EBay is doubling down on its authentication capabilities.
The global resale marketplace on Monday said it had acquired Sneaker Con’s authentication business. EBay entered into an agreement with Sneaker Con Digital, the sneaker authenticator operating in the U.S., U.K. Canada, Australia and Germany, to acquire the business, and closed the deal as of Nov. 24. Further details were not disclosed.
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Sneaker Con was established in 2009, hosting events for a community of sneaker enthusiasts to buy, sell and trade sneakers. The company launched its authentication service in 2018, a few years after new resale, consignment and trading players StockX, Goat and Stadium Goods emerged on the scene. EBay launched its watch authentication service in the same year.
The companies first forged a partnership in October 2020 for eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service. EBay began authenticating products priced at $100 or more and introduced branded tags that double as a seal of authenticity. The company said the service has authenticated 1.55 million sneakers globally in just over one year.
Jordan Sweetnam, eBay North America senior vice president and general manager, said with the service’s launch that the company plans to authenticate “every collectible sneaker bought for $100 or more — new or pre-owned.”
EBay promoted the new service with a traveling pop-up called Authentication Nation where consumers could have their sneakers authenticated on the spot by Sneaker Con. The pop-up opened in Los Angeles in November 2020 and also authenticated luxury watches and trading cards with help from third-party authenticators.
The second iteration was held in Atlanta on April 9 and 10 with support from Sneaker Con and watch authenticators Captetown Diamond, and it subsequently traveled to Nashville, Tenn; Seattle; Las Vegas, and Austin, Texas.
“While Sneaker Con’s events business is not part of this transaction, these events will continue to represent the global sneaker community,” said Alan Vinogradov, chief executive officer and cofounder of Sneaker Con. “EBay is the industry pioneer and the marketplace was my first exposure to the sneaker community. We at Sneaker Con remain committed to providing premier global events for our community to come together and share their passion for sneakers.”