On Thursday, eBay announced the launch of its new live, interactive shopping platform called eBay Live. Much like the traditional cable TV experience of the "Home Shopping Network," viewers will be able to watch hosts showcase different items that viewers can instantly purchase. The platform also lets users chat with the hosts and interact with them via reaction buttons.
The platform launches in beta on June 22 with a curated selection of rare trading cards from top eBay seller Bleecker Trading. The series will be hosted by trading card enthusiast DJ Skee.
"eBay has always been the original home for trading cards and collectibles," Dawn Block, eBay VP, said in a statement. "As the collector community grows, we're offering a new live platform that combines an engaging environment with incredible ease, allowing our community to come together over shared interests and merchandise."
A number of other companies have already rolled out their own livestreamed shopping platforms online. The Chinese tech giant Alibaba was a pioneer in the space, debuting its Taobao Live platform in 2016. Live commerce quickly became a staple of the Chinese e-commerce experience. In 2020, Taobao Live reportedly generated a whopping $7.5 billion in total transaction value in the first 30 minutes of Alibaba's Singles' Day -- a sales event akin to Amazon Prime Day.
In 2019, Amazon launched its own livestreamed shopping experience called Amazon Live, while QVC rolled out a new app with shoppable videos. Facebook first tried out Live Shopping in 2018 and began testing "Live Shopping for creators" last year. Twitter launched a livestreamed shopping platform in 2021 as well. Then earlier this year, YouTube announced plans to roll out shoppable videos as well as a Live Shopping experience.
This new platform will be accessible on the eBay app. The company is starting with trading cards as it continues to cultivate markets in certain "focus categories."
To support the enthusiastic trading card community, eBay earlier this month launched a physical vault for trading cards. The facility is 31,000 square feet, 24/7 secured, and temperature controlled. The company also recently expanded its Authenticity Guarantee service to trading cards; eBay debuted Price Guide and Collection and Image Scan in 2021 to help collectors manage their portfolios.