Are There Secret Requirements To Qualify For eBay Sneaker Authentication?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


It's been difficult to keep track of all the requirement for eBay sneaker Authenticity Guaranteed since they got rid of the minimum price requirement in favor of vague "select brands" language last year, but today's eBay for Business podcast reveals there may be hidden requirements that aren't listed in the authentication FAQ or policy pages.

A seller submitted a question asking why some of their sneaker listings didn't qualify for the Authenticity Guaranteed badge and the suprising answer was because they didn't enter a style code.

As Griff and Brian pointed out, style code is not a required item specific, nor is it listed anywhere in any of the FAQ or help pages that it is required for sneakers to qualify to be authenticated.

Ep 236 || Hobby vs. Business Selling: How to Determine Which One Fits Your Business on eBay
Mark Jaeger, VP of Operations at TaxAct, returns to shed some light on the differences, pros and cons between Hobby and Business selling. Brian and Griff answer questions on printing shipping labels, Promoted Listing ad rates, and how to be sure your sneakers qualify for Authenticity Guarantee. You…

Brian [reading seller question]: I've sold many sneakers through the authenticity guarantee program and overall really enjoy the program...

...I've been experiencing issues with some of my listings, not qualifying for the program, even though I believe they meet all the specific criteria. Been an issue for a while now and I can't seem to get a straight answer as to why this is. I spoke with many eBay customer service representatives and even a member of the eBay sneaker team, but never really got a straight answer. It's a big part of my business and I'd really like some clarity on this.

I feel like I might be losing out to the other competition on the market selling the same shoes because my listing doesn't have the authenticity guaranteed badge and theirs does...

Griff: ...So I was as perplexed as David because I've sold shoes. I've always had the authenticity guarantee for anything that is at that price point of around a hundred bucks. It's always there. So I scrutinized the listing or the listings he reported to me as not qualifying. It was clear to me they should have qualified. I couldn't figure it out.

So flummoxed, I asked Steven Livingston, Sneaker Team, you remember Steven? He was on the show recently. To take a look at the issue, take a look at the listings. And they got back to me in a jiffy with the reason that some of David's shoes didn't qualify and I was amazed...they were all missing style codes.

Brian: Style codes?

Griff: Yes. The style code for the sneakers. On some of his listings. He didn't actually indicate them in the item specifics. So all brand name sneakers have what's called a style code and you can usually find it on the outside of the box if it comes with the box and it's on that little label you see as a different set of numbers. Or it's also on the interior label that most shoes have, you know, either underneath the tongue or on the side wall of the shoe itself.

Brian: So if the seller doesn't enter a style code for a listing for a pair of sneakers, those sneakers will not qualify for authenticity guarantee?

Griff: Correct. And here's the thing. How would any seller know this? It's not a required item specific.

Brian: I didn't know it and I used to sit on the same floor with the AG guys.

Griff: Maybe they didn't even know it! It's not, there's not a mention of it anywhere on the listing page that the style code is required for authenticity guarantee. So for the record, I've always entered the style code for any shoes I have listed on eBay. But for some reason there's a lot of sellers who don't, or worse, they'd never indicate the style code. And I've seen these in listings on eBay, but I always do.

Brian: Wow. Well this little requirement for authenticity guarantee inclusion should be made clear to shoe sellers at the very least on the listing page.

Griff: Yeah, I agree. And so does the Authenticity Guarantee Team apparently, because I emailed them back and said, you know, I can't find any mention of this and I suggest we actually make some mention to alert. And they said, oh yeah, I think this may have been just an innocent oversight on our part. So yeah, they're gonna, they're gonna do something. But in the meantime, you've heard it here first on the eBay for Business Podcast. Breaking news!

It's disappointing but not surprising this critical information has never been communicated to sellers who wish to be included in the program and it causes me to wonder - what other secret criteria for inclusion in all of eBay's authentication programs has the company failed to disclose?

Have you had listings not included in Authenticity Guaranteed that should have qualified? Let us know in the comments below!

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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!