Collectibles sold on eBay can generate great cash flow opportunities

  • Bob Means, eBay’s Director of Trading Cards, has identified the main categories of collectibles on eBay.
  • He said sports cards, coins, toys and comics were in demand.
  • Each category offers collectors a chance to generate extra money by reselling.

Collectibles is a big business for people looking to sell sports memorabilia, toys, and other high-demand items on e-commerce sites.

eBay is a leader in the global collectibles market, which was valued at $412 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $692 billion by 2032, according to research by Market Decipher.

Bob Means, director of trading cards at eBay, told Insider that anticipating which collectibles will gain popularity has a lot to do with being in tune with current events and pop culture.

“One of the things that’s really fascinating about eBay is that it all ties into some sort of component of the cultural zeitgeist at some point,” Means said.

For example, Means said the increased interest in coveted sports trading cards during the early months of the pandemic was born out of the release of Michael Jordan’s documentary “The Last Dance” and the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

“For anyone 40 or older, you saw Jordan play and remembered his greatness with this documentary,” Means said. “The generation behind Michael Jordan was the one watching Kobe play.”

The company said sports trading cards accounted for more than $2 billion in gross merchandise volume — or the total value of goods sold — on eBay in 2020. It said that in the first half of 2021, an average of two cards collectibles sold every second on eBay.

“The other thing that’s important to remember about collectibles is that it’s super fun when we have a $2.3 million Tom Brady card sale or a George Mikan sale. $800,000, but the collectibles are a standalone trip,” Means said.

The company said sales of sports ticket stubs, another category of sports memorabilia, grew 60% in 2021, with ticket prices rising more than 65%.

Soaring demand for comic books, toys and coins

fingers grabbing a coin

The total monetary value of coins sold on eBay increased by 30% in 2021, the company said.

japatino/Getty Images

Comics and toys are other investment opportunities for resellers on the platform. The company said gross merchandise volume for toys on eBay increased 48% in 2021, while for comics it increased 66%. eBay said more than 63,000 new comic book listings were added to its marketplace every day in the second half of 2021.

This means that coins could offer an even more intriguing opportunity for collectors, although coin collectors buying and selling often have to consider things like the current price of gold and silver and the age of the coin, which can affect the value of a coin. the secondary market. The company said the total monetary value of coins sold on eBay increased by 30% in 2021.

“A lot of these coins are also bullion-based. They can be silver, they can be gold, they can be platinum,” Means said. “So there is a connection between the investment value of silver and the rate per ounce at which you buy it and the rate per ounce you think you can get later.”

eBay continues to pour resources into its collectibles marketplace. Recently, the company started authenticating trading cards over $350. At its Investor Day in March, it unveiled plans to open a “vault” that will store physical and digital collectibles like NFTs later this year.

Means said while reselling for huge profits isn’t necessarily on the minds of most eBay sellers, some are in the market to exploit an item’s perceived scarcity.

“I think there are always people out there looking for a financial opportunity,” Means said. “These people are just going to exist.”

Dealers are sitting outside the hardcore collectibles space buying items because “it’s important to them from a passion standpoint,” Means said.


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