The 2021 Sneaker Con trail continues to blaze, this time with a weekend stop in the city of Atlanta where hundreds of sneakerheads gathered to buy, sell, and connect with fellow sneaker lovers who share the same passion. ONE37pm attended the event for the first time this year, and met with eBay’s General Manager of Sneakers, Garry Thaniel to discuss the over $21B retail sneaker market, the $2B resale sneaker market, and what makes eBay the number one marketplace for sneaker reselling – including eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee and zero seller fees.
With eBay recently reaching over one million items authenticated, the sneaker category continues to explode on the platform with an average of 1.64M sneaker listings each day. Last year eBay sold a total of 7.69 million sneakers in North America with an average of 15 pairs of sneakers bought every minute on eBay, while also boasting their fastest-growing – yet frequently under-served community of female sneaker collectors and enthusiasts in an estimated $80 billion market.
The women’s sneaker category is another fast-growing area on eBay growing more than 80% through the course of 2020, and sales of men’s sneakers bought by female shoppers doubled over that same period.
We spoke with Thaniel more about the continued sneaker growth on eBay, and what we can expect in this final quarter of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
ONE37pm: What’s it like being here in Atlanta for Sneaker Con?
Thaniel: It’s great being here! I love Atlanta, and there’s a lot in the sneaker culture that is blowing up from here. ATL is definitely an influential place, and eBay is here partnering with Sneaker Con. We’ve been at the forefront and the OGs to some extent when it comes to the resell market online specifically. This is a great opportunity for us to also show people what we are doing in terms of the authenticity booth we have, and we just hit a milestone of authenticating one million pairs of sneakers which is amazing.
We’re also not charging any fees right now for people to sell on eBay. On average we save people roughly $17 to $20 million dollars in authentication fees. We want to get exposure and show people what we are doing!
ONE37pm: You guys aren’t new to this as people have been buying and selling sneakers on eBay since the very beginning. Can you talk a bit about that evolution?
Thaniel: We’re always trying to make sure that we evolve to meet the market’s expectations. When we first started, authentication wasn’t table stakes and now it is. How the marketplace is going gets us excited in the eBay community. We’re aiming to make eBay the most inclusive sneaker community out there including the older people like myself who bought their first limited edition sneakers on eBay.
Whether you are like me and want to search and find the most rare thing or just a person that wants to look fresh. I’m the kind of person who will go down a rabbit hole of searching for what I want. Ultimately it’s our goal to make the sneaker community as welcoming as possible.
ONE37pm: Is there a specific sneaker you’ve seen in 2021 that’s popping off?
Thaniel: The Travis Scott shoes, Fragment, and Dunks have been huge for us this year. Dunks are up over 300 percent, and then of course the Jordans. Yeezys are up significantly on our platform as well, but then we also have some stuff that you wouldn’t expect. Donovan Mitchell’s adidas D.O.N. is up over 100 percent for us in sales. Kawhi Leonard’s sneaker releases are up over 400 percent.
ONE37pm: What makes eBay the best?
Thaniel: For me eBay is the best for two reasons. First because we have anything that you are looking for across our platform. There’s a lot of gems that you can find here that range from brand new to pre-owned rare gems. The other reason is our place in the community. As I said before, we want to make sure everybody feels welcome in our community. This was the first place I found my most expensive pair of sneakers.
When I was in college around 2001 and 2002, I wanted a pair of the Tim Duncan Foamposite Max shoes from 1998. I didn’t have the money to buy them when they came out, but in 2002 I did. I found them on eBay and to this day they are in my closet. When I wear them people pause. That’s why we are the best because we have a platform to allow people to tell their stories. Most sneakerheads will tell you that they got their start on eBay.
ONE37pm: We’re heading into the holidays and the first quarter of 2022. What can we expect?
Thaniel: I think we’ll continue to see sneakers being one of the top sneaker items. Our business has seen triple digit growth. I’ve been in touch with many of the sellers in our buying community when it comes to items people are most excited about, and I think you will still see people buying a lot of the items they’ve always wanted like Travis Scott, New Balance, Dunks, etc. As much as new releases will be super important, so will the things people have been watching for a while that they are finally going to pull the trigger on. We are already excited about 2022, and many of the things that we are working on right now on eBay to better serve our customers.