Building Trust in Sneaker Luxury and Resale

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In the fourth episode of Business in vogue and OpSec Security master class on brand integrity and authenticity, James Hendy, general manager of authentication at Ebay, joins Business in vogue Lucy Maguire, Trends Editor, to discuss Ebay’s push into watch, luxury and sneaker resale and its subsequent authentication innovation.

Ebay is one of the leading online marketplaces in terms of product scale and volume, Hendy says, but for many customers concerns about product authenticity were a barrier to transactions on the platform. “In the field of luxury [on Ebay] there’s always been a bit of trepidation in the product you’re buying, watching the seller think, is this someone I can trust? Trust has always been a question mark.

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Ebay’s Authenticity Guarantee, which was first rolled out to watches over $2,000, sneakers over $200, and then handbags over $500, uses third-party or expert authenticators to verify the origin of the goods.

For watches and sneakers, Ebay has outsourced the authentication process, partnering with Swiss watch company Stoll & Co and global sneaker convention Sneaker Con to create networks of expert authenticators who can verify goods before they are sent to the buyer. (It then acquired Sneaker Con, in November 2021). “Yes, it will add a few days to purchases, but it will also add that credibility,” says Hendy. In handbags, there was no equivalent, so Ebay built its own team of authenticators, who undergo months of rigorous training.

Customers are receptive to this in-depth authentication from experts and it has helped drive sales in all three authenticated categories. Since the launch of the Authenticity Guarantee, luxury sneakers and watches on Ebay continue to grow at double digit rates. Since launching the Authenticity Guarantee for luxury handbags in June 2021, growth has also accelerated significantly, says Hendy.

Once the systems are in place, it is important to communicate the authenticity of the product in order to compete with the new reselling platforms which have always focused on the provenance of the product. “We’ve kind of reinvented ourselves with the authenticity guarantee,” says Hendy, “Those who had trust issues before can now see, there’s a blue check.” The platform plans to continue innovating in the space as younger consumers continue to invest in luxury and sneaker resale.

To conclude the five episodes Business in vogue and OpSec master class series, we will publish a full report free of charge. You can sign up for the full report here.

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More on this topic:

Episode 1: How to build a better supply chain

Episode 2: Ensuring authenticity in ultra-luxury resale

Episode 3: How to Create and Protect Brand Identity

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