TCGPlayer’s TCGPlayer Direct  service, announced at GAMA Trade Show, will pull orders on its site for third party sellers from its own inventory and ship the entire order to the consumer immediately, even if it includes items from multiple sellers.  The third party sellers/retailers will then replenish the inventory so the cycle can begin again.  TCGPlayer will also handle any customer service issues on behalf of TCGPlayer Direct sellers. 

The service will be an optional upgrade (for a fee) for third party sellers, TCGPlayer President Chedy Hampson told ICv2 in an interview.  Third party sellers will also have the option of continuing the current type of relationship, which is similar to eBay’s in that the transaction takes place on the site but the sellers then ship directly to the consumer.

TCGPlayer Direct will begin a soft launch this spring, and go into full roll-out in Summer 2014, Hampson said.  At the beginning, the service will apply to Magic:  The Gathering singles only; TCGPlayer will seek to have at least seven days inventory of every Magic single in stock to support the program.

Once the program is operating successfully, the company plans to roll it out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, HeroClix, Pokemon, and "all of the other major trading card games that we cover," Hampson said. 

The program involves some additional costs for both TCGPlayer and third party sellers, but Hampson believes that sales increases will make it profitable.  "Our belief is that through this program we will see a massive increase in buyers coming to our platform," he said.