eBay Offers Authentication Service for Trading Cards

eBay has announced the launch of its Authenticity Guarantee service for trading cards. Now single ungraded trading cards (including collectible card games, sports and non-sports) sold for $750+ in the U.S. will be authenticated. By mid-2022, the service will expand to include graded, autograph and patch cards sold for $250+. 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, watches, handbags and now trading cards.

As one of eBay’s top categories, trading cards has been growing at a significant pace — hitting $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. With an average of one sports trading card bought every second, Authenticity Guarantee now brings an added layer of trust to these transactions – as well as unmatched access to comprehensive and accurate product information for collectors.

“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.”

Authenticity Guarantee, an industry first for trading cards in terms of size and scale, ensures accuracy so enthusiasts can buy and sell with total confidence. As the service expands to include trading cards alongside handbags sold for $500+, sneakers sold for $100+ and watches sold for $2,000+, eBay further solidifies the marketplace as a top, trusted destination for buying and selling high value items.

eBay is continuously listening to its growing community of collectors to ensure the marketplace is delivering what enthusiasts want and need. Giving collectors even more options and flexibility, Authenticity Guarantee comes on the heels of the introduction of industry-leading tools Price Guide and Collection and Image Scan, which the company debuted in 2021.

Authenticity Guarantee for Trading Cards: How It Works

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 – including its affiliates, CGC Trading Cards and Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) – for a comprehensive, multi-point physical inspection. Following this rigorous assessment, the card is sent via expedited shipping to the buyer or seller. Details on the trading card authentication process include:

  • Thorough 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. Scan the QR code on 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.

eBay Trading Cards By The Numbers

  • eBay’s Trading Cards category is growing significantly faster than the total marketplace.
  • Trading Cards in the first half of 2021 hit $2 billion in transactions – equal to all of 2020.
  • To date, close to 4 million cards purchased on and off eBay have been added to customer Collections.
  • In addition, close to a quarter million buyers have used the Price Guide tool in search to visualize trends for their favorite trading cards.
  • In 2020, a sports trading card was purchased every second.
  • Top Trading Cards GMV Growth by Categories (H1 2021):
    • Tennis – 1797%
    • Soccer – 852%
    • Pokemon – 536%
    • Marvel – 437%
    • Golf – 436%

Source: Numbers based on eBay U.S. January-June 2021 sales data.