High-end collectibles auction house Goldin is looking to go mainstream by opening its own online marketplace to compete with the likes of EBay Inc.
The new platform combines an ecommerce site with authentication and grading services, along with a physical vault to store the items, in an effort to streamline the selling process.
“There’s a big opportunity when you’ve got such organic growth and a lot of people who should be collecting who don’t,” Goldin CEO Ross Hoffman said. “It’s a hobby for some. It’s a profession for others.”
The collectibles boom has attracted all kinds of investors in recent years, with the growing interest in alternative assets like trading cards and sneakers luring funds from companies including Amazon.com Inc. and Fanatics Inc.
Amazon is No. 1 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 database. The Top 1000 ranks North American web merchants by sales. It is No. 3 in the Digital Commerce 360 Online Marketplaces database, which ranks the 100 largest global marketplaces. EBay ranks No. 5 in the Online Marketplaces Database.
Goldin growth before opening marketplace
Goldin itself was acquired by an investment group led by hedge fund billionaire and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen in 2021. This adding to Cohen’s growing collectibles empire that also includes Professional Sports Authenticator, a leading card-grading service. Collectors Holdings Inc., which Cohen owns, D1 Capital Partners’ Dan Sundheim and health-care entrepreneur Nat Turner, set out to piece together a one-stop shop for collectibles.
Goldin is best known for its curated auctions of rare collectibles, such as a $3.6 million Kobe Bryant rookie jersey. As part of the push for more customers, it will start offering weekly auctions for more accessible products, starting at $5.
Management has been steadily adding collector services under its umbrella. Earlier this year, the company opened an 11,000-square-foot vault in Delaware. It has armed guards and seismic motion detectors, and users can store their inventory there. Hoffman is now looking at offering several other features, such as lending and cash advances.
Outside sports, executives are looking to grow in several categories such as:
- Video games
- Entertainment memorabilia
- VHS tapes
- Comic books
- Historically significant items
The group is considering additional acquisitions, should the opportunity arise.
“We’re always looking and you can see the potential for new verticals,” Hoffman said. “It’s got to be fueled by audience overlap.”
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