eBay has merged online and real-world auctions with its eBay Live platform. This allows people to chat, respond and buy products from sellers via Livestream video. A beta release is currently underway.
The service will launch with rare and highly sought-after trading cards, such as a 1998 Kobe Bryant Skybox That's Jam PSA 10 from Bleecker Trading, starting June 22nd at 3 PM ET.
DJ Skee, an avid collector, will host the event live. Interested buyers can sign up via the eBay app or the official eBay Live page.
Dawn Block, eBay's vice president of collectables, stated, "as the collector community grows, we're offering an updated live platform that combines an engaging environment with incredible ease. This allows our community to come together over common interests and merchandise."
The service will continue to be available at real-world trading card conferences such as The National in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from July 27th to 31st, and Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana, from August 4th-7th.
The service is currently in beta, and no products are available for purchase. We don't yet see any signs of it on the eBay app. We have a brief clip of the new experience that shows someone holding shoes while responding visually to other people talking about the products.
We asked eBay whether we could expect anything before the June 22nd event and if regular eBay sellers would be able to access the platform. However, eBay did not respond at the time of publication.
eBay isn't the first to venture into live events. The company has hosted at least one auction and organized an event for eBay sellers in the past. They also use the "eBay Live" moniker.
Although eBay is late to this game, live streaming sales are already a huge business, especially in China. In 2020, Amazon launched its live service to influencers.
Facebook and Instagram both have shopping platforms. After partnering with Hype streetwear company, TikTok started broadcasting live-video infomercials last year.
Responding to the popularity of the format among young people, many companies now offer live-video infomercials. Sometimes, aspiring influencers will plug their viewers into multilevel marketing setups such as LuLaRoe.
But, hopefully, companies such as eBay can maintain their business health with carefully curated events.eBay is increasing its efforts to sell collectables due to the popularity of trading cards during the pandemic.
The eBay Vault was launched this month by the company. It allows you to send your trading cards directly to eBay for safekeeping.