Ebay will be acquiring TCGplayer, one of the biggest marketplaces for trading cards. The sum of the deal is listed at $295 million, a substantial price tag. This move marks eBay’s latest push into the trading card game market space.
This should come as no surprise, as trading card games experienced a huge upsurge during the height of the pandemic, which has not suppressed consumer appetite for TCGs. eBay’s acquisition of a major player and competitor strongly suggests there’s plenty of money to be made.
The acquisition will not happen immediately and is expected to officially close during the first months of 2023. Both companies claim operations and listings on either website will not be interrupted during the merger.
Nothing Surprising in TCG Market Consolidation
To some of our readers, eBay’s move might not come as much of a surprise. The company had hinted at the acquisition before, with the inclusion of a number of TCG-related programs in recent months. Some of these included the launch of eBay Vault, a 31 000-square-foot, temperature-controlled warehousing facility, where TCG enthusiasts, buyers, and sellers can store their trading cards safely and securely. This effectively ensures the maximum mint condition of the cards, and of course, buyers and sellers’ satisfaction.
And speaking of card conditions, another claim by eBay is that it would partner with Professional Sports Authenticator, a third-party company that inspects and grades cards based on their rarity and condition – something extremely important when it comes to trading cards.
How Big of Deal Based on Market Standards
Undoubtedly, $295 million is a huge sum of money. It may leave some of our readers wondering whether or not this is worth the investment. However, one should not forget that trading cards’ similarities with paper money do not end with the material they are both made of. Both are currencies, and both have value.
For instance, a single copy of Black Lotus – Unlimited Edition on TCGplayer used to cost a whopping $9749.99. While the price has dropped over the years, a single copy still costs a solid $8,000.
Chedy Hampson, founder, and CEO of TCGplayer, remains extremely positive regarding the merger, claiming that “every team member could share in our collective company success. Today’s agreement with @eBay marks an incredible milestone where 688 TCGplayer, hourly and salaried, will share in the financial rewards upon close through our stock option plan”
Hampson has also claimed that TCGplayer will “continue operating independently within eBay, while also benefiting from their decades of industry experience and resources to deepen the connection between hobbyists and their communities.”
While this may be true, it does call for some justified concerns. Pointing to employee stock option payouts feels like a very corporate way of trying to tone down common fears and concerns that come up with any merger – the jobs of employees. Hampson did stress that he would remain as CEO, but that doesn’t mean any of the two companies wouldn’t lay off workers because of this deal. Time will tell, as more details on the merger get released. We can only hope for the best.