eBay’s Aussie sneaker authenticators will poke, prod and even sniff to make sure your shoes are legit

eBay Australia has extended its sneaker Authentication Guarantee to locally bought listings

Four sneakers on pink background
(Image credit: eBay)

Buying a pair of hard-to-find sneakers can sometimes feel like a roll of the dice, so to ease your mind, eBay Australia is bringing its Authenticity Guarantee service to Australian shores.

The program first became available in May when it gave Aussie buyers access to US-based sneaker listings, but now, it’s opening its first authentication centre in Sydney so you can buy from local sneakerheads with peace of mind.

eBay has enlisted the help of Sneaker Con to (quite literally) help them sniff out the fakes. Sneaker Con’s authenticators check everything from the colour and size of the box, the quality of leather, the stitching, and yes, even the smell.

At the moment, any shoe from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Converse or Vans purchased for over AU$150 is eligible for verification, and eBay says other well known brands will be added down the line.

Only sneakers in new condition can currently be authenticated, with checks for pre-owned sneakers to be added to the program in the coming months.

How it works

First, look for sneaker listings that have an Authenticity Guarantee badge (it’s a blue tick, just like you’d see for verified accounts on Instagram or Twitter).

Once you’ve bought your coveted set of kicks, the seller ships them to eBay’s authentication centre to have them looked over. There, they’ll undergo a multi-point inspection by Sneaker Con’s verifiers, and if they’re given the all-clear, they’ll be shipped to you with an NFC tag attached.

That NFC tag is your digital certificate, and it’s got detailed information about the shoes authenticity. If you like to buy and sell sneakers often, you can also use the tag to re-list the shoes in the future.

For the time being, this service is also completely free, as eBay will cover the cost of shipping the shoes to its authenticators. It hasn’t ruled out charging fees in the future, but for now, it’ll cost you nothing extra to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.