eBay acquires TCGplayer, an online marketplace for collectible trading card games, in a deal valued at up to $295 million, the company announced on Monday. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. eBay says the acquisition strengthens its commitment to the trading card enthusiasts and also noted that trading cards are currently showing “significant growth.”
Founded in 2008, TCGplayer has grown from a Syracuse-based hobby shop into an e-commerce platform. TCGplayer, which currently employs more than 600 people, will continue to operate autonomously after acquisition.
“eBay continues to build on our 26 years of trading card experience, powering local hobby shops and Main Street retailers to provide an online destination that collectors love,” said Dawn Block, vice president of collectibles at eBay, in press release. “eBay has always fueled our customers’ passion in this space and facilitated connections between buyers and sellers, and with TCGplayer we can improve the customer experience across categories, build even more relationships and cater to enthusiasts around the world.”
In a statement, TCGplayer founder and CEO Chedi Hampson said the acquisition will give the company a chance to take advantage of eBay’s industry experience and resources while TCGplayer continues to operate independently. Hampson noted that he will remain in his role 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 enhance the collecting experience online and at 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 recently the company has been working to solidify its place in the market. In January, the company extended its authentication service to include authentication support for valuable trade cards worth at least $750. At the time, eBay said it saw the value in adding authentication support for trading cards because of the volume of activity in the category on its site. The company said the trading card category is growing “significantly faster” than its overall market, and that the category saw $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. That’s equal to all trading card transactions made in 2020 d., for comparison.
As eBay faces increased competition from services like Facebook Marketplace and other local shopping apps, the company is working to better establish itself as a place where people can look for collectibles. The company’s latest acquisition shows that eBay sees increased potential in trading cards, as the company notes that the deal offers a way to “maintain its position as a desirable platform for trading card sellers.”
Today’s announcement comes two months after eBay said it did acquiring Manchester-based NFT marketplace KnownOrigin for an undisclosed sum. The platform allows artists and collectors to create, buy and resell NFTs. eBay said it is acquiring the entire company, including the IP and the team. Earlier this year eBay released its first collection of NFTs in partnership with the web3 platform OneOf.