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01/25/2022

eBay extends authentication services to trading cards

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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eBay is now authenticating high-value trading cards.

Buyers and sellers of a popular collectible category on eBay are now receiving some extra protection for high-value merchandise.

eBay is launching a new authenticity guarantee service for trading cards. Beginning now, single ungraded trading cards (including collectible card games, sports and non-sports) sold for $750 or more in the U.S. will be authenticated. By mid-2022, the service will expand to include graded, autograph and patch cards sold for $250 or more.

With the addition of trading cards to eBay's authenticity guarantee service, the company now offers authentication in four key enthusiast collector categories, including sneakers, luxury watches, luxury handbags, and sports memorabilia.

As one of eBay's top categories, trading cards has been growing at a significant pace, with the e-commerce giant reporting trading card sales as hitting $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021 with an average of one sports trading card bought every second.

eBay’s new authenticity guarantee for trading cards follows the April 2021 introduction of an image listing tool for collectible trading cards in its mobile app Initially, the solution was designed to support Magic the Gathering cards, and expanded to Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! in May and other sports trading cards and other collectible card games later in 2021.The tool is designed to enable sellers to create a listing for select trading cards in half the time.

When a service-eligible trading card purchase is made, the seller ships it directly to a team of third-party authenticators at Certified Collectibles Group for a comprehensive, multi-point physical inspection. Following this assessment, the card is sent via expedited shipping to the buyer or seller. Details on the trading card authentication process include:

  • Inspection: Referencing an extensive database, authenticators inspect the overall condition and general quality. The overall condition of each card is checked against the auction listing description to ensure accuracy and authenticity.
  • Proof of Authentication: The e-tag features a unique QR code that's attached to the card's protective packaging. The packaging is then placed in the card holder to finalize the process, reaffirming confidence in collectability and resale value. Customers can the QR code on the packaging with any mobile device to learn more about the card and its authentication journey.
  • Verified Returns: For sellers who choose to offer returns, eBay's Authenticity Guarantee service for trading cards ensures the exact item initially sold is returned to the seller, via a verified returns process. Returns are shipped back to the authentication center, where authentication experts verify each item and its condition before returning to the seller.

"Our trading cards business has been growing for the past six years, and the recent surge speaks to the immense cultural significance of the category," said Dawn Block, VP collectibles, electronics and home at eBay. "As hobbies turn into investments, authentication services in categories of high value have become a priority for collectors. With the introduction of Authenticity Guarantee for trading cards, we're giving enthusiasts exactly what they want, while continuing to improve confidence in the marketplace."