Authenticated cards will come in an eBay-branded display case. | Source: eBay

Have your eye on a VMAX Pikachu card listing on eBay but hesitating to put your bid in because you might end up with a fake? Well go ahead and bid with confidence, because the online auction site is working to make trading card purchases as authentic and secure as possible by expanding its Authenticity Guarantee.

The trading card category is a booming business for eBay, hitting $2 billion in transactions in the first half of last year with an average of one sports trading card bought every second on the site. Today, the company said that it is responding to this sales boom by providing an Authenticity Guarantee program for single, ungraded trading cards (including collectible game cards, sports, and non-sports) that sell for more than $750 in the U.S. By mid-year, the service will expand further to include graded, auto, and patch cards sold for more than $250.

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This service is free to use and fairly straightforward. When a service-eligible purchase is made, the seller ships it directly to a team of third-party authenticators at Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) for a comprehensive physical inspection. After this assessment, CCG will send along the card via expedited shipping. The authentication process includes a thorough inspection of the card’s overall condition and proof of authentication via a QR code attached to the card’s protective packaging. The service also includes verified returns, which will ensure that any returned cards are the exact item initially sold.

Collectors can visit ebay.com/authenticcards to learn more about the authentication process, then head to eBay’s trading card hub to shop!