In the first three months of 2022, data from eBay Australia shows a growth of 649% in sports trading cards like NBA and 365% in collectible card games like Pokémon.
Following COVID-19, eBay saw its sales of collectible card games increase 7,769% year-over-year in December 2020 as a result of a Pokémon resurgence driven by childhood nostalgia and people spending more time at home cleaning out their cabinets.
“The majority of cards sold on eBay are Pokémon, followed by sports cards, influenced by a growing NBA obsession. This is reflected in a 1,050% increase in NBA trading card sales4. Trading cards represent a moment in time and as a leader in trading cards and e-commerce, eBay is the home of passionate enthusiasts.”eBay Australia’s trading card expert, Alaister Low
What Trading Cards Are People Buying on eBay?
Recently, Pokémon cards experienced a 300% growth rate. The most popular cards feature Charizard and Pikachu; while the most valuable card sold on ebay.com.au in the past 12 months was a 1999 Pokémon Base Set Complete Collection with manufacturing errors for more than AUD $85,000.
The sale of Marvel cards has also increased by 413% in the past two years.
NBA is the clear favorite in the sporting category. The most expensive card sold in Australia last year was an ultra-rare 2018-19 Prizm Luka Doncic Rookie Card (Dallas Mavericks) for AUD $140,000.
Additionally, Australian sports like NRL (up 2078%) and AFL (up 337%) have seen an increase over the past three months as well.
Trading card popularity is also influenced by real-time events.
From March 2021-22, NBA trading cards with Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies increased in value by 500% and 350%, respectively.
eBay sales of Stephen Curry trading cards have jumped 170% since the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA title in June.
Where Are eBay Australia’s Trading Card Buyers Located?
The highest number of buyers and sellers are in Victoria, followed by New South Wales. eBay’s top five buying postcodes, however, are predominantly found in southwest Sydney (2170, 2560 – Liverpool, Campbelltown, etc.) and Melbourne City (3023, 3037, 3337 – Deer Park, Hillside, Melton, etc.).
Nate Tran, collector and Founder of iCollected on eBay, said the boom has helped build the community while providing an incubator for entrepreneurs.
“What started as a project from my bedroom at age 17, trying to find those final cards for my Pokémon collection, has turned into a full-time family business. I’ve sold half a million items and shipped 250,000 trading card parcels across the globe,” said Tran.
eBay’s Alaister Low added, “The industry has evolved from its 1860s origins as collectibles in cigarette packs and with the rise of NFTs and the metaverse, the market is continuing to change.”
“eBay has played a pivotal role in supporting the global trading card movement and we can’t wait to see what’s next. There’s a story behind every trading card and there’s nothing like getting your hands on that gem of a find!”
In the US, eBay recently launched its Authenticity Guarantee for trading cards. While eBay offers its authenticity guarantee program in Australia for sneakers and handbags, it has not extended the program to trading cards yet.
There is no word if eBay plans to introduce the program for trading cards to Australia soon, but company executives earlier this year during the company’s Investor Day hinted they plan to scale the authenticity guarantee programs globally.
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