eBay will now authenticate trading cards worth $750 or more

eBay is adding support for authenticating valuable trading cards. The service will now be able to verify cards worth at least $750 from collectible card games, as well as sports and other non-sports cards. By the middle of this year, the service will include graded, autograph and patch cards, as well as other items. eBay's ability to assure its customers of the authenticity of high-value items, such as the sneakers, watches and handbags, has been expanded by these additions.

eBay saw the value in adding support for trading cards due to the volume of activity in the category on its site. The category of trading cards saw $2 billion in transactions in the first half of the year, which is more than the total marketplace. For comparison, that is equal to all of the trading card transactions that took place in 2020.

Over 4 million cards purchased on and off eBay have been added to Collections, a tool that allows trading card collectors to keep track of their portfolios on the site. Here, people can view and manage their card collection, and watch the real-time market valuation changes that impact their portfolio. According to eBay, nearly a quarter-million buyers have used the Price Guide tool to visualize trends for their favorite trading cards.

The card categories which saw the most growth in the first half of last year were tennis, soccer, Pokémon, and golf.

The image is from eBay.

Dawn Block, VP Collectibles, Electronics and Home at eBay, said in a statement that the recent surge speaks to the immense cultural significance of the category. With the introduction of authenticity guarantee for trading cards, we are giving enthusiasts exactly what they want, while continuing to improve confidence in the marketplace.

The experts at the Certified Collectibles Group are handling the trading card authenticitys, according to the eBay website.

In the face of increased competition for the buying and selling of everyday items from services like Facebook Marketplace and other local buying apps, eBay has been working to better establish itself as a place where people can seek out harder-to- find collectibles and secondhand luxury items online.

After launching its Authenticate program for handbags, it later expanded to include things like luxury jewelry and watches. The acquisition of Sneaker Con Digital's sneakerauthentication business was made in November. It's also good for business to have a password. After adding the authenticity guarantee to the buying and selling of high-value sneakers, the company saw a quarter-over-quarter category growth of over 1.5 million sneaker authenticatings by the time it decided to bring the service in-house.

The company noted that its U.S. sneaker business was growing at double-digit rates, and that luxury handbag sales were more than double the total U.S. site's.

There is no opt-in or out available for items that are eligible for the eBay Authenticity Guarantee. The authenticator's address is provided by eBay when a buyer makes a purchase. The authenticator has three business days for sneakers or handbags and two days for watches or trading cards. The item is shipped to the buyer with two-day secure delivery. If not, it is sent back to the seller and the buyer gets a refund. EBay is currently covering the costs associated with authentication, but that could change in the future.

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The company believes that by attracting an enthusiast consumer to its marketplace, they will be able to purchase a higher value item. As CEO Jamie Iannone explained during eBay's Q3 earnings, part of the strategy is to drive enthusiasts to new trusted experiences and then leverage those buyers across our vast supply in other categories. The average buyer who purchases sneakers and luxury watches spends $2,000 and $8,000, respectively, in other categories.

With trading cards, eBay faces new competition from a variety of dedicated trading card apps and services, like Whatnot, Loupe, and others, and those that serve to help collectors determine what their cards are worth.

Iannone had said that the company has authenticated more than one million items since relaunching its program as the authenticity guarantee.