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eBay/TCGPlayer Sellers Raise Monopoly Concerns & Labor Issues

(Syracuse, New York) – On Wednesday, January 24, a group of trading-card sellers on the TCGplayer platform came together to send a letter to the CEOs of TCGplayer and parent company eBay demanding that the company address sellers’ concerns about anti-competitive practices. The sellers also expressed support for unionized workers at the eBay/TCGplayer authentication center in Syracuse and urged the company to bargain in good faith with members of TCGUnion-CWA. Nearly a dozen elected officials representing the Syracuse area at the municipal and state levels also signed on to a separate letter urging eBay to end its union-busting and to come to the bargaining table in good faith to negotiate a contract with TCGunion-CWA.

A series of acquisitions starting in 2020 and ending with eBay’s purchase of TCGplayer in August 2022 have allowed the combined company to exploit its market power over sellers who use its platform as well as the company’s workers, the letter contends. The sellers cite instances when eBay/TCGplayer has unilaterally banned sellers who voiced support for the workers’ union drive on social media.

On February 7, 2024, an anonymous complaint was submitted to the Federal Trade Commission in connection with the agency’s proposed rule to ban junk fees, citing concerns regarding the unfair or deceptive fee practices of eBay/TCGplayer, the dominant platform in this marketplace. The complaint expresses concerns about eBay/TCGplayer’s imposition of excessive fees for sellers, alleging such practices are deceptive and unfair and an abuse of monopoly power in the trading card game marketplace.

“It is absolutely unjust that a platform worth over $21 billion dollars can silence small individual sellers who dare to share information about alternative sales strategies or protest the company’s union busting. And because eBay has eliminated most of the competition in the trading card marketplace, when the company suspends us for unjustified reasons, we lose our livelihoods. We hope eBay/TCGPlayer takes our concerns seriously. If it doesn’t, we are prepared to take these issues up with the relevant anti-competition agencies and our elected representatives,” said Alanson Seybold, trading-card seller on the TCGplayer platform. 

The sellers ask that eBay/TCGplayer implement remedies to protect sellers freedom from retaliation and freedom of speech and request that company officials meet with their group. If eBay/TCGplayer declines to meet, the sellers group said it will seek the help of elected officials and competition enforcement agencies in pursuing these changes to the platform. Sellers have also made the letter available as a petition for other impacted parties to sign on.


The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada. CODE-CWA is a project of the Communications Workers of America which represents hundreds of thousands of workers throughout tech, media, telecom, and other industries who stand together to fight for justice on the job and in our communities.

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