It may not be as trendy as Flight Club or Stock X, but real sneakerheads know there are few better places to find your dream pair of Air Jordans or Yeezys than eBay. And now the online marketplace is taking serious steps to make sure that every pair of rare kicks sold on the popular platform is the real deal.
The company has just announced a new authentication service for high-end sneakers as part of its Authenticity Guaranteed program. Later this month, the most popular shoes sold on the website will be authenticated by a independent third party, with plans to eventually check every pair that sells for more than $100.
As part of the new program, eBay is partnering with Sneaker Con to make sure you’re getting exactly what was promised from a listing, according to a press release. Once you buy the pair of Nikes, Adidas or New Balances, they’ll be shipped to an independent authentication facility where they’ll be thoroughly inspected by a human expert. Once they’ve passed a multi-point examination, ensuring “they are consistent with the listing title, description and images,” the sneakers will be fitted with an eBay authentication tag and sent to you.
The service—similar to ones offered by Stock X and GOAT—will also protect sellers who offer returns. Sneakers returned by a buyer will also go through the authentication facility, where they’ll be checked to make sure they are real and that they arrive in the same condition they were originally purchased in.
“Authentication has become an expectation for today’s consumers in categories of high passion and high value, and this program makes eBay the most attractive platform for enthusiasts in these categories,” said eBay executive Jordan Sweetnam. “eBay operates the world’s most diverse sneaker marketplace—with the widest selection and best prices—and by removing any uncertainty with the buying process, our community can buy and sell with total confidence.”
The new service is part of eBay’s Authenticity Guaranteed program, which launched in September to verify all watches sold for more than $2,000. The marketplace has yet to reveal exactly what sneakers will be authenticated initially—although press images suggest Jordans and Yeezys will be among the first to receive the treatment—but has said the practice will be applied to all its high-end listing by next year.