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Is Buying Sneakers on eBay Safe?

Founded in 1995 and listed on the NYSE in 1998, eBay is one of the most prominent online shopping and auction websites on the internet. eBay's platform connects millions of buyers and sellers in over 190 markets around the globe. The peer-to-peer marketplace is no stranger to the sneaker game. In fact, eBay has served as a popular destination for many sneaker collectors - buyers and sellers alike - for well over two decades. However, with the launch of platforms like StockX in 2015 - who introduced an authentication process to verify a sneaker's legitimacy before sending it to the buyer - eBay began to lose a large chunk of its market share in the sneaker resale industry. In an effort to reclaim some of its piece of the sneaker resale pie and compete with industry leaders StockX and Goat, eBay launched its Authenticity Guarantee in October of 2020 (details to follow) and has been pushing its sneaker vertical full-force ever since.

Is eBay legit?

Yes, eBay is 100% legit and not a scam. It is a publicly traded company with over 13,000 employees and boasts more than 153 million buyers and 19 million sellers on its platform, worldwide. When it comes to purchasing limited sneakers or collectibles on eBay, we recommend only purchasing listings marked with the Authenticity Guarantee. This will prevent getting scammed.

Overall, it's a bit of a mixed bags when it comes to reviews for eBay.com. Before judging the reviews from Sitejabber, Trustpilot, and Consumer Affairs, please keep in mind the following:

  1. Sneaker sales make up a very small segment of the total items sold on eBay.
  2. eBay has been around for a long, long time; these reviews span much more than a few years.
  3. The Authenticity Guarantee has only been in effect for a little over a year.

What is eBay's Authenticity Guarantee?

Debuted in October of 2020, eBay's Authenticity Guarantee has completely altered the way users on its platform buy and sell sneakers - making it simple and safe for sneakerheads to shop with confidence.

eBay before the Authenticity Guarantee program

Prior to the launch of this program, every transaction on eBay was handled strictly between the buyer and seller, no middleman. The buyer pays for the item, the seller sends it directly to them. This method left the door open for widespread scams and disputes in regards to the authenticity, legitimacy, and/or condition of the sneaker. Furthermore, it exposed an opportunity which companies like StockX took advantage of.

eBay with the Authenticity Guarantee program

No more worrying about getting ripped off or scammed for sneakers on eBay. eBay strategically partnered with (and later acquired) SneakerCon to launch eBay's Authenticity Guarantee - offering professional authentication and secure delivery on all sneaker sales over $100. Once a buyer completes a purchase of an item marked with the Authenticity Guarantee, the seller ships the sneakers to eBay - not the buyer. Once eBay confirms that the pair is 100% legit, they attach an NFC tag, repackage them, and ship to the buyer.

What products are covered by the Authenticity Guarantee?

The Authenticity Program for sneakers is eligible on items purchased within the United States and delivered to the United States, Canada, or Australia. Both brand new as well as pre-owned sneakers are eligible. To qualify, brand new, deadstock sneakers must have a price of $100+, while pre-owned sneakers must hold a price tag of at least $150. For further information on eligibility, see eBay's Authenticity Guarantee terms for sneakers

In addition to sneakers, eBay's Authenticity Guarantee program is also eligible for watches and handbags. Please note that eBay's policies and coverages for its Authenticity Guarantee may differ depending on category - be sure to check their website's terms for further details.

How to sell sneakers on eBay?

"Sell with total confidence." Here's how to sell sneakers on eBay:

  1. List your item - Sign up for an eBay account and follow the steps to list your item for sale.
  2. Ship the item - Once your item is purchased, you ship the sneakers directly to eBay who will authenticate them.
  3. eBay authenticates the item - eBay's team of authenticators validates the legitimacy of the item, and ships it straight to the buyer.
  4. Item is delivered to buyer - The buyer receives the shipment with the item from eBay.

How much are seller fees for sneakers on eBay?

When eBay first launched their Authenticity Guarantee program for sneakers in October 2020, there were no seller fees at all on sneakers over $100. However, effective January 19, 2022 at 12:00am PST, eBay's new fee structure for sneakers will go into effect. Here are the details on eBay's new fees for sneaker sales:

  • For sneakers selling for $100 or more (including taxes, shipping, handling fees and applicable fees), the new final value fees are 8% for non-store sellers and 7% for Basic and above Store subscribers.
  • Insertion Fees for Sneakers with a starting price over $100 will be waived.
  • Per order fee ($0.30) is waived for sneakers selling for $100 or more.
  • For sneakers under $100, final value fee rates are unchanged. Final value fees are 12.55% for non-Store sellers and 11.7% for Basic and above Store subscribers.

(information provided by eBay.com)

While many sneaker sellers are rightfully saddened by eBay's reintroduction of fees on sneaker sales on its platform, eBay still offers the lowest fees when compared to industry competitors GOAT, StockX, and Stadium Goods.

How to buy sneakers on eBay?

"Shop with total confidence." Here's how to buy sneakers on eBay:

  1. Make a purchase - Purchase a pair of sneakers on eBay whose listing contains the Authenticity Guarantee badge.
  2. Seller sends the item to eBay - The seller sends the item directly to eBay's team of authenticators who verify the sneakers are legit.
  3. eBay ships to item to you - Once eBay completes their verification of the sneakers, they ship them straight to your doorstep.

How much are buyer fees for sneakers on eBay?

Currently, there are no additional fees for buying sneakers on eBay. Keep in mind, tax and shipping rates may very depending on listing and purchase. eBay is not charging buyers for the authentication process associated with its Authenticity Guarantee.

How to find the best prices on eBay?

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How long does eBay take to ship?

eBay will perform their authentication inspection within two business days of receiving the item from the seller. Once the item is verified to be legit, eBay ships the sneakers to the buyer via three-day delivery.

Who are eBay's competitors?

When it comes to sneakers, eBay's main competitors are StockX, GOAT, and Stadium Goods. eBay's pitch to sneaker buyers and sellers in today's market is that their platform offers significantly lower fees than any of their competitors.

How to cancel eBay order?

How to cancel as a buyer: If you wish to cancel an order as a buyer, you'll have to contact the seller and ask them to cancel it for you. Ultimately, the seller can either accept or decline your request for cancellation. If the seller has already shipped your order to eBay, they'll be unable to cancel it. For more info on how to cancel an eBay order as a buyer, click here.

How to cancel as a seller: If you wish to cancel an order as a seller, navigate to your Seller Hub within eBay's platform. Go to "Orders", or in your "My eBay" section, go to "Sold". Find the order you want to cancel, select "More actions" and click "Cancel this order". Choose a reason and then tap "Continue" to complete the cancellation. For further details on how to cancel an eBay order as a seller, click here.

Final thoughts - Our Ruling

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