eBay opens secure vault for trading cards

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
eBay will store select high-value trading cards in a secure vault.

eBay is devoting a new facility to the safe storage of collectible trading cards.

Initially announced in March 2022, the eBay vault is a 31,000-sq.-ft., 24/7 secured, temperature-controlled facility and digital marketplace for collectors. Single, graded trading cards worth $750 or more may be eligible for eBay vault access.

Prospective buyers can identify cards that are already stored in the eBay vault via the vault badge in the listing, while buyers browsing eligible cards not already housed in the vault will have the ability to opt-in when completing their purchase. eBay vault eligibility requires assets to have been bought for $750 or more in the U.S., purchased directly on eBay, and graded by top graders in the category, including Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA); Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC); Certified Collectibles Group's affiliates, CGC Trading Cards, Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG); and Beckett Grading Services (BGS).

Once an item is in the eBay vault, ownership transfers from seller to buyer in a matter of seconds, without need to re-authenticate or ship the item anywhere. Utilizing the Price Guide and Collections tool natively built-in to the vault, users can monitor the real-time market valuation changes of their cards and list items directly from their collection. eBay's data catalog provides a holistic view of a collection's past and present value.

By 2023, eBay will expand the capacity of the vault to include additional collectibles categories and luxury goods. Within a few years, the retailer expects the vault to hold up to $3 billion in assets.

How it works
When a service-eligible purchase is made, the buyer instantly becomes the owner once the card passes authentication, and can choose to keep their card stored in the eBay vault or withdraw. To continue storage, ownership transfers from seller to buyer in a matter of seconds and there's no need to re-authenticate or ship the item anywhere.

There is no time limit for storing in the eBay vault as it's designed for long-term, secure storage. Cards destined for the eBay vault are required to go through the eBay authenticity guarantee process, at no cost. If a buyer opts to send their purchase to the eBay vault, the seller will first ship the card to be inspected by independent authentication experts.

eBay first launched an authenticity guarantee service for trading cards in January 2022. The service provides authentication for single ungraded trading cards (including collectible card games, sports and non-sports) sold for $750 or more in the U.S. The company offers authentication in four key enthusiast collector categories, including sneakersluxury watchesluxury handbags, and sports memorabilia. eBay also offers an image listing tool for collectible trading cards in its mobile app.

For withdrawal from the vault the company's dedicated eBay vault team will package the card and ship it to the buyer via tracked shipping.

"eBay is the only marketplace that has more than two decades of deep collectibles category expertise," said Dawn Block, VP collectibles, electronics and home at eBay. "As we continue to see exponential growth in the category as enthusiasts merge their passions with investment opportunities, the eBay vault is a critical offering that will let collectors streamline and securely store their portfolio of assets. It's truly the future of collecting."

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