eBay acquires Goldin Auctions, shakes up industry

Move helps eBay solidify its position in auction world

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In a move that sends shockwaves through the auction world, eBay announced Wednesday morning it had agreed to acquire Goldin Auctions, one of the biggest players in the hobby. 

Terms were not immediately disclosed. The transaction is set to close by June 30.

Goldin will continue to operate as a separate business, with founder Ken Goldin at the helm.

In Goldin, eBay gets a high-end auction house that does big numbers and has a mailing list of heavy hitters.

eBay is the largest auction site in revenue, thanks to its volume, but its average item sells for less than $200. In recent months, especially in fashion, eBay has tried to take a larger bite of the luxury market.

“eBay is relentlessy focused on providing the best inventory and the highest level of trust for our global community,” eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said in a statement. “The deals announced today further our mission of reinventing the future of e-commerce for enthusiasts.”

Since 2022, Goldin has sold 86 items for more than $500,000, 24 of those for more than $1 million. 

The two businesses will undoubtedly be cross-marketed.

“I’m excited for my clients and my consignors,” Goldin told cllct Wednesday morning. “There are millions of eBay users who have never heard of Goldin before. Now, they will.”

eBay is trying to jumpstart its business, which is steady, but not growing significantly. Since 2017, eBay has done between $9.74 billion and $10.74 billion in revenue, with fiscal 2023 closing at $10.1 billion. 

In the past two years, eBay has laid off 13 percent of its workforce in an effort to operate more efficiently.

As of 1:30 p.m. ET, eBay shares were up fractionally (0.69 percent) on the day.

Collectors, owners of PSA, bought Goldin in July 2021. The business grew as Ken Goldin’s profile expanded thanks to his Netflix show “The King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch.”

As the market has grown, three major players have emerged: eBay, Fanatics and Collectors.

Selling Goldin allows Collectors to focus on its core grading business and not worry about criticism that it grades cards and has a marketplace. Collectors recently acquired SGC, its grading competitor. 

As part of the deal, Collectors will acquire eBay’s vaulting business. Collectors has controlled Goldin’s vault since early last year. PSA will also allow customers to immediately list cards that are graded onto eBay.

eBay is typically more card heavy than Goldin, as a percentage of sales, while Goldin has auctioned off more memorabilia, which has experienced higher growth in recent years

Fanatics has become more of a concern to eBay recently, given the growth of its marketplace options through its acquisition of PWCC. Its breaking business on Fanatics Live has generated hundreds of millions of dollars.

Darren Rovell is the founder of cllct.com and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.