My eBay Sneaker Authenticity Guarantee Buying Experience - Update

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Last week I wrote about my very confusing eBay sneaker buying experiences - time for an update!

eBay Sneaker Authenticity Guaranteed?
eBay’s Authentication Guarantee for sneakers causes confusion and disappointment.

I'll start with the pair of sneakers showing authenticity guarantee that were drop shipped from Amazon directly to my address, not to the authenticator.

These sneakers never arrived.  I was never ever able to send a message to the seller because eBay said "messaging is turned off for sneakers covered by Authenticity Guaranteed" even though these did not go to the authenticator in New York.

I was eventually able to open an item not received case, which prompted the seller to process a refund.

eBay has never responded directly explaining why this listing showed Authentication Guaranteed. However, I noticed they seem to have made some slight changes to how variations are now being displayed.

Variation listings below $150 are still showing the badge and included when search is filtered by "Authenticity Guaranteed" but now when you click through it doesn't show the badging on the listing page unless the variation you are viewing is above $150.

It's a good start, but not enough - eBay needs to make absolutely sure shoes that do not qualify and will not be sent to authentication are not surfaced when filtering by "show only Authenticity Guarantee."

As a reminder, here's what eBay's FAQ says about qualifications for Authenticity Guarantee:

What items are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee?
Currently, Authenticity Guarantee is available for Yeezy, Jordan, Nike, adidas, New Balance, Asics, Vans, Reebok, Converse, and Puma brand sneakers, listed in the men’s or women’s athletic shoe categories, in new condition sold for $150 USD or more or pre-owned condition sold for $300 or more. Auction items in the athletic shoes category in new condition that sell above $150 USD or pre-owned that sell above $300 USD are also included in the service. You can identify eligible items by looking for the blue Authenticity Guarantee check mark in the search results, as well as in the top right of the item page.

The words "sold for" would seem to be important here.

I also won an auction at $39 that was showing authenticity guaranteed - and they did go to the authenticator.

Here's what $39 authenticated Yeezys look like.  The NFC-enabled tag feature sounded really cool, but the actual experience using the recommended Decode app wasn't exactly magical.

What is the eBay Authenticity Guarantee tag?
An eBay Authenticity Guarantee tag will be attached to each pair of sneakers once they have been verified by our authentication partner. The Authenticity Guarantee tag is fastened to the sneaker and activated with our digital stamp of authenticity and customized with the sneakers’ details. By holding your NFC-enabled device (iPhone 7 and above and most Android phones 2015 and newer) near the tag, you will receive a prompt and be able to view the authenticity report of your sneakers.

I asked about this in the weekly chat with eBay staff to see if they could shed some light on why shoes below $150 show Authenticity Guarantee as well as why some go to the authenticator but others don't.

So far there has been no response from eBay on the issue.

Re: Community Chat, May 5 @ 1:00 pm PT - General Topics
I’m concerned about 2 recent buying experiences I’ve had with eBay’s sneaker authenticity guarantee. The first pair of sneakers showed the authenticity guarantee in multiple places on the listing page and I was even blocked from sending a message to the seller, so there was every indication it would…

This entire experience has been very strange and eBay doesn't seem to be in any hurry to clear up the confusion.

I can only speak to my personal buying experience, but based on that experience I have to wonder how many of these sold listings under $150 showing Authenticity Guarantee went to the authenticator.

If they didn't go to the authenticator, eBay needs to figure out what is going on and exclude sneakers less than the minimum from the filter for Authentication Guarantee going forward.

If they did go to the authenticator, I have to wonder what kind of business logic is involved in paying for authentication and shipping on shoes that clearly don't meet the minimum requirements - especially when eBay has been plagued with complaints about delays, which prompted them to increase the minimum price from $100 to $150 to try to give the authenticator time to catch up.

eBay says they've seen an explosion in demand for sneakers. Could the inclusion of sneakers that don't meet the minimum qualifications for Authenticity Guarantee be a contributing factor to the delays and "explosion in demand"?

With announcements this week of expanding the sneaker authentication program to Australia, Canada, and the UK, eBay really needs to get this sorted out ASAP before opening the floodgates any further.

More problems with eBay's Authenticity Guarantee

Problems With eBay Authenticity Guaranteed
eBay’s authentication program experiences pricing manipulation, delays, & mistakes causing frustration for buyers & sellers.
Authenticity GuaranteeeBay

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!