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The popular online platform is pinning its future to an innovative reimagination of the eBay marketplace as a self-contained e-commerce ecosystem. In some ways a fundamental shift in the reseller platform’s business model and trajectory, eBay has slowly but surely been recalibrating its marketplace solutions toward buyers and sellers that look at collectibles as an investment-grade asset class, and not just as one-of items they want for nostalgic, personal, or even social reasons. 

The secondary market for trading cards, be they Pokemon, baseball, and beyond; as well as other collectibles and luxury items is skyrocketing. eBay is particularly well positioned to absorb a lot of the growth in these categories, and the company is doubling down on its goal of becoming the biggest trading platform for investment-grade collectibles. 

The so-called largest pole in the tent of eBay’s collectibles strategy is the upcoming launch of the eBay Vault, a 31,000 square foot storage facility and self-contained digital marketplace ecosystem. The Vault will initially start as a secure storage solution for high-value trading card and collectible inventory, with eventual plans to expand into luxury goods and other physical investment assets. 

The highly secure facility will allow users to store their items in the Vault, providing peace of mind and convenience. eBay expects the Vault will hold up to $3 billion in assets, a number that would make the facility one of the largest stores of non-governmental assets in the entire world. Items kept in the storage facility will be automatically featured, pending owner approval, on the Vault digital marketplace platform. The Vault doesn’t just provide peace of mind and world-class security for valuables, but also enables them to be instantly bought and sold with immediate ownership transfer and no need for re-authentication, re-packaging, or shipping. 

The potential of this innovative kind of high-value asset marketplace is significant for both buyers and sellers. With the eBay Vault, sellers will have the ability to sell partial or fractional ownership of their collectibles, enabling buyers to own a piece of collectible and even sell that fractional ownership to another buyer on eBay. The most likely path for this style of fractional ownership will be through object-tethered NFTs on the eBay digital marketplace. This unlocks a new way to engage with items, such as instantly buying and selling cards and sports memorabilia as a player lands a play in the final minutes of a tight game, as well as opening up the possibility for liveselling and other next-generation forms of commerce. 

eBay is the only marketplace that can deliver this full suite of capabilities at scale, and the company has been building out a suite of supportive ecosystem features to power this new approach to collectibles and high-value asset categories. 


This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Fractional Ownership.