eBay is placing a big bet on the booming trading card industry. The company is set to buy TCGplayer — an online marketplace for trading card games — in a deal valued up to $295 million, it announced today. Launched in 2008, TCGplayer specializes in trading cards from popular franchises like Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Digimon and more. The site will operate independently after the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. eBay — which is currently the world’s largest card resale site — also noted that the deal will provide it with “strategic omnichannel capabilities like order fulfillment and cart optimization.”
The pandemic drove a surge of interest in collectible trading cards that has only recently started to slow down. Last year eBay sold a trading card every two seconds, noted The Athletic. The company has taken steps to make it easier for individuals to sell trading cards on its platform, such as adding image recognition to automate listings and authenticating trading cards worth $750 or more.
eBay has also ventured into another area of collectibles — NFTs. Earlier this year, the company launched its own NFT collection and bought digital art marketplace KnownOrigin for an undisclosed sum.