eBay is hosting a series of in-person product authentication events for collectors across the country to promote its new online Authenticity Guarantee program, which rolled out in October 2020. Sneaker, watch and trading card collectors can have items authenticated in drive-thru stations in five U.S. cities this month and next, mirroring the authentication practice eBay offers online across these categories.
The global sneaker, watch and trading card resale markets are valued in the billions and are expected to continue to surge, according to research from Boston Consulting Group and Cowen & Co. As a result, these “hobbies” are increasingly viewed as serious investment opportunities, making authentication more important than ever.
“Younger generations have upended the idea of a traditional portfolio by marrying their passions with financial opportunity,” said Jordan Sweetnam, SVP of eBay North America in a statement. “We’ve transformed the eBay experience to reflect that change in behavior, ensuring the authenticity of the most covetable, collectible and investment-worthy items in our marketplace.”
eBay doubled down on its role as the “original marketplace for enthusiasts and collectors” last fall with the launch of Authenticity Guarantee, for which third-party independent experts vet and verify items prior to their sale on the platform. The program currently covers the three aforementioned categories, with new categories set to be introduced soon, according to eBay.
The in-person collector authentication events will take place in Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; Seattle; Las Vegas; and Austin, Texas over the next four weeks. Guests will pull up to a drive-in authentication station and watch while third-party authenticators evaluate their items, then leave with an estimate of the item’s worth and the option to list it on eBay. The events are free, and appointments are not required.
At each stop in the tour, eBay also will be giving fans a look at the unique collections of athletes and celebrities, starting in Atlanta with basketball star Trae Young’s collection of luxury watches.
A few fun facts demonstrate eBay’s major role in these collector communities:
- Every minute, 15 pairs of sneakers are bought on eBay, and in 2020, the platform sold 7.69 million sneakers in North America alone;
- Used watches account for 63% of all watch sales on the platform, despite only making up 42% of eBay’s total watch inventory. (By comparison, new watches comprise 57% of the total watch inventory on eBay, but only account for 33% of total watch sales.);
- eBay’s trading card category grew 142% in 2020 with 4 million more cards sold than the prior year; and
- Gross sales in basketball cards on eBay exploded in the past year, increasing by more than 370%, and Pokémon trading card sales increased 574% from 2019 to 2020.