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New sportscard selling platform: TCGPlayer

smapdi

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
4,341
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If you don't care about Magic: The Gathering, you might not have heard of tcgplayer.com. But it's the largest platform, other than ebay, where the general public can sell their Magic, Pokemon, Flesh and Blood, etc. Pretty much the primary platform over ebay, really, for that market. They had a big presentation of their upcoming changes and one that stuck out for me is that they're branching into sportscards. I don't see this as any great challenge to ebay unless they really try to distinguish themselves. Their fees are similar, and in fact higher in some cases as it's based on the price of what you sell and there's a sweet spot and sour spot in the curve.

The other thing that could be problematic is that card games are way more lenient on condition than sports. They were heavily touting their own grading system for games, but it's not at the level of examination sports cards get. The top grade is "Near Mint" while in sports that's like the 5th highest grade now, and people are out there with electron microscopes to scrutinize their Trouts and Lukas.

One thing that is intriguing, though I don't know if they are going to use it for sports, is their investment in robotics. A couple companies have developed robots for sorting, scanning, recognizing, and cataloging MTG cards. You literally just load up a stack of cards and it will sort them out for you and load them into your inventory. It works well, though there is still the condition issue, and I don't know if the robots do condition analysis. But if you're like most dealers and have a million cards in monster boxes that you will have to pay people break-even wages to do that work, it would be really interesting if such a thing can be done with sports. Sports cards are way ahead of MTG and other games as far as leveraging the collectibility aspect of the hobby, as card values are driven mostly by gameplay value. So I don't know if such robots would be able to recognize all the different variations and parallels and whatnot, but it will be interesting if they do.

I've rarely encountered people like myself who are heavily invested in both worlds, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out.
 

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