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eBay Sneaker Store Defies Collectors’ Basic Tenet

eBay Sneaker Store Defies Collectors' Basic Tenet

eBay is opening a pop-up store in LA where it will sell exclusive and coveted sneakers at up to 70% off market price. And as a gimmick, it will offer lower prices for shoppers who wear their purchases out the door – a cardinal sin for die-hard collectors.

In its press announcement, eBay said, “According to a recent survey of 1,000+ sneakerheads, commissioned by eBay, the majority of respondents said they wear less than half of their collections.”

That’s because condition is a major factor in the value of collectibles – and not just for sneakers. “Never worn” (or never opened) is a tenet of collecting.

But unlike many other types of collectibles, sneakers don’t necessarily last forever. An article in High Snobiety from last year declared, “Tiktok’s Latest Viral Trend Restates the obvious: Wear Your Shoes!” and wrote, “currently, videos of crumbling sneaker soles are making the rounds on TikTok and Instagram.”

eBay said its “Wear ‘Em Out” sneaker store will feature a selection of the season’s most coveted styles, including new releases that would normally only be available at deadstock prices.

Helping hype the marketing campaign is musician Offset who helped curate the stores’ offerings by “using his years of sneaker collecting to determine what collectible kicks enthusiasts would most want to un-deadstock.”

eBay is previewing the store’s inventory at Sneaker Con Anaheim (May 21 – 22). The eBay Wear ‘Em Out Store will be open May 27 – 29, 2022, at 455 N Fairfax in Los Angeles.

The marketing promotion is part of eBay’s vertical strategy – what it has told Wall Street analysts is its focus on high-value buyers and focused categories, which include sneakers, watches, handbags, trading cards, automotive parts & accessories, and refurbished goods.

“With trusted services like Authenticity Guarantee, low seller fees, eBay 3D true view and money back guarantee, eBay gives shoppers confidence with every sneaker purchase,” eBay said in this week’s announcement about its sneaker store.

One thing missing from the announcement: where is eBay sourcing the inventory for the store, and did it invite eBay sellers to participate? Will those 70% off prices impact eBay sellers’ listings in the short term, even though they’ll only be available in a single location for only 3 days? And, will it help eBay sellers in the longer term by bringing attention to the sneakers category?

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

5 thoughts on “eBay Sneaker Store Defies Collectors’ Basic Tenet”

  1. I can see it now :
    They purchase , wear them out the door and…..
    WHAM !
    Just down the block, hooligans come out of nowhere and relieve the poor person of their new sneakers.
    Over and Over again…..
    What lame brain thought this up ?

  2. So Ebay is competing with sellers on the Ebay platform like Amazon?
    With all the crime in Los Angeles it would not be my first shopping destination choice for coveted over priced shoes.

  3. Here is a wild thought. Ebay sees how much money sellers are making from selling sneakers. They know they are losing business to Whatnot especially since they reinstated the FVF on sneakers. They saw how much “certain” people were making in a very short period of time and wanted all the money to themselves. So somehow they cut a deal with a source of high end sneakers. Then they suspended a “certain” seller to make sure they would have no competition in their new pop-up store. I would not put in past them. Or maybe they cut a deal with a certain former ebay exec son who is in the sneaker business.

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