eBay continues to impress and outperform expectations time and time again. Now, the company is out with a new feature that has Wall Street, Main Street, and especially Collectibles investors abuzz with excitement. The new feature that everyone is talking about is something known as the eBay Vault.
What is the eBay Vault?
CEO Jamie Iannone was happy to share that eBay would be creating a vault with dimensions both physical and virtual in nature. The company has high ambitions for the vault, and expects it to grow rapidly. According to retailtouchpoints.com:
The eBay Vault will consist of a 31,000-square-foot secure storage facility and accompanying digital marketplace for valuable goods, beginning with trading cards and collectibles and eventually expanding to luxury goods. Within a few years, eBay expects the Vault will hold up to $3 billion in assets.
Clearly, eBay is not backing down from any challenge, and they certainly are not about to slink away into the darkness as so many have predicted that they might over the years. Instead, eBay is taking on its competition and looking for new and interesting ways to remain competitive.
What are the upsides and why now?
There are multiple avenues opening up to rampant speculation in the collectibles market, including:
- Sports trading cards
- Gaming trading cards
- Sports memorabilia
- Movie memorabilia
- Any item that once belonged to a famous person
eBay opening up a market where people can buy, sell, and trade their collectible items could not come at a better time.
eBay itself points out that one of the biggest upsides to its vault idea is the fact that people can easily transfer ownership of different collectibles stored within. The ownership can move from one person to another in a matter of seconds in many cases. There is no need for sellers to worry about repackaging or reshipping items that they sell out of the vault. eBay handles all of that for them, and they are happy to do so in order to create a friendlier space for all to operate in.
Collectibles: A serious investment?
Yes, we are actively in the midst of what some see as a craze to gather up many of the collectible items that they desire. However, there are real markets forming for these items, and many are now viewing them as serious investments instead of simply as a hobby.
Due to the popularity of collectible gaming cards, many stores have decided to limit customers to one purchase at a time. You can only buy one box or one pack depending on how the cards are packaged. This is meant to try to slow down people who would happily come in and purchase the entire inventory that a given retailer has available at that time. That said, many stores are still running into issues keeping this product stocked for everyone who wants to purchase it.
Some people say that it reminds them of the Beanie Baby mania that swept through the country in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That particular time in history was also fraught with rampant speculation and an inability at times to find the product (Beanie Babies) in stock in some stores. But, those who are pinning their hopes on the various collectibles available in the market right now certainly hope that they don’t go the same way as Beanie Babies did in terms of value. The Beanie Baby craze eventually died off, and the value of those toys plummeted.
We don’t know what the future holds for the current run on collectibles, but we do know that eBay is doing all that it can to prepare the vault for those who might want to use it going forward.
A new Digital Wallet emerges
Trading cards and sports memorabilia are one thing, but other items such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies are also gaining steam.
eBay is NOT currently a platform where people can trade these items, but their move to create their first digital wallet as part of the vault offering nudges them a little closer in that direction. Even if they ultimately back off of the idea of offering NFT and cryptocurrency trading, the fact that sellers have their own digital wallets on the platform is a very big deal. It means that they can handle transactions much faster than before, and they can get paid in seconds.
The speed of transactions like this is a very big deal, and it could paint a pretty picture for eBay going forward. If their users trust that they can get paid even faster than they might on other online marketplaces, then it is pretty easy to see how eBay could start to grow its market share once again.
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