Ebay Wants To Be The Place You Sell Your Sneakers—Again

by MR Magazine Staff

About a year and a half ago, Jeff Chan started work at eBay. He was working in the site’s fashion watches department—a place where buyers treasure specific obscure models, where value leans on scarcity, and where collectors approach purchases like a scavenger hunt. So it was the perfect training for his next gig at the site, heading up a category that’s become an absolute necessity for the company recently: sneakers. Since Chan started, he and others at eBay noticed the way people were selling shoes on the secondary market was changing. Sneakers were always a reliable source of business for eBay, but the category became so lucrative that competitors emerged. These were specialty sites, tiny compared to eBay. But you know what they say about the damage that can be done by thousands of paper cuts. Now, eBay’s challengers are legion, and growing. Grailed shoots customers push notifications for Supreme drops and hot shoe releases. StockX aggregates sales to create a “true” value, and has effectively changed how people treat their shoes—in Chan’s estimation, people now treat “shoes like stocks” because of the site. And real money—eBay money—has come into play. Grailed raised $15 million, while Goat, another resale app, was infused with $60 million. Stadium Goods received an undisclosed amount from the investment arm of luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns labels like Louis Vuitton and Dior. The secondary shoe market is reportedly worth $1 billion now—and profits were circumventing eBay and landing in the pockets of these specialty sites. eBay needed to pounce. Read more at GQ.