Days ago, we were made aware of the beginning of auction website eBay’s “Authenticity Guarantee” system for ensuring that buyers buy authentic products from sellers instead of counterfeit goods. As we reported, the guarantee has been extended to trading cards with a secondary market price of $750.00 and up, among other items. Soon, this price limit will be expanded to include trading cards costing $250.00 and up. We recently got the chance to get some answers as to some of our most burning inquiries from Bob MeansDirector of Trading Cards at eBay.
1) Can we get some idea about the cost structure of the authentication system?
At launch, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service for trading cards is of no cost to the buyer or seller. As we grow and scale the service, we’ll continue to evaluate the need for any changes to the cost of the service based on final value fees.
2) How long will it take for a card to go through the authentication process?
After a buyer purchases an eligible item, the seller is required to send the item to the authentication facility, where our authenticators inspect the item within one to two business days of receipt. Once the inspection is complete, the item will be sent to the buyer with tracked four-day shipping. Tracking information is available on the Purchase History page, where the buyer can track the shipment of their order and see exactly where it is in the authentication process. As part of the Authenticity Guarantee service, buyers will also receive an order update email once the card goes through inspection. Quickly delivering your card is a priority for us, and we will be controlling the velocity of our AG program through price point to mitigate and prevent any operational impacts.
3) Will this kind of service ever be expanded onto the comics category?
Collectibles is an incredibly popular category on the marketplace. Over the past year, we’ve seen interest in high-end collectibles, comics included, surge as people view their collectibles as alternate assets. We’re focused on trading cards right now. Given the growth that Authenticity Guarantee is driving across collectibles as well as handbags, watches, and sneakers, we’ll continue to explore and introduce ways to improve the buying and selling experience.
We hope these answers are helpful to you when looking at various aspects of eBay’s transactive community. Meanwhile, what questions remain unanswered? Do you have any? Let us know in the comments below!