eBay Inc.

07/31/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/31/2020 19:49

Basketball cards are a slam dunk Basketball cards are a slam dunk July has certainly been an interesting new chapter for baseball and basketball (go Raptors!). I’m not just[...]

July has certainly been an interesting new chapter for baseball and basketball (go Raptors!). I'm not just talking about the on-again / off-again season drama - but because this month marks the 1st time eBay has seen NBA trading cards surpass MLB in GMV.

It makes sense: Basketball has been in the spotlight all year. From the recent release of 'The Last Dance' documentary about Michael Jordan to the record-setting sale of a rare LeBron James rookie card for a whopping $1.845 million, the interest around NBA trading cards adds up.

Even before COVID, card collecting and trading was seeing an uptick. See, numbers tapered off in the 80s and 90s because card companies overprinted like crazy. But today's limited print-runs and serial numbers now protect the market against over-saturation, meaning values have increased: in May, a pristine, autographed Michael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookie basketball card set a record $125,000 on eBay, legitimizing cards as a serious alternative investment.

Technology, social media and the evolution of online 'case-breaking' or 'unboxing' events have turned collecting into entertainment and is bringing cards to a younger culture. Combine this with a pandemic that's cancelled live and fantasy sports, along with postponed collectibles shows - and cards are the new sports stars.

It was interesting for me to find out that basketball is giving baseball a run for its money as America's pastime - based on trading card sales. And as a Canadian, I can't help but always root for hockey to increase in popularity. After a long delay, the NHL playoffs are back, and I've been eyeing some coveted Gretzky rookie cardsfor months now.

Hockey aside, what was once considered a hobby hasn't gone away - it's evolved. And it's thriving at eBay.

I wanted to share this new data as a reminder that shopping trends not only follow, but sometimes make up for, major entertainment shifts. The stats below offer a closer look, which I hope you find useful (and fun).

Thanks, as always, for selling on eBay.

Jordan Sweetnam

SVP + General Manager, Americas Market