eBay will host its first collectibles authentication event of the year in Atlanta this week followed by similar events in Nashville, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Austin. Collectors will be able to get items authenticated in a “drive-through” model so they won’t have to step out of their vehicles.
eBay held its first such event in Hollywood last November.
In the announcement, eBay referred to a surge in popularity of collectible goods, naming its pet categories: sneakers, luxury watches, and trading cards, where it has been investing extra resources over the past year or so.
The authentication events are designed to highlight eBay’s authentication services offered for certain items in those categories when buying on eBay.com.
Some of the statistics eBay included in the announcement are the following:
- In 2020, eBay sold 7.69 million sneakers in North America.
- eBay sold over 4 Million watches in 2020 with over 12 Million watches sold over the past three years.
- eBay’s trading card category grew by 142% in 2020 with over 4 million more cards sold on eBay than in the prior year.
eBay acknowledged this is not the nostalgia-driven fad like the one that helped fuel growth in its early years. Executive Jordan Sweetnam was quoted in the announcement saying younger generations are marrying their passions with financial opportunity.
“We’ve transformed the eBay experience to reflect that change in behavior,” he said, “ensuring the authenticity of the most covetable, collectible and investment-worthy items in our marketplace.”
But the eBay of today is also different from the early 2000s when auctions were considered binding contracts and before eBay neutered sellers by removing the ability for them to leave negative feedback.
Because the price of certain collectibles are as volatile as stocks, buyers can purchase an expensive item and then return it to the seller if the price falls, with eBay automatically backing the buyer through its Money Back Guarantee.
eBay General Manager of Collectibles and Trading Cards Nicole Colombo referenced that very problem in a video in December.
eBay said core to its Authenticity Guarantee offering are third party independent experts who “fully vet and verify items through comprehensive inspections,” and it said it would add additional categories to the program in the coming months. You can read more about the Authentication events in this press release eBay published on PR Newswire.