You probably all know the eBay authenticity check by now.
For those who live under the moon: eBay's authenticity check has been around since last September. That means: All sneakers with a sales price of more than 100 euros — new AND worn — are checked for authenticity by a professional Sneaker Con team and then sent to the buyer in a super convenient way. For some Cologne sellers, the eBay authenticity check team has already organized an eBay seller workshop, which we were also allowed to take part in. This time we had the honor again, in Berlin. And not only that, we were also allowed to conduct an exclusive interview with two sneaker sellers, Adis and Alex.
WHAT IS THE EBAY SELLER WORKSHOP?
For eBay, the highest priority is to be in contact with sellers, to answer questions, to take criticism and praise and, above all, to respond to requests. All in all: connect with each other. And a seller event like this is of course perfect for that. This time we packed our things and went to Berlin. Everyone who is interested in the content of the first seller workshop in Cologne can read it again here. For everyone else, the interview with Christopher starts here. Namely with Adis and Alex, two sellers from eBay and Carlo, the Category Manager of eBay Sneaker.
We were interested in how the two sellers tick, how they came to eBay and how they feel about the platform and, above all, what sneakers mean to them. At the end of the interview, Carlo, eBay Sneaker Category Manager, also has his say.
THE INTERVIEW WITH ALEX, ADIS & CARLO
Nice to meet you all here at the eBay Seller Workshop. Do you want to introduce yourself?
Adis: Hey, sure. I'm Adis, 35 years old and I'm from Berlin. I am a seller on eBay.
Alex: Hi too, I'm Alex and Seller from Berlin. Felt for half an eternity. It's going pretty well and I'm just getting started with eBay.
Carlo: Yes, my name is Carlo, I am Category Manager for sneakers on eBay and I am looking forward to our conversation.
Alex, tell us something about your career and how you got into sneaker (re)selling? Has your love for sneakers always been so great that you really wanted to do something in the business?
Alex: Actually, it came about totally by accident. I ended up at the Footlocker Outlet through a friend and bought two shoes. I cheekily uploaded a pair for me and a second pair to eBay to see what happens. The shoes were super cheap back then and I sold them directly on eBay the same day. Of course I was so happy that I was back in the outlet the very next day. I then bought several pairs straight away and that's how it all continued to build up. At some point, one or the other dealer who found me on eBay approached me and offered me shoes. So it got bigger and bigger.
Yes and my passion, still from the 90s, is the Air Max BW. Some of you may still know him (Christopher laughs, “One or the other raver, yes”) . It's not that hyped anymore. But for me it's just a childhood memory. I have so many different silhouette colourways, so the BW is the only model that I really consciously collect.
Would you say that your sense of achievement with the Footlocker Outlet purchase has boosted your career?
Alex: Yes, definitely. I think this dopamine, which is released in the brain through the sale, makes you want more. In that sense, it is not an addiction to buying, but rather an addiction to selling. You just get such a good feeling and eBay is the perfect platform for that.
Adis, now to you: You are also a full-time sneaker seller and have your own shop. How did you become a sneaker seller? Also to you: Did you always want to turn your passion into a profession? Tell us how it came about.
Adis: Honestly, like Alex owes it to his mate, I owe my passion to Alex. Alex and I are business partners. However, everyone has their own company. It was born out of a crazy idea back then. And yes, we just really drank too much schnapps back then (Christopher laughs, “we know that from Dead Stock”). Back then, Alex also offered to sell sneakers, and I just wanted to earn something alongside my studies. Then I just started with an Asics sneaker and realized 2-3 days later that the shoe had sold. That's when I got the feeling that Alex just mentioned. And then I wanted more. Over the years I just stayed true to the sneaker business and today I earn my living with it.
Would you say that you turned your passion into a profession? Or career to passion?
Adis: The former. For example, I remember my school days. Some guys came up to me and said: “Wow, what kind of shoes are those?”. At that time I was wearing the Air Max Plus and the shoe was not yet known in the East. The boys then really wanted to know where I got the shoe from and I was really a bit the king of the schoolyard at the time. Means that shoes have always been an issue for me.
Alex and Adis, do you own valuable sneakers and do you sell them when you no longer wear them?
Adis: I always have to laugh about the question. Because if you look at us like this – today I'm wearing a black Presto – sneakers are more of a means to an end for us. And apart from a Jordan or something, I don't really care about hyped shoes. I don't define myself by clothes or sneakers. I wouldn't wear hype shoes myself. Simply because the shoe would be worth a lot less if I were to sell it after all.
Alex: I agree with Adis. When we started our company, we really didn't know where we were headed. With an entrepreneurial thought, you actually question whether it is worth wearing this or that shoe right now. How important is it to me to appear on the outside? For us, this is our daily bread, we earn money with it and that's why it's easier for us to decide not to wear ill-hyped shoes. That's why I don't sell my worn shoes, because I think about it carefully beforehand.
Where do you prefer to buy your private sneakers? Do you buy them directly from marketplaces, the second market or from retailers?
Adis : Laughs. So I just take my private sneakers from my storage (everyone laughs) . So I buy it myself. But only when the old ones are completely broken and my wife tells me that it's about time for a new pair of shoes. Otherwise I don't actually buy sneakers and I don't follow new releases either.
EBAY IS SIMPLY THE OG AMONGST ALL PLATFORMS
How do you two rate the global developments on the subject of hype sneakers and their price developments in recent years? There are always ups and downs. If something happens, the prices change. And that's usually pretty badass.
Adis: In the end it's a question of money, how you see something like that. Some have more money, others less and there are people who really don't care. If I buy a shoe for €100, others will buy one for €3,000. The situation is just the way it is, it doesn't just affect the sneaker world. At the moment, however, it is also the case that people no longer want to spend so much money on sneakers because we are simply in a crisis. I don't think that's so bad, because the enormous price development has really got the upper hand. In the meantime, most prices are leveling off quite well again. It must also be said that many people have entered the business who actually have nothing to do with it. And that drives prices up exorbitantly.
Carlo: Yes absolutely, since I'm with you. I'm basically a fan of supply and demand. The price develops for reasons. Nobody invents it. There are people who want to spend the money. But I would think it would be nice if the brands simply didn't artificially cut back as much as possible. It would just be nice if everyone who wants a shoe also had the opportunity to buy the shoe at a retail price.
Alex, Adis, if you can still remember: Why did you choose the eBay platform for yourself back then?
Alex : When I started back then, there really wasn't much else besides eBay. (Christopher: “eBay is simply the OG among the platforms”). Of course, there are now other platforms, but they don’t offer such a good service by far. That's why I still advise everyone to go to eBay, without wanting to advertise boldly now. I'm selling there myself, and I think that's the best proof that I'm convinced of the cooperation.
Adis: I would also say that eBay simply offers good opportunities. You can be creative, create your own offers and almost have your own online shop. The possibilities are almost limitless.
You've been on eBay for a long time now. Can you tell what has improved over the years? Does eBay really step on the gas? How is the contact with eBay, has it increased?
Adis : No other platform offers the kind of service that eBay offers. That's just the way it is. You call there, the people are friendly and understand what you need. Carlo made the whole thing super personal. I have his cell phone number, I annoy him and sometimes he annoys me too (laughs). But I wish it was the same on other platforms. Sure, sometimes you have differences of opinion, but even then you just try to come to a common denominator. As a seller, you sometimes have to admit that when mistakes happen, it's not always the fault of the platform. I can't think of anything concrete that eBay should do better.
Alex: eBay and the sellers are simply on an equal footing. And that, for me, is the most valuable quality of this business relationship. The contact is very close at the moment. If someone asked me how eBay is doing, I'd say it's almost too good. We get so much sustainable support. You can't expect to be ensnared and cared for like that. No other platform does that. Never. And I appreciate that.
EBAY SELLER WORKSHOP IN BERLIN
eBay offers sellers and buyers the authenticity check service automatically and free of charge for purchases of shoes over €100. Do you use eBay more to ensure this security for your buyers?
Adis: Well, that really takes my everyday worries away from me. The average return rate (in Germany, by the way, 35%) is really high and with the authenticity check, buyers and sellers are absolutely safe. Some people buy sneakers, wear them once and then send them back.
And that's no longer possible. My rate on eBay is now around 12-14 percent, well below the average.
Alex: I can underline that. The eBay authenticity check also gives us more security. My return rate is only around 8 percent.
We already made it a topic during the eBay Seller Workshop. What is your general stance on the subject of fake sneakers? Has this ever become an issue or problem in your everyday selling? Have you ever bought fakes?
Alex: We get offers for fakes all the time. But we notice that pretty quickly. Usually only full sizes and complete size runs are offered. But since every brand actually has half sizes, this is of course noticeable. I'm a bit more relaxed about the fake industry because it just allows people to wear something they can't otherwise afford. But fakes have no place in the professional resale of sneakers and that's what the authenticity check is for.
Carlo: The fake industry is big and I'm not a fan of it. The industry has so much money, the quality of fakes is getting better and better and sometimes you can hardly tell them apart. It is therefore important that there are objective bodies such as the eBay authenticity check. Because people know their way around and recognize fakes relatively quickly.
Have you noticed it yourself or have you already noticed from the sneaker sellers you know that the reselling business is being affected or damaged by the fake industry?
Adis: We definitely notice that. There are tons of fakes online, but that's why the exam now exists. If the fakes are cheap, they will buy them. Because our real models simply cost more, of course. For a while we also noticed this in our figures – honest business was hardly possible anymore. But that has now changed for the better.
Carlo, you've been working in the sneaker business unit at eBay for a year and a half and you're also the face of sneaker selling and authenticity testing, so to speak. What challenges do you currently see on the German sneaker market?
Carlo: The vintage sneakers are a challenge, especially for us in the authenticity check. This is a super subjective topic, especially when it comes to condition. We have to look at it very objectively and that's a big challenge for our team.
eBay is originally known and popular as a second-hand and resell platform. Do you think more new or pre-loved sneakers are being sold on the platform?
Carlo : There are private and commercial traders. Commercial sell much more new goods. The ratio is around 70 to 30. For private sellers it's more like 50 to 50, with a tendency towards used sneakers. Vintage sneakers are also more time-consuming for companies because they would have to create an individual offer for each shoe. There are some who do it and are successful, but that is rather rare.
Thank you Adis, Alex and Carlo for your time and the interview. It was super exciting to take the perspective of a successful seller and to look at the business from your point of view.
OUR CONCLUSION OF THE EBAY SELLER WORKSHOP
This eBay seller workshop was also a great success. We look forward to every opportunity to see old and new faces at the respective events. At the event, it was important for the team to connect with sellers and respond to requests. That's not really often the case, especially with such a large platform. Hence our tip: Sell your sneakers on eBay! You are in good hands there.
WHY SELL ON EBAY?
If you are still not convinced, it is worth selling on eBay:
- The sales commission is only 5%
- The eBay authenticity check does not cost anything extra, it applies to sneakers with a sales price of more than 100 euros
- After the test, each sneaker gets an NFC tag, with which the shoe can be easily resold and your buyers can see all the important facts about the shoe
- Uploading shoes is super easy! Just make sure that you photograph your sneakers against a white background and describe them adequately
- Last but not least: You can also sell used sneakers, that's our highlight
There have already been three eBay seller workshops. One in Cologne, one in Hamburg and this one in Berlin. But eBay is of course planning further seller workshops in other cities. Maybe there will be an eBay seller workshop in your city soon.