However, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee asked Jeff Bezos about counterfeit goods sold through the platform during a July hearing. Retailers and trade organizations formed a coalition to push for regulation of online marketplaces, a sign that these verification efforts may not be enough to satisfy skeptics.