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Classic trainers are big business – here’s how eBay is dealing with fakes

Online marketplace eBay has announced a new Authenticity Guarantee program to ensure the sought after trainers and sneakers racking up the bids are the real deal.

By early next year, eBay has said it plans to verify all new and used trainers listed for over $100, whether they’re vintage Air Jordan, Air Max or those wildly sought after Back To The Future Nike Air Mag shoes.

eBay says it has a team of folks who’ll be assessing the shoes in question. Once the sale is made, the sneakers will be shipped to middle men who’ll take a closer look. If the condition and authenticity pass the sniff test they’ll be tagged and quickly shipped onto the buyer. Otherwise, they’re going back to the seller. The e-commerce site will also route any returns via the assessors.

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In a press release, eBay explains: “Upon receiving the sneakers, the independent authenticator confirms they are consistent with the listing title, description, and images, and then performs a multi-point physical authentication inspection. An eBay tag, guaranteeing its authenticity is attached to the sneakers to finalise the process, driving confidence in the collectibility and resale value.”

Blue, red-black shoes tagged with Ebay's authencity gaurantee

The new scheme, which is similar to one eBay already offers for luxury watches, is only available for sneakers being shipped to addresses in the US right now. There’s no news on whether the company plans to bring the service to the UK.

In case you didn’t know, the trading of trainers (or sneakers for our American readers) online is kind of a big deal. eBay says it sold nearly six million pairs in North America alone in 2019, with half a million listings going live every single day. Your used Nike Air Jordans from 1996 are probably worth a few quid now, you know. Best go and dig them out at your mum’s house, folks.

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