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EBay steps up its sneaker game as resale business expected to hit $30 billion

Ebay is expanding its “Authenticity Guarantee” for new and preowned pairs priced over $100


eBay Inc.

EBay Inc. said Monday that it is expanding its sneaker authentication efforts for all new and preowned pairs priced over $100 starting this month with the most popular styles and including all sneakers in early 2021.

The news comes days after the release of a Cowen report that
forecasts the growth of the global resale market for sneakers and streetwear to
$30 billion by 2030. Earlier this summer, Cowen estimated that the North American
resale market is now at $2 billion.

“Authentication has become an expectation for today’s
consumers in categories of high passion and high value,” said Jordan
Sweetnam, senior vice president of eBay North America, in a
statement.

The company
EBAY,
+0.73%

says it sells a pair of sneakers every 1.5 seconds. In 2019, eBay sold 6 million sneakers in North America.

Demand for sneakers, streetwear and athleisure were soaring before COVID-19. With more consumers working from home and seeking out comfortable clothing, demand for these sorts of items has climbed.

Read: Nike stock surges 10% as fiscal 2021 revenue is expected to rise as much as low double digits

Moreover, there are sneaker enthusiasts who seek out rare styles, vintage looks and other cutting-edge pairs all around the world. StockX, one of the fastest growing consumer marketplaces, according to Cowen, and one of the most well-known resellers of these sometimes very pricey sneakers, said in its most recent report that it had 25 million global monthly visitors during the third-quarter.

Sotheby’s recently included eight pairs of rare Nike Inc.
NKE,
-0.89%

sneakers in an online auction. Christie’s offered rare Michael Jordan sneakers over the summer as well.

And the Nike Jordan brand has gotten a bump during the coronavirus pandemic from the airing of an ESPN documentary, “The Last Dance.”

But it isn’t just Nike shoes enjoying resale attention. Around the world, brands like New Balance, Adidas
ADS,
+1.34%

and others are also popular, according to StockX.

See: The RealReal and Gucci partner for online consignment shop

“We are more confident in the idea that sneakers are now an
emerging alternative asset class that can be bought and sold for both
collection, price appreciation and investment,” Cowen wrote in a July 15
report.

“With a growing base of passionate investors, growing sources of supply and authentication, sneakers earn illiquidity premiums, provide diversification – noncorrelated with traditional asset classes, and earn favorable risk reward characteristics.”

Add to that the growing demand for all kinds of secondhand and resale clothing and accessories items, with that market expected to surge to $64 billion over the next five years from $28 billion now.

Read: The shift to thrift: COVID-19 propels an already surging secondhand clothing market

EBay’s “Authenticity Guarantee” already applies to each watch sold in the U.S. priced at more than $2,000.

For sneakers, the seller will ship the purchased item to a third-party facility where it will be inspected. EBay has partnered with Sneaker Con on the facility, and the inspection includes the shoe, the box and the accessories.

Ebay stock has rallied 54% for the year to date. The Amplify Online Retail ETF
IBUY,
+1.92%

is up 89.2%. And the benchmark S&P 500 index
SPX,
+1.88%

has gained 9.4% for the period.


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