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eBay to acquire Syracuse’s TCGplayer for $295M


Syracuse, N.Y. — eBay has agreed to buy Syracuse’s TCGplayer, a fast-growing company that has created an online marketplace for trading cards.

eBay said in a news release Monday that the total deal is valued at up to approximately $295 million. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, the company said.

In a Facebook post, TCGplayer founder and CEO Chedy Hampson said TCGplayer will continue operating independently and will keep its headquarters in downtown Syracuse after the deal closes.

“I will continue to lead the company as its CEO, ensuring our commitment to the entire collectibles community remains enshrined and protected long into the future,” he said.

He said the company’s 688 hourly and salaried employees will share in the financial rewards of the deal as a result of the company’s employee stock option plan.

“On a personal note, this announcement marks an incredible milestone for the TCGplayer team,” he said. “I founded TCGplayer to ensure that every team member embraced our community’s passion for collectibles and could share in our collective company success.”

See also: How Syracuse’s TCGplayer doubled its workforce in a pandemic: 2 moves that made a difference

In a statement through eBay, Hampson said the deal allows TCGplayer to continue operating independently within eBay “while also benefiting from their decades of industry experience and resources to deepen the connection between hobbyists and their communities.”

“With eBay’s support, we will advance our purpose, and expand our tools and services to improve the collecting experience online and in your favorite local hobby store,” he said.

TCGplayer emerged in 2008 from a web design company, Ascension Web Design, that Hampson, a 1992 Corcoran High School graduate, and Ray Moore, of Baldwinsville, started in 1998. The two local men are both avid gaming card players who met at a Magic: The Gathering tournament in Syracuse.

The company created an online marketplace for retailers, usually comic book stores, and individuals to buy and sell used gaming cards for games such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering — a sort of eBay for the trading card industry.

See also: Have a look inside TCGplayer’s fun new HQ in Syracuse

TCGplayer — the name stands for Trading Card Game player — benefits from the nature of trading card games. Players can buy new cards in packs, but they don’t know which cards are included until they open them. This has created a market for used cards because it allows players to buy the ones they want and sell the ones they don’t want.

The company has grown rapidly, helped by a surge in interest in trading card games since 2017 and boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, when people stuck at home turned to gaming, both the video kind and the less techy trading card kind, for entertainment.

TCGplayer opened its new headquarters in a two-story, 44,000-square-foot space in the Galleries of Syracuse on South Warren Street in 2019. The office is decorated to look much like the Millennium Falcon ship of Star Wars fame, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry of the Harry Potter movies, a pirate ship and Mario Bros. games.

TCGplayer office

TCGplayer has decorated its office in Syracuse to look like the trading cards it sells. (Rick Moriarty | rmoriarty@syracuse.com)

The surge in interest and TCGplayer’s growth have not gone unnoticed by eBay, which also provides an online marketplace for people to buy and sell trading cards.

“eBay has always fueled our customers’ passion in this space and facilitated connections between buyers and sellers, and with TCGplayer, we can enhance the customer experience across categories, forge even more relationships, and cater to enthusiasts around the world,” said Dawn Block, vice president collectibles at eBay.

Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact him anytime: Email | Twitter | Facebook | 315-470-3148





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