eBay is acquiring TCGplayer, an online marketplace for collectible trading card games, in a deal valued up to $295 million, the company announced on Monday. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. eBay says the acquisition furthers its commitment to trading card enthusiasts and also noted that trading cards are currently showing “substantial growth.”
Founded in 2008, TCGplayer has grown from Syracuse-based hobby stores into an e-commerce platform. TCGplayer, which currently employs more than 600 people, will continue to operate autonomously following the acquisition.
“eBay continues to build on our 26 years of experience in trading cards, powering local hobby stores and Main Street retailers to deliver an online destination that collectors love,” said Dawn Block, the Vice President of Collectibles at eBay, in a press release. “eBay has always fueled our customers’ passion in this space and facilitated connections between buyers and sellers, and with TCGplayer, we can enhance the customer experience across categories, forge even more relationships, and cater to enthusiasts around the world.”
In a statement, TCGplayer founder and CEO Chedy Hampson said the acquisition will give the company a chance to benefit from eBay’s industry experience and resources while TCGplayer continues to operate independently. Hampson noted that he will remain in his position as CEO of TCGplayer. He also said the company will keep its headquarters in downtown Syracuse after the deal closes.
“With eBay’s support, we will advance our purpose, and expand our tools and services to improve the collecting experience online and in your favorite local hobby store,” Hampson said in the press release.
eBay has long been a place for trading card enthusiasts to buy and sell, and the company has recently been working to solidify its place in the market. In January, the company expanded its authentication service to include support for authenticating valuable trading cards worth at least $750. At the time, eBay said it saw the value in adding authentication support for trading cards due to the volume of activity in the category on its site. The company said the trading cards category is growing “significantly faster” than its total marketplace, and that the category saw $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. That’s equal to all of the trading card transactions that took place in 2020, for comparison.
As eBay deals with increased competition from services like Facebook Marketplace and other local buying apps, the company has been working to better establish itself as a place where people can seek out collectibles. The company’s latest acquisition shows that eBay sees increased potential in trading cards, as the company notes that the agreement offers a way for it to “maintain its position as a desirable platform for trading card sellers.”
Today’s announcement comes two months after eBay said it was acquiring Manchester-based NFT marketplace KnownOrigin for an undisclosed sum. The platform enables artists and collectors to create, buy and resell NFTs. eBay said it’s acquiring the entire company, including IP and the team. Earlier this year, eBay launched its first collection of NFTs in partnership with web3 platform OneOf.