eBay announced in the past few hours that its authenticity certification program for items is now also extended to certified collectible, gaming and sports cards, through a partnership with the external company Professional Sports Authenticator. Basically, every card sold for more than $ 2,000 will be sent to PSA, who will endeavor to make sure everything is in order before sending it to the buyer. Soon the $ 2,000 limit will be lowered to $ 250, though it’s not entirely clear when. For now, the initiative appears to be limited to the United States.
The Authenticity Guarantee program has been dealing for some time with other popular forms of collecting: for example, all sneakers sold for over $ 100, watches over 2,000 and handbags over 500. Regardless of eBay, PSA is in the business of authentication of collector cards for some time (it has even more than 54 million!), and with the pandemic it found itself so overworked that it had to suspend the acquisition of new commissions. It is still working now to dispose of the accumulation of the past two years. For some reason, the coronavirus has favored the proliferation of this hobby – in particular thanks to the McDonald’s initiative to celebrate 25 years of Pokémon with a series of cards included in Happy Meals.
The figures involved are important, as you can guess, so much so that the boundary between hobby and real investment becomes difficult to identify. This is why a reliable and accurate authentication service becomes more and more important. eBay is the ideal platform for this type of business, and they didn’t miss the opportunity to offer some added value to collectors. eBay said PSA will employ a whole new team for the initiative in order to completely bypass the overhead we mentioned earlier.
The partnership with PSA joins the existing one with CCG (Certified Collectibles Group), which will continue to deal with evaluating never-certified cards sold for $ 250 or more. In 2021, the company introduced several other industry-specific features, including a pricing guide and a smartphone camera-based card scanning / digitizing tool that greatly simplifies the process. EBay Vault will also be launched later in the year: users will be able to deposit their physical cards in a sort of vault controlled by eBay itself, and buy / sell them without physically moving them from one person to another.