May 11, 2014

Ebay has turned into advertising platform for sellers

Collectors and investors use eBay for buying and selling cards. While not a perfect system, it’s the most widely used way to buy and sell cards. But when it comes to big-ticket items, eBay is being used as something else it seems.

A large advertising platform.

The 2014 Bowman Superfractor Jose Abreu Autograph was pulled from the product on the first day. It took a day or so to wind up on eBay but it was there for several hours before the listing was pulled. Pastime Cards announced on its Twitter page that it bought the card.

It was reported the sale was $16,000. Insertion fee could have been nothing for this card. The first 50 listings from a seller every month are free.

A final value fee for this card would have been about $250, according to the eBay fee calculator. But, there was no FVF, or PayPal fees, which would have hit the seller with at least another $500. The seller saved about $750 for selling the card offline. That’s less than five percent of the total cost, but still money saved.

Do I know if that is exactly the route the seller of the card took?

No. But it’s an option that I am sure plenty of people have taken.

EBay has seemingly become a free advertising site for high-end cards.

Of course if I have my math wrong, let me know. 


  1. Firstly, that's a great looking Abreau the vintage Sox uniform. After chatting with you on Twitter yesterday, and now having read this article, your view of listing and selling on Ebay makes much more sense. All that is to say, I'm glad you wrote this article.

    I had recently been privy to a conversation about Ebay wherein it was noted there are those sellers that are clearly taking advantage of bidding against their own items to raise the price. Often times this activity appears quite obvious to us active buyers, and yet clearly Ebay turns a blind eye towards such "selling" activity. It's really too bad.

    I used to sell on Ebay, more than I do now. However I remain an active buyer, bidding and chasing after those items I look forward to adding to my humble cardboard collection. It would be nice if Ebay were a friendlier environment for those of us in the cardboard collecting hobby, but so it goes.

  2. It's been like this for many years. Nothing new. eBay does things to half-heartedly try to stop it like not let you send your email address (or anything resembling one) in messages between members, but there are ways around that.

  3. Collecting is an expensive hobby. Team sports run in a cyclical, seasonal nature. Check the earnings reports: eBay is stronger and more profitable than ever. These are facts. eBay's upcoming policy to charge for Buy it Now listings regardless of whether or not a sale takes place is just plain greed. Not everyone is in it for the quick-flip. Trading Cards are like any other commodity governed by the basic laws of a free market: buy low & sell high. In sports, this means buying in the off-season and selling in-season. This is the only way some of us can afford to participate. Patience pays and Fee-Bay gets its slice. This us healthy for sports and the collecting hobby. This new policy will drive people out and clearly illustrates a lack of understanding or care. I will be taking my business elsewhere. They will survive, but so will I. Until eBay becomes more enlightened, they will remain the evil empire that we love to stick it too. Why? Because they have always stuck it to us, and now they're about to stick theie foot in it...

  4. Wowza. 16k? That's a nice profit. Congratulations to whoever pulled that beauty.

  5. I have not sold anything on eBay in about 3 years but when I did I have pulled items to sell them offline, they were always local purchases so I could meet the person and get the cash in hand and not worry about any fees. But if I were the one to pull this card, or one like it, I would have no problem selling it in this manor. How often have high end cards been bid up by false bidders? If you have a card that can get you $16k why not use an advertising opportunity like eBay and turn around and sell it in a private sale if it works out?