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For the Sneakerheads – eBay launches new authentication scheme for trainers

30th Apr 2021

8am: Multiple browsers open.

8.05am: Sold out.

It is virtually impossible these days to get your hands on the latest trainer releases, even via the raffles run by various retailers. And many of those who are lucky enough to purchase or win via a raffle are buying to resell on second hand marketplaces.

The resale market is worth billions and you can see why – notably whenever there is a Nike Air Jordan x Off-White collaboration, trainers can be seen on the resale market at around five times the initial retail price, if not more in some cases. This makes these rare trainers a valuable commodity.

But the risk of buying trainers via a second hand seller, as with other designer items, is the potential for purchasing counterfeits. No one wants to part with their hard-earned cash to end up having a fake pair of Yeezys.

A popular destination for resellers is eBay. eBay have recently launched a new authentication scheme to crackdown on counterfeit items being listed on its platform.

This scheme is already running in the US and is now extending to the UK. eBay are only offering independent authentication for Nike Jordan and Air Max trainers, as well as Yeezys, at this time. These are the main trainer brands seen as attracting a high value.

The trainers are sent directly to the independent authenticator and this is done at no extra cost to the buyer. 

This scheme should hopefully provide further reassurances to the customer and the brand owner to ensure third parties are not exploiting the brand and listing counterfeit items on eBay.

This is separate to the Verified Rights Owner Program (VERO) already on eBay, that Reddie & Grose are familiar with.  VERO allows owners of intellectual property rights, or their representatives, to report listings that infringe their rights. 

We watch with interest to see how Nike and Adidas get on with this new program, and whether other brands may join. It will also be interesting to see if other second hand marketplaces follow suit by adopting something similar to promote happy buying for rare trainers.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it

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