A day after being banned from selling sports cards and collectibles on eBay, PWCC Marketplace has formulated a plan to move all of its business to its own website and is responding to the concerns of customers and sports card collectors.
PWCC posted an update and answers to questions and concerns on its site Wednesday and directed customers there through its social media accounts.
The company confirmed it will no longer be selling and auctioning products on eBay, but again denied allegations of shill bidding. The company said in a statement Tuesday that it was “shocked” by the allegations and threatened legal action against eBay.
Rival companies, meanwhile, are making moves to take advantage of PWCC’s troubles by offering collectors space in their own card and memorabilia vaults. PWCC owns one of the largest vaults in the hobby, which it says holds millions of dollars in sports cards.
Robert Edward Auctions sent an email blast to customers Wednesday with the subject heading, “Done With The Vault?” and offering low rates for vault consignments. Goldin Auctions, meanwhile, is offering collectors free vault submissions.
In the wake of the scandal, PWCC, one of eBay’s largest sellers of sports cards with more than $200 million in sales last year, is moving its business to its own website, a move it says was already in progress prior to being banned from eBay. The company launched its new Premier Auction for high-end cards ($25,000 and up) this month. Its August auction closes on Aug. 21 with the September Premier Auction beginning on Sept. 1.
It also plans to begin hosting a Monthly Auction, Flash Auction and Fixed Price Marketplace at pwccmarketplace.com. The Fixed Price listings will begin Sept. 1 with the new Monthly Auction Marketplace starting in October.
PWCC’s statement contends that it did not participate in shill bidding on eBay and does not condone the practice, which is designed to artificially inflate prices in online auctions.
“PWCC has clear rules that no one may place a bid unless that bid is intended to win the item — not consignors, friends of consignors, people who own other versions of the card, etc.,” PWCC’s statement says. “PWCC has never engaged in nor condoned the practice of shill bidding or manipulating the card market. PWCC is proud of our work to ensure a trusted marketplace and unequivocally denies eBay's claims regarding shill bidding.
“PWCC prides itself on creating a culture of integrity and trust,” the statement further states. “We understand its importance to our company, the industry, and collectors. For more than 20 years, PWCC has built its reputation with buyers and sellers —always putting the company’s values first. There are no circumstances under which PWCC would approve violating auction site policies.”
PWCC’s update also includes information for customers who had cards for sale on eBay through PWCC and for sellers who wish to have their cards returned. Cards that were being auctioned on eBay by PWCC have been placed back in the company’s vault and can be sold on its own website.
The update also includes information for customers who have cards in the PWCC Vault, including what happens to them now and how to have them returned. The company plans to continue storing cards in its vault and is offering a free promotion through September.
PWCC says it has procedures in place to prevent shill bidding during auctions on its own website and refers customers to its Marketplace Tenets.
“PWCC and our staff and affiliates have no visibility into any bidders' maximum bid,” it says. “This information is stored in a third-party service and no one from PWCC or any affiliates of the sellers can view it, by specific design.
“Our Marketplace Trust team is extremely proactive in monitoring bidding. We have placed permanent blocks on any bidder who does not pay.”
PWCC says it is working to earn the trust of customers concerned about the eBay ban and accusations of shill bidding.
“We know trust is built over time and through a consistent experience,” it says. “We hope that we have earned that trust from you and that we will continue to do so with our new platform. We are deeply committed to ensuring the bidding environment you deserve.”
PWCC also addressed concerns over how the allegations and its split with eBay will impact the hobby.
“PWCC cannot predict short-term volatility that may arise from the PWCC and eBay separation. However, PWCC remains bullish on the future of the industry and looks forward to continuing its role as a leading marketplace for hobbyists and investors,” its statement says.