eBay acquires AI-based counterfeit detection solution provider

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eBay is expanding its ability to detect counterfeits on its platform.

eBay is strengthening its ability to guarantee the authenticity of collectible items sold via its online marketplace.

The e-tail giant purchased 3PM Shield LLC, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based marketplace compliance solutions, for an undisclosed sum on Thursday, Feb. 9. 2023. According to eBay, 3PM Shield will enhance its ability to address suspicious or harmful seller behavior, and potentially problematic items.

eBay zeroes in on collectibles

Collectibles, digital and otherwise, represent an increasingly important product category for eBay, and the company is working to ensure the security and reliability of collectible transactions. eBay introduced authenticity guarantee service for trading cards in January 2022, which it has since built upon through a new strategic partnership with PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), a trading card authentication and grading company.

In August 2022, eBay entered into an agreement to purchase TCGplayer, an online marketplace for collectible card game products, for $295 million.

Other significant moves by eBay in the collectibles space include launching a series of exclusive Funko products as part of a newly formed collaboration with the pop culture brand. In addition, eBay has opened the eBay vault, a secured, temperature-controlled facility and digital marketplace for collectors.

Once an item is in the eBay vault, ownership transfers from seller to buyer in a matter of seconds, without the need to re-authenticate or ship the item anywhere. Within a few years, the retailer expects the vault to hold up to $3 billion in assets.

In the realm of digital collectibles, eBay purchased NFT marketplace KnownOrigin in June 2022. KnownOrigin's technology and platform is designed to provide artists with a place to create unique, authentic, digital collectibles in the form of NFTs. Other recent NFT ventures launched by eBay include a May 2022 partnership with NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.

"It is a top priority to help ensure that eBay remains a safe and trusted environment for our global community of sellers and buyers, particularly to prevent counterfeits and unsafe or illegal products," said Zhi Zhou, chief risk officer at eBay. "3PM Shield has been a valued and effective external partner in helping eBay tackle these challenges and we look forward to unlocking additional capabilities as we bring their technologies in-house."

"3PM Shield was founded to provide next-generation eCommerce monitoring to protect trust in the buyer and seller relationship," said Robert Dunkel, founder and CEO, 3PM Shield. "We're proud to partner with eBay, and I am excited that eBay's investment will help us accelerate the impact of our cutting-edge technology to combat counterfeits, unsafe products and illegal items."

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. enabled over $87 billion of gross merchandise volume in 2021.

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