eBay is partnering with a technology provider founded by an NFL legend to ensure the authenticity of sports memorabilia sold on its site.
Starting July 31, buyers and sellers of sports memorabilia on eBay can use the managed Prova Group SmarTag solution to verify items as legitimate. Each authenticated item receives a Prova SmarTag placed by an authorized Prova employee; the tag is then linked to a Prova SmartCOA, which is an item's document of authenticity. Prova Group was founded by NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith.
After tagging, Prova Group scans the SmarTag to have associated authentication data stored securely in the cloud. Customers can then authenticate an item by looking it up on the Prova Group site. In addition, sellers can track their memorabilia and share its authenticity via the Legit by Prova app. eBay and other online retailers have been coming under increased pressure from the U.S. government to take a more active role in preventing fraudulent and counterfeit transactions from occurring on their platforms.
"As a preferred shopping destination for collectors of sports memorabilia looking for a wide variety of rare and desirable inventory, it's incredibly important to eBay that we can verify those items are legitimate," said Steve Halupka, vertical manager, sports memorabilia at eBay. "This commitment is shared by Mr. Smith and the Prova Group team, and together, with Prova Group's modern witnessed authentication process, we're able to expand eBay's authentication services and a shopper's confidence when they turn to us for that special addition to their collection."
"By partnering with Prova Group, eBay is taking collector confidence to a whole new level by ensuring the value and historical information associated with each Prova-tagged collectible is legit," said Smith. "The marketplace's values of trust, value and selection squarely align with Prova Group's, and it was only natural to bring our verification services to eBay's customers. Together with eBay, we can connect millions of sports memorabilia enthusiasts with an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind collectibles verified by our service."