eBay stacks the deck for trading card sellers with scan-based listings

Soon, creating an eBay listing for collectible card games will be as easy as scanning a card’s image with a smartphone.

Beginning in late April 2021, eBay will launch an image listing tool in its mobile app to initially support Magic the Gathering cards, and expand to Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! in May. The tool is designed to enable sellers to create a listing for select trading cards in half the time.

To use the card scanning solution, sellers can open or download the eBay app and start their listing by typing a game name into the search bar (e.g., "Magic the Gathering"). When prompted, the seller then selects "Tap to search with your camera, points their camera at the card, and holds to scan the card's image. A list of possible matches will pop up, showing details that include game name, card title, card set, card number, rarity, card type, and power.

The seller then taps the correct (or closest) match to pre-populate their listing with all of the card details, and can add photos, card condition, price and shipping to complete the listing. eBay will add functionality for sports trading cards and other collectible card games later in 2021.

eBay is also enacting some other changes in how it manages trading card sales. Trading card sellers are no longer required to offer returns in order to qualify for “Top Rated Plus,” which gives sellers a 10% discount, badging and additional eBay protections. They can also securely ship raw trading cards priced at $20 and under using eBay Standard Envelope for less than $1, with tracking included.

The e-tail titan has recently been developing specialized offerings for buyers and sellers of different collectible product categories. These include authentication services for luxury watches and high-end sneakers, as well as augmented reality-based sales events for high-end sneakers.

"Among our 185 million shoppers around the world we've seen unparalleled demand for trading cards over the past year, with four million more sold than the year prior," said Nicole Colombo, head of trading cards and collectibles at eBay. "We're actively listening to our growing community to invest in new enhancements, including leveraging computer vision technology and building a robust trading card catalog. Our new listing feature will not only create a faster and more convenient experience for our sellers, but will also provide more robust trading card inventory for shoppers – all while ensuring that the information in card listings is more accurate."

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