There may have been a pullback in prices for some items in recent months, but the number of people buying cards and the amount of money spent on eBay in the first quarter of this year was something to behold.
Trading cards GMV (gross merchandise value) in the U.S. alone was over $1 billion and the number of buyers in the category doubled. That growth, the company says, is coming from “collectors, flippers and those who are turning to trading cards as another avenue of investment to diversify their portfolios.”
eBay says trading cards of all kinds “are seeing significant growth” but their data indicates the biggest gains have come from Pokémon (+1,046%) and Marvel (+764%) cards.
In the sports card category, the biggest growth areas were soccer (+1588%) and basketball (+296%). The actual sales figures are staggering.
- Sales of soccer cards grew from $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $24.7 million. Some of that is undoubtedly tied to the number of new products that have been introduced to the market over the last 18 months, but the figures would indicate there is no shortage of buyers.
- Basketball card sales soared from $98.2 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $389 million in 2021.
- Football cards grew from $42.2 million in the first three months of 2020 to $197.2 million in 2021 (+367%).
- Baseball sales were $80.4 million in Q1 of 2020. They were $234.9 million during the same quarter this year (+192%)
- Hockey cards went from $5.8 million to $22.4 million (+286%)
- Interest in the few tennis card products in the market went from virtually nothing (approximately $100,000 in Q1 2020 to $2.7 million from January-March of this year (+5,157%).
Trading card sales were already experiencing a healthy rise. In February of this year, eBay reported that the category had seen 142% growth from 2019 to 2020.