Introducing Tokens and the New Direct Checkout to hobbyDB Marketplaces

With a New Year comes new announcements that we’re excited to share with you! In the next few weeks, we’ll be making some changes to our overall hobbyDB marketplace experience. We hope that these changes will help clear the path for us to make some very big improvements for our collectors in the next few months.

Read on for the full details –

As of February 9th, we felt it was best to remove us, the middleman, from marketplace transactions. Buyers and Sellers will interact directly with each other, similar to Facebook and other peer-to-peer marketplaces. We believe this is an opportunity to offer a more seamless experience for both buyers and sellers.

In this new experience, sellers will pay upfront to list an item with tokens. We’ve done the work to ensure the tokens pricing comes out to be cheaper than the current transaction fee we are charging you (and quite a bit cheaper if you buy bulk). Buyers will pay sellers directly by using the secure PayPal checkout that comes with the PayPal Purchase Protection Guarantee.

But Why? Well, there are two main reasons –

With the start of 2021, more and more states are approving legislation that requires marketplaces to collect sales tax. Internationally, the UK is also now requiring all traditional marketplaces to collect VAT (yes, that stands for Value Added Tax) if you ship into the country. After a lot of conversations with our community, we know that most of our sellers and customers would prefer to skip the worry and significant expense of adding sales tax into the selling equation. And so would we!

Adding this sort of functionality to the marketplace would also mean adding a huge distraction to our team (especially the folks that make sure the site runs smoothly and continues to improve). We want to be able to focus on building new features that you’ve specifically requested for the database and collection management – such as more filters for a better search, a better mobile experience, and image recognition on the app.

What this means for our community

Less time spent on being the middleman and handling marketplace requests means more time spent helping our members have the collector’s experience they want and need. Now we can focus on building what we really do best, the database, the price guide and collection management. It means we can also deliver on other things you asked for such as the ability to trade, a local pick-up option and an easier way to reach out to other users (assuming they are good with that).

What this means for our Sellers 

  • No more waiting for payment.  Funds will be in your account at the time the buyer completes her or his checkout.
  • You will have direct access to your customers – so you can confirm order information and re-market to buyers in the future.
  • You can offer more competitive pricing – as by doing this, your buyers will not be required to pay sales taxes of up to 13.5% as they would have to on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other marketplaces.
  • Sell Anywhere – You can offer your items on a Forum, Facebook or elsewhere and once you agree on a transaction, you can ask the buyer to check out on hobbyDB, making sales admin much easier.
  • And Coming Later – No need to set shipping costs for all items or for all countries – sellers will eventually have full control over PayPal invoices (buyers will be able to request an invoice) and can adjust in real-time.

What this means for our Buyers – 

With the PayPal Purchase Protection Guarantee, PayPal has become so solid that it is now really a tool that buyers can rely on when it comes to disputes. We loved to be able to give you this confidence as well, but with the PayPal Protection, we feel confident that we won’t need to be in the middle any longer.

  • More ways to pay – with the new secure PayPal checkout, you soon will be able to pay for items using Venmo, Bank Transfers (big in Europe) and PayPal credit.
  • Streamlined transactions – since sellers have to pay for listings upfront, there is a much better chance that they will have your item in stock and will be able to quickly fulfill your order.
  • More control over your full experience – No need to wait for us to help resolve any order issues. Now you’re in full control when it comes to resolving disputes.
  • Better prices on items – No sales tax and cheaper listing fees mean sellers can offer better prices to their customers.


Next Steps

All orders that are placed before February 9th will be handled the same way as before. Sellers will continue to receive weekly payments for all orders that were purchased before February 9th.

On February 9th, we will roll out the full Tokens and Direct Checkout functionality. Remember if you are a seller, you must confirm your details with PayPal in order to use the new checkout experience. You can do so from within your seller dashboard here.

In terms of existing inventory on the marketplace, for most of you that sell very few items, the cost of relisting your current inventory will be grandfathered in ($0 cost). If you have a large amount of inventory, you will hear from us in the next few hours with a custom plan for you.

If you are one of our 1,000 Shareholders you know that we also own The Toy Peddler

Another one of the big reasons that we decided to transition to a tokens system is that we’ve seen great success with The Toy Peddler Credit system (which is very similar to the new Token system). With these changes in place, we’ll be able to begin the Toy Peddler Migration, which we hope to complete around April / May. Once migrated, The Toy Peddler will bring an additional 33,000 registered members, new inventory, and tens of thousands of new page views to items in the marketplace.

We’re excited to hear your feedback and hope that these changes will enable us to create an even better user experience for our collectors across the globe.

To learn more about how the Token system works, check out our Token FAQ here.

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3 years ago


You may have something here. I know that there are quite a lot of European collectors/buyers who are not buying from the US via eBay due to their Global Shipping Program.

3 years ago
Reply to  Sasudio

Yes, I think eBay’s program is great for sellers as it protects them and it is easy but it is VERY expensive and just really dampen sales (you got to really love that item!).  We think it is time to empower buyers and sellers to work things out between them!  Does anybody know what happens if you traded two brand-new, high-value items cross-border- would that incur import duties?

3 years ago

Good, this will make returns easier (even if I like talking to Andrew) and it will be good to have the money earlier!  How will I know how many Tokens I still have?

3 years ago
Reply to  Kolobok

There is a page that will tell you the balance.  Also, the balance will display when you list new items.

3 years ago

To eBays credit, their program means to be of use to buyers also. It goes by the book and does calculate and pay duties and VAT for each receiving country so the buyer doesn’t have to go through the hassle.

But that tends not to be how people want to trade globally, especially used goods. And the Global Shipping Program appears to estimate the charges high (though this may have been adjusted a bit of late).

If you are asking what happens to a correctly value marked packet when it comes from the US to EU. You will get a note from the customs office, politely urging you to pay for the calculated VAT (which may vary from country to country within EU) and in high value items there will be a customs duty also. (If you want to play with one, here is the Finnish Customs duty calculator: )

…And if your thing would be to ask the seller to mark the item as “gift” or the value lower, it depends on how savvy the customs officer is. They can be fairly good at estimating values for a surprising range of items. (…I guess they can just go to HobbyDB and check the latest average value of pretty much anything, right? ;))

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