Valuable physical collectibles — from precious stones to baseball cards — have always been highly sought after. While the digital age has reduced some transactional friction in collectibles marketplaces, the resulting gains for collectors have been heavily diluted by the high fees of e-commerce behemoths. Combined with shipping risks and potential for fraud, these barriers have held the collectibles market back from truly explosive growth.
Now, a new Solana-based project called Collector is stepping in to innovate, with a plan to save collectors billions of dollars by transforming the way they engage with their prized collections and each other.
Collector’s digital marketplace leverages blockchain technologies to weave a flexible, global network of vaulting and grading partners. Collector’s beta program rolls out to eager users this month ahead of its official launch for graded trading cards in 2022’s fourth quarter. Learn more about this opportunity here, along with information about exclusive ambassadorships for avid card collectors.
For collectors paying 10-to-15% fees to bite their nails during the tense shipping process, this new platform is a cause for celebration; Collector promises to reduce trading risks significantly and cut fees by as much as 95%. And for investors more familiar with the digital world of stocks and cryptocurrencies, this new way of trading collectibles makes for a more enticing investment than ever before.
So, just how big is the online collectibles market?
The card dealers
The market for collectibles is contested by the largest marketplaces on the web. Ebay, a top site for collectibles traders, reported 20 million new listings for trading cards in 2021’s first quarter, contributing around $1 billion in merchandising volume in that period.
PWCC, another major player, offers vaulting and marketplace services, especially for graded cards. It currently holds over 500,000 items in its vault.
Alt is a newer entrant to the vaulting scene, raising $75 million in funds late last year. Like PWCC, Alt offers storage and marketplace services to users in addition to loans collateralized by vaulted assets.
But there are some fundamental problems in the current system. For example, individual sellers on eBay can pay as much as 13.4% on their sales — not including other fixed listing fees. And even with such high fees, users still must navigate fake listings and fraudsters. Both PWCC and Alt provide a safer experience for collectors than eBay but still lack truly global reach. eBay has also opened its own vault to compete with plans to hold $3 billion in assets in a few years.
The solution to a $50 billion problem
Collector is thinking one step ahead by developing a Solana-based system that integrates physical vaults from around the world into a decentralized, token-enhanced marketplace offering near-instant transaction settlement on a global scale.
The blockchain primitives that Collector is developing include a physical-to-digital bridge, decentralized marketplace and collateralized lending protocols. Derived from now-ubiquitous nonfungible tokens (NFTs), Collector has dubbed the digital tokens powering its platform “pNFTs” to represent their physical-to-digital nature, as each token is inextricably linked to the physical item it represents.
Collector is also launching a native digital asset named COLL, which unlocks features like animated pNFT galleries and fee discounts. With COLL, users can pay fees as low as 0.5% — a 95% reduction compared to eBay. For investors seeking exposure to collectibles, liquid pNFT marketplaces create a unique opportunity to safely accumulate these assets.
Orion Depp, managing partner at Master Ventures Investment Management, shares this view: “Very few NFT projects have figured out how to accrue value for their tokens. Move-to-earn-industry leader Stepn (GMT) is one example of a successful project deriving value from real-world activity. Collector could be a similar, highly asymmetric opportunity, as it capitalizes on the massive $700 billion collectibles sub-sector while offering a marketplace experience similar to OpenSea or Solana’s Magic Eden.”
Unlike competitors, Collector is building a decentralized marketplace right from the start, with an ambitious roadmap to build a global network of trusted vault and grading partners. Collector’s token-incentivized ecosystem puts the community first and gives them control over the platform’s future.
Collector is transforming the collectibles market by integrating physical ownership with Web3-powered digital marketplaces built on Solana. This means significantly less time, fraud, risk and fees than what millions of collectors currently experience while transacting trillions of dollars annually worldwide.
Collector’s native token COLL is distributed as a reward and unlocks the platform’s full potential. This includes discounts, premium features and governance rights.
To learn more about Collector, visit collectorcrypt.com. To become a beta tester and future ambassador, jump directly to collectorcrypt.com/betapr.
Micky Irons, chief media officer of Collector: firstname.lastname@example.org