This weekend has been an incredibly busy one for MTG fans. After the entire Dominaria United set accidentally got spoiled early, it looks like one of MTG’s most prominent vendors just got bought out by another company. TCGplayer is to be acquired by market juggernaut eBay!
Didn’t This Just Happen?
For those of you who feel like you’re getting hit by a wave of Deja Vu, you’re not entirely wrong. TCGplayer recently acquired ChannelFireball, another gigantic presence in the TCG community. While TCGplayer and eBay are more focused on becoming the game’s best marketplace for MTG, ChannelFireball has a stronger focus on creating premium content for the MTG community (while also having a diverse marketplace).
While this partnership does technically state that eBay is acquiring TCGplayer, Chedy Hampson, Founder, and CEO of TCGplayer, reassures customers that TCGplayer will still be running independently:
“You may read media headlines over the next few weeks that say “eBay to Acquire TCGplayer.” While this is technically accurate, unlike a traditional acquisition, upon close, TCGplayer will continue operating independently. We will have the autonomy and flexibility to continue running TCGplayer just as we always have, and I will continue to lead the Company as CEO, ensuring our commitment to you and the entire collectibles community remains enshrined and protected long into the future.”
Hampson went on to state that all TCGplayer staff will be monetarily rewarded as a result of this partnership: “I am proud to share that as part of this transaction, all 688 TCGplayers — hourly and salaried — will share in the financial rewards of this deal as a result of our employee stock option plan.”
Not Everyone is Excited
With all the recent acquisitions happening in the TCG market, some players are worried that a monopoly will form on the secondary market level. Beforehand, we had ChannelFireball, TCGplayer, and eBay as different places to list our cards for sale. Marketplaces must keep their competition in mind when creating their bottom lines for sellers since a seller could otherwise switch to a marketplace with better terms.
Fortunately for customers, TCGplayer will remain independently operated. TCGplayer already had some of the best prices among competitive sites for cards and should stay that way. These worries are not unfounded, but there is enough well-known competition that a monopoly-style marketplace will not emerge for buyers in the short term. Sellers may have a few fewer options, but opportunities are still abundant.
Any Immediate Change?
For those worried that any placed orders may get the runaround, Chedy Hampson states in his letter discussing the acquisition that “there will be no change in how we work with customers, and you can expect the same high-quality service, tools, products, and content you have come to rely on from TCGplayer.” of course, “this means that any orders you’ve placed via the TCGplayer Marketplace or agreements you have in place with us will remain unchanged.” If anything, eBay’s acquisition of TCGplayer should allow them to reach a larger audience and unify what is expected of the MTG secondary market. Hopefully, players getting away with malicious intent on these platforms will have a more challenging time due to this partnership. Additional information regarding eBay’s recent acquisition can be found here.