Online marketplace eBay is once again expanding its authentication service, this time to include support for authenticating valuable business cards. The service will now be able to authenticate cards worth at least $750 worth of collectible card games, as well as sports cards and other non-sports cards, the company said. By the middle of this year, that service will grow to include cards with notes, autographs and patches that sell for $250 or more. These additions extend eBay’s ability to guarantee its customers the authenticity of high-value items, including sneakers, watches and bags that the company can already authenticate.
Like other verticals where authentication is available, eBay saw the value in adding support for business cards due to the volume of activity in the category on its site. The company said the commercial card category is growing “significantly faster” than its total market, and the category recorded $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. in 2020 for comparison.
To date, nearly 4 million cards purchased on and off eBay have been added to customer collections — a tool added last year, which allows merchant card collectors to track their wallets on the site. Here, people can view and manage their card collection and monitor real-time market valuation changes that affect their portfolio. By contrast, nearly a quarter of a million shoppers on eBay have used the Price Guide search tool to view trends for their favorite cards, eBay said.
The fastest growing card categories during the first half of last year included tennis (up 1797%), football (852%), Pokémon (536%), Marvel (437%) and golf (436%).
“Our business card business has been growing for the past six years, and the recent increase shows the immense cultural significance of the category,” said Dawn Block, eBay’s vice president of collectibles, electronics and household items, in a statement. declaration about the launch. “As hobbies turn into investments, authentication services in high-value categories have become a priority for collectors. With the introduction of the Authenticity Assurance for business cards, we are giving enthusiasts exactly what they want while continuing to build confidence in the marketplace,” she added.
eBay’s website notes that trade card authentications are being handled by experts from Certified Collectibles Group affiliates, CGC Trading Cards and Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG).
In the face of increased competition for buying and selling everyday items from services like Facebook Marketplace and other local shopping apps, eBay has been working to better establish itself as a place where people can look for collectibles hard-to-find and second-hand luxury. items online.
After launching its Authenticate program in 2017 for handbags, it later expanded to include items such as luxury jewelry and watches. In November, it further invested in this strategy with the acquisition of the sneaker authentication business of its existing partner, Sneaker Con Digital. Adding authentication is also good for business. After adding the Authenticity Assurance to the purchase and sale of high-value sneakers, the company saw the category grow quarter on quarter, surpassing 1.55 million sneaker authentications at the time it decided to bring the sneaker authentication service in-house. .
From 3rd quarter of 2021the company noted that its U.S. sneaker business was growing at double-digit rates, and luxury handbag sales were outpacing the site’s U.S. total by double digits.
As with the other categories, items eligible for the eBay Authenticity Guarantee are automatically added to the program, with no input or output option available. When a buyer makes a purchase, the seller ships to the authenticator address provided by eBay. The authenticator has 2 days to authenticate watches or stickers and 3 business days for sneakers or bags. If the item is approved, it will be shipped to the buyer with safe delivery within 2 days. Otherwise, it is sent back to the seller and the buyer is refunded. eBay is currently covering the costs associated with authentication, but that may change in the future.
The company believes that attracting an enthusiastic consumer to its market will eventually lead to higher-value cross-category purchases. As CEO Jamie Iannone explained during eBay’s Q3 earnings call, “…part of our strategy is to lead enthusiasts to trusted new experiences and then leverage those shoppers across our vast offering in other categories. The average shopper who buys luxury sneakers and watches spends approximately $2,000 and $8,000, respectively, on other categories.
But with trading cards, eBay faces new competition from a variety of dedicated trading card apps and services such as Alt, Whatnot, Magnifying glassTopps and others, including those that serve to help collectors determine the value of their cards, such as WorthPoint or CollX.
The company has authenticated more than 1.4 million items across all categories since re-launching its authentication program as a “guarantee of authenticity” more than a year ago, and customer satisfaction with the program has reached 90%, he said. Iannone.