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Breaking Bad: eBay Breaking Policy Changes On Memorabilia & Retail Products

Sports card breaks are a big part of the modern hobby. Right here, Cardlines card breaks are part of the many ways we engage the hobby and our readers.

As with many other parts of the hobby, there are good actors and bad actors in breaking. Mostly good, but the bad does happen.

To combat bad actions, eBay has previously pushed to regulate breakers on their platform. On Wednesday, breakers were informed of a new update to their policy, this time pertaining to breaking memorabilia and retail products.

But what do you need to know about the updated eBay breaking policy updates?

What are the eBay breaking policy updates?

The new policy that eBay emailed to breakers is below

Sports Memorabilia Breaking

Case breaks are only allowed if they are for trading cards. Case breaks for any other item, including helmets, jerseys, balls, or other memorabilia are not allowed and may not be sold on eBay. If you are listing sports memorabilia that is not a case break, please list in the Game Used Memorabilia 50116 or Vintage Sports Memorabilia 50123 categories.

Mega, Blaster, & Other Retail SKU Breaking

Case breaks for blaster, mega, and other retail SKUs will not be allowed going forward on eBay. These types of listings diminish the buyer experience by offering less desirable products, and break outcomes while generally cluttering the breaking category. If you are listing Retail SKUs that are not a case break, please list in the Sealed Trading Card Packs (261331), Sealed Trading Card Boxes (261332) or Sealed Trading Card Cases (261333) categories. We appreciate your support and understanding.

updated ebay policy

What does the updated eBay policy mean for memorabilia breaks?

Quite simply, case breaks for memorabilia, including helmets, jerseys, balls, and more will no longer be allowed on the platform. This effectively takes an entire type of break out of the eBay ecosystem.

It is unclear if eBay is doing this because fraud is higher with memorabilia breaks than card breaks or for some other reason.

What does the updated eBay policy mean for retail breaks?

The reasoning behind eBay’s move to no longer allow the breaking of retail products is stated right in the policy. eBay is correct that retail breaks often offer a lower chance at, or perhaps actually lower value hits.

They also tend to offer lower buy-in prices and serve as a good entry-level break for newbies. They also offer a shot at retail exclusives and breaks on a budget.

Maybe this does clutter up the listings, but you do have to wonder if a less heavy-handed approach would have worked, such as making products be flagged as retail or hobby and then offering filtering.

Among many other organizations that run breaks, this policy change will affect Cardlines breaks going forward. While we have in the past broken both retail and hobby products, we’ll have to stick to hobby-only products for now.

eBay breaking policy updates

Final thoughts on eBay’s updated breaking policy related to memorabilia & retail Products

Are these policy changes a good thing? Perhaps they will serve the purpose and reduce the number of break listings on eBay and cut down on noise and or fraud.

However, they feel very heavy-handed and cut out an entire cateogry of products from customers on eBay that enjoy the breaking experience and getting cards for a cheaper price.

What’s your take on the updated eBay breaking policy updates? Do they stop fraud and/or clean up listings? Hurt collectors of memorabilia or those on a budget? Or will not a lot change? Let us know what you think at card_lines on Twitter.

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Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.

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