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Dive Brief:

  • Furthering its focus on the collectible market, eBay on Monday announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire TCGplayer, a technology platform for the collectibles industry, according to a company press release. 
  • The total value of the deal is around $295 million, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 
  • TCGplayer, which has over 600 team members, will continue to operate independently following the acquisition.

Dive Insight:

EBay is building its focus in the trading cards category through the acquisition of TCGplayer. 

TCGplayer, which calls itself the largest online marketplace for trading card games, builds applications and tech that connects hobby gaming businesses with customers. 

The deal will provide eBay with capabilities like order fulfillment and cart optimization in order to boost the customer experience. 

“This new chapter allows us to continue operating independently within eBay, while also benefiting from their decades of industry experience and resources to deepen the connection between hobbyists and their communities,” Chedy Hampson, founder and CEO of TCGplayer, said in a statement. 

Trading cards as a category has been growing at eBay, hitting $2 billion in transactions during the first half of 2021. In January, the company expanded its Authenticity Guarantee to include trading cards. 

Earlier this year TCGplayer announced its own Conditioning Guide, which was developed in partnership with its top sellers, as part of its commitment to authentication. The Guide is a set of unified card condition definitions that helps grade cards, thereby streamlining communication between buyers and sellers. 

EBay also recently launched the eBay Vault, a storage facility and digital marketplace for trading cards and other collectibles. CEO Jamie Iannone on an August call with analysts said the Vault is accepting graded trading cards above $500 and will expand to more products over time. 

“We’ve leaned in a lot to trading cards because of the opportunity that we see in that market,” Iannone said, adding that eBay estimates collectibles to be a $10 billion category. “We’re going to continue to invest in collectibles and broadly as a category.” 

The company introduced a Price Guide and Collection tools for trading cards in 2021, which allow consumers to view, manage and track the value of their card portfolios. That year eBay also launched the ability for sellers to scan their trading cards using its app to cut down listing time.

This summer eBay acquired KnownOrigin, a marketplace that allows artists and collectors to create, buy and resell NFTs through blockchain-supported transactions. The company said at the time that the acquisition would usher in “a new era of digital collecting to the world’s top destination for collectibles.”

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