eBay is expanding its “Authenticity Guarantee” program for sneakers to Canada, it announced this week. Through the program, eBay offers authentication for certain select sneakers that sell for over $100.
eBay Canada chose Sneaker Con to fully vet and verify the items’ authenticity and said it would open an authentication center early next month in Toronto. Sneaker Con is an odd name for an authenticator, but it started life as a convention for “sneakerheads” before launching the Sneaker Con platform.
Reading Sneaker Con’s About Us page reveals another oddity: Sneaker Con offers its own marketplace where people can buy and sell sneakers.
An excerpt of eBay Canada’s announcement follows:
“To power Authenticity Guarantee, eBay has partnered with Sneaker Con, a leading organization for sneaker authentication, making eBay’s sneaker program the only one in the industry using an independent, third-party authenticator.
““We were founded by sneakerheads, for sneakerheads, so partnering with eBay comes naturally considering our mutual rich history in servicing the sneakerhead community,” said Alan Vinogradov, co-founder of Sneaker Con. “We’re excited to take our authentication skills and expertise to Canada to help power eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers.””
eBay Canada General Manager Rob Bigler said investing in sneaker authentication is part of eBay’s broader business vision to build experiences that make it the most competitive and compelling platform for enthusiasts across our key categories. “We want enthusiasts to know we’ve got their back and we’re here to help sellers build their businesses.”
eBay Canada said Wednesday’s announcement builds on its move to remove selling fees on all sneakers sold for $100 or more, “which has helped attract more top sellers and bring even more coveted inventory to the marketplace.”
eBay’s expansion of its sneaker authenticity program to Canada comes as demand for the service in the US outpaces capacity, as we reported on April 2nd, leading to a backlog and delivery delays.
The sneaker category, along with watches, are two of eBay’s top priorities. In the spring, eBay hired a new Vice President of Fashion – Charis Máquez – to oversee eBay’s fashion initiatives, including sneakers.