Sports card collecting has been a popular hobby for over a hundred years and it’s still going strong even in our digital age. For sports fans, there’s just something special about holding a piece of sports history in your hand. They can be a connection to a team or player from your childhood, a keepsake to remember a critical game or season that turned you into a superfan, or maybe Sports Cards are the perfect gift from someone special in your life.
For others, they’re an investment that can prove fun to speculate on, with a healthy return if you pick wisely. Whatever sports cards mean to you, this guide provides you all you need to know about buying and selling sports cards online.
So, whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting out, this ultimate guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about buying and selling sports cards online. From rating the best online marketplaces to how to price your cards and protect your investments, we've got you covered in our comprehensive guide.
This Buying & Selling Sports Cards Online Guide has three chapters
- Buying Sports Cards Online: What You Need to Know
- Selling Sports Cards Online: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies
- Finding the Best Online Marketplaces
Buying and selling sports cards online can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it's important to approach it with the right knowledge and strategies. By following the tips and advice in this guide, you can find the best online marketplaces for buying and selling sports cards, research cards before making a purchase, accurately price your cards, and protect your investments through proper storage and insurance.
Remember to take your time, do your research, and stay vigilant to avoid scams and fraudulent transactions (we have tips there, too). With the right approach, buying and selling sports cards online can be a lucrative and enjoyable hobby for collectors of all levels.
Buying Sports Cards Online: What You Need to Know
Whether you have been buying for a while or are new to the hobby, there are a few things that you need to know before you dive into the world of online sports card buying. In this section of our guide, we’ll cover tips to keep in mind before you buy.
Shop Good Marketplaces with Reputable Sellers
With the rise of sports cards in the last few years, more companies are jumping into the business of helping collectors sell their cards, and now there are a glut of different marketplaces where you can shop for cards. With so many markets and sellers out there, it can be hard to determine which ones are trustworthy.
For a great review of your options, check out our list of marketplaces and focus on buying from sellers who have a good reputation. Most platforms have a means of rating sellers, but you can also check forums for more details if you need to check out a seller.
Once you know what you want to buy, take the time to look into pricing. One of the advantages of buying sports cards on the Internet is that you can compare prices across the web. Prior to buying, do a search for other sellers also offering the same card because prices may vary. Of course, the card's condition, rarity, and desirability will affect prices, so you should have an idea in mind about how much you are willing to pay for the card you want beforehand. Planning ahead will always help.
You can conduct this research on Cardbase, which is the perfect tool for these comparisons across dozens of marketplaces. Using the individual card page, you can see a price history and which marketplaces had the best prices.
Use the filters to zero in on the card condition you seek and Cardbase will show you the population (how many cards of that condition are recorded out there), pricing trends, and it will even suggest Hot Deals you can find across the marketplaces all over.
Know the Condition of the Cards
If you're buying sports cards online, it's vital to check the condition. Many sellers will inform you of the card's condition, such as "mint," "near mint," or "good." Look for cards with few signs of wear, as they will hold their value better over time.
Better yet, focus on buying cards graded by reputable grading services. You will pay more for these cards, but you can be assured of their authenticity if PSA or BGS has reviewed and slabbed them. Watch out for fake cards, too. If the price is super-low, it may not be a real copy of the card you are seeking so be cautious. While eyeballing the card is a reasonable start, it’s better to make sure a card has been graded by a professional organization. You will often pay more for graded cards, but you can be sure that you are getting what you want.
Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate Prices
Be respectful and fair in your offers, but there is nothing wrong with asking for a lower price based on what you are willing to pay and your perception of the value. You never know the circumstances of the seller. They may be willing to part with a card you really want for less than the listed price. All they can say is ‘no,’ and that still leaves it open for you to purchase at their asking price.
Don’t Forget to Consider Shipping Costs and Time
When purchasing sports cards over the internet, it's crucial to understand shipping expenses and the delivery time. Different sellers have different shipping choices and costs, and several also incorporate the shipping time in their pricing. Taking the shipping time and the cost into consideration can help in your price comparisons. If you don’t mind waiting, sometimes you can save money - negotiate with the seller and accept a slower delivery to save money if that suits you.
Use Secure Payment Methods and Check Return Policies
When buying sports cards online, it's important to use secure payment methods. Look for sellers who accept payment through a secure platform, such as PayPal. Avoid sellers who ask for payment through wire transfer or other unsecured methods. Also, check the seller's return policy. Some sellers may not accept returns, while others may offer a limited return window. Make sure you understand the seller's return policy before making a purchase.
Finding the sports trading card you seek at the right price may take some time. Don't jump at the chance to buy it simply because it's within your budget, especially if it is graded at a level that won’t make you happy. Take the time to see multiple offers and pricing trends (plus all the advice from above) before you take the plunge and pay for that perfect card.
Selling Your Sports Cards Online: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies
If you are a collector of sports cards and want to sell them online, you have to be prepared to face a highly competitive market. To stand out from the rest, you need to understand the best practices for selling sports cards online, build your reputation as a trustworthy seller, avoid scams and fraudulent buyers, understand the card values and pricing factors, and know how to set your price and close the deal. In this article, we will provide you with some tips and tricks that can help you sell your sports cards successfully online.
To sell your sports cards online successfully, we suggest some best practices that will enable you to maximize your sales and profits. Here are some crucial ones:
Before You Sell: Tips and Best Practices
Why Sell Sports Cards?
Sports card collecting has become a more popular hobby and a bigger investment opportunity in recent years. With the rise of online marketplaces and the ease of buying and selling sports cards, more and more people are getting involved in trading cards.
Selling sports cards can be a profitable venture, especially if you have rare and valuable cards in your collection. You can make a significant profit by selling your cards to collectors or investors who are willing to pay top dollar for rare cards. If you are planning to quickly flip cards, read through the tips and check out our special section on flipping cards fast.
Review Your Collection
To accurately value your sports card collection, you will need to correctly determine what kinds of cards you have and their condition. Sort your collection by sport, year, and manufacturer of your cards. Take note of cards from star players, special cards from limited sets and runs, and just figure out how much you have to sell.
Taking stock of your sales plan (sell it all quickly, become a regular seller and move the cards over time, etc.) will help you determine pricing, marketplaces that suit your needs, and will help you set expectations for the profits you can expect.
Understanding Card Values and Pricing Factors
To price your sports cards accurately, you need to understand the card values and pricing factors. The following are some factors that can impact the value of your cards:
Rarity: The rarity of the card usually has a huge impact on its value. While older cards are scarce due to their age and the number of collectors who didn’t save them, modern cards are often scarce by the design of the publishers, including parallels, variants, and different color refractor cards. The more limited the card's production, the higher its value, so do your research ahead of time to ensure you understand the rarity of a card before you price it.
Card Condition: Condition is another key factor like rarity that will almost always affect the value of your sports cards. Cards that are in ‘mint’ condition or graded by a reputable grading service are worth more than cards in lesser condition or that don’t have a third-party grading service attesting to their condition.
With more valuable cards, it probably makes sense to get them graded to maximize your profits. Check out pricing for graded and ungraded cards on Cardbase by going to the card’s page and selecting the dropdown option to filter on prices for the grade of your card. This option will even allow you to differentiate between grading services because they don’t all use the same specific criteria when determining a grade.
Player Performance: The performance of the player on the card can impact its value. Cards of players with outstanding performances often have higher values and when they are showing their peak performance, that’s often the best time to sell. Are they having a slump year? Maybe wait until they have an upswing before listing the cards featuring them.
Demand: The demand for your sports cards is also a crucial factor in determining their value. If there is a high demand for a particular card or player, you can expect to get a higher price for it. This works in tandem with player performance. Maybe the player’s team is having a golden year, which can drive up values for star players and regular players alike.
With Cardbase, you can see the most popular cards currently selling in the marketplaces across the web, which can help you see how desirable your cards are with buyers online:
- Market Trends: Keep an eye on market trends and prices to ensure that you are selling your cards at the right time. During the first couple of years of the COVID-19 Pandemic, prices were on the rise because people bought a lot of cards while in quarantine. Prices can fluctuate, so it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest market trends. Check out your card’s pricing trend on its page on Cardbase for updated details.
Choose a Selling Platform
There are numerous options available for selling sports cards, including online marketplaces, auction houses, and local card shops. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider which option is best for your needs. We give you a deep dive into this question in our guide below.
Selling Your Cards: Tips and Best Practices
Now that you have considered the factors that affect the value of your sports cards, here are some tips to help you sell for a tidy profit.
Take High-Quality Pictures of Your Cards
High-quality pictures can showcase the condition of your cards and attract potential buyers. Take pictures of the front and back of each card, and be sure to show any flaws or damage. Honest representations now will prevent conflicts and confusion with your buyers later.
Don’t ‘Instagram’ Your Card Pictures
Most modern phones have plenty of power to take great pictures, so you don’t need to invest in a special camera. While we often feel the need in a post-Instagram world to add filters, resist the urge to make your photos look even better with these automagic tools. This can end up misrepresenting your card’s condition. For best results, use good lighting and go with a #nofilter approach to help buyers see your card for what it is.
Provide Accurate Card Descriptions
Be honest and accurate in your descriptions of the cards you are selling. Include all relevant details such as brand, year, card number, and any special features. Put additional detail into your description if available.
Don’t forget that you can find out additional details to add to your listing by looking at the card on tools like Cardbase. Card details like the population of your card’s grading, how prices are trending, and recent sale prices might be useful for buyers to know when considering purchasing your collectible.
Comprehensive details will help drive interest in your cards and show that you know what you have. This can also show potential buyers that you know the accurate value of your cards so they won’t try to haggle you down to some unreasonable amount in hopes that you just want to get rid of the item.
Use Relevant Keywords in Your Listing Title
Using relevant keywords in your listing title can help your cards appear in search results. Use keywords that describe the brand, player, year, and card number.
Selling Graded Cards Online
As stated above, you can increase the amount you get for your cards if you have them professionally graded. The bottom line is that buyers will be more likely to purchase your cards if PSA, BGS, or another reputable grading service has already authenticated and graded your card. While this takes a little bit of time and has a cost associated with it, most data suggests that you will make more money with a graded card and that value should exceed what you paid. That said, here are some types of cards to definitely grade:
- Vintage Cards: Vintage trading cards grading is a good idea, especially since a lower grade doesn’t mean no sale. For some antique cards, a PSA 6 grade is thrilling to get because there are so few available. More often than not, it will make good sense to grade cards before 1980.
- Rookie Cards: Rookies cards from star players should pretty much always be graded. There is no second chance to be a rookie, so these cards have a special place in the player’s life and career. They often also sell for more than most other cards.
- Parallels: Parallels are grade-worthy, especially with sports card publishers creating a lot of exclusive print runs. With huge stars like Mike Trout, Steph Curry, Sir Lewis Hamilton, or Conor McGregor, there will be so many parallels in small quantities that it's worth grading them to ensure their value is maximized.
- Unique Cards: If a card is autographed, includes game-used materials, or some other unique element, that is worth grading. These elements will have their own authentication process or grading sometimes, and that certification by a third-party will help buyers know what they are getting.
Don't Just Accept Offered Prices
Buyers may offer you less than you are asking for your cards. It’s up to you if you would like to honor their offer or reject it. You can also offer to meet them halfway and work out a deal. Ultimately, you don’t need to sell to a particular person so hold out for your expected price if you are under no time pressure to sell. Don’t be offended by haggling if the buyer is courteous about it; for many people, haggling is the way they shop for collectibles and it’s a reasonable way to come to an agreement about the price.
Remember you can use the Latest Sales data on Cardbase to help determine if the offers you are getting sound right for this card at this moment in time.
Building Your Reputation as a Seller
If you are just trying to get rid of a collection one time, the above tips will help. However, if you have a large collection to sell over time or plan to become a regular seller, there are additional best practices for us to recommend. One of the most critical factors for a longtime seller is building your reputation as trustworthy. The following are some ways to establish a positive reputation:
- Maintain High Seller Ratings: Maintaining a high seller rating on marketplaces that offer feedback options to improve your reputation. Encourage buyers to leave feedback after their purchase and do the same for them if the marketplace allows it. eBay has two-way feedback and many other marketplaces do the same.
- Offer a Return Policy: Offering a return policy can give buyers confidence in their purchase and shows that you stand behind your cards' quality. Limit the length of time in which you will take a return, though, so you don’t need to be concerned about a return two years later. A 60-day money-back guarantee is plenty of time for your buyer to obtain the item and make sure it meets their expectations.
- Provide Excellent Customer Service: Respond to buyer inquiries promptly and professionally. Provide tracking information once a card has shipped, and be sure to follow up after the sale to ensure the buyer is satisfied with their purchase. This stellar experience will get you positive feedback and a strong reputation that will help future buyers feel better about buying from you.
- Offer Free Shipping: Offering free shipping can make your listings more attractive to buyers. You can either include the shipping cost in the listing price or offer free shipping as a promotional deal. Make sure that these costs are figured into your profit for the card with any other fees involved.
- Build a Social Media Presence: Building a presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can help you establish yourself as a reputable seller and connect with potential buyers. If buyers start to follow you because they know you sell cards that will interest them, this will increase the chance of future sales because you already have their attention when you post new cards for sale.
Avoiding Scams and Fraudulent Buyers
Unfortunately, scams and fraudulent buyers do appear in the online sports card market. Here are some key tips to help protect yourself from these issues:
Verify Payments Before Sending: Before shipping your card, ensure that the buyer's payment has cleared and is not fraudulent. It is perfectly reasonable to take a little time before sending your card to ensure the payment has cleared.
Be Caution with Big Orders: If a buyer is purchasing lots of expensive cards, negotiating a deal that makes you feel uncomfortable, or asks you to change your procedures if they pay more money than you are asking, be careful. Unless you are dealing with a trusted auction house, verified marketplace (like those in our guide), or someone you know well, these requests are common with scams.
If you are concerned, see about going through a third-party marketplace, ask for them to pay for insurance against their own loss (and rescind any refund policy), or just don’t complete the sale if it sounds wrong. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t Ship to Unconfirmed Addresses: Shipping to unconfirmed addresses can put you at risk of shipping to a fraudulent buyer. Insist on them paying for insurance if they only have a P.O. Box or an unusual address. Make sure you aren’t on the hook to refund them. If something happens, they should deal with the insurance issues since they provided an address that presented a problem. Legitimate buyers should appreciate insurance being added to their system.
Use Postal Tracking: Always use tracking options when shipping your cards to protect yourself from lost shipments. Even the USPS now has solid tracking tools like UPS, Fedex, and other shipping services. Charge your buyer for this convenience if it has an extra cost associated with it. If they are a legitimate buyer, they will appreciate knowing the status of shipments anyway.
Flipping and Selling Sports Cards
The advice above is primarily for regular sellers. If you are flipping and selling sports cards quickly, there are some additional tips. Keep in mind that doing this for quick profit requires a strong understanding of the market and a keen eye for valuable cards. Some additional tips include:
Learn to Identify Undervalued Cards: Use price monitoring tools like Cardbase to watch for cards that are listed for less than their actual value. If you look at the trending information on pricing and compare what you believe you can get versus a seller’s low price, consider scooping up those cards and relisting them.
A particularly helpful tool on Cardbase is the Hot Deals section on player pages:
This section can help you find pricing comparisons from the estimated price and the current price in an auction or fixed price option.
- Pick the Marketplace for Buying and the one for Selling: If you are looking for quick turnarounds, you might want to search for cards to buy on more general platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Amazon. Then, you can turn around and sell the cards into marketplaces where the buyers are more likely to know the true value of a card. Our marketplace listings in this guide can help you there.
- Building Relationships with Buyers and Sellers: If you find a seller who is routinely selling cards for less because they don’t put the time into the research to get the best pricing, be sure to bookmark their sales and maybe reach out to see if you can buy from them in bulk. The flip side of this is that you can help buyers who are willing to pay market prices by contacting them ahead of time and asking them for what they’re seeking. If you know what a buyer will pay and you can do the legwork to get the card, you can make a profit on the difference in those two amounts.
Definitely read closely all of the advice above regarding selling and take extra care to watch out for scams or disreputable buyers/sellers because in the fast-moving world of card flipping, these bad actors are more likely to be present.
Finding the Best Online Marketplaces for buying and selling Trading Cards
Which of these marketplaces will work best for you? Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Marketplaces for sports cards online. We’ve listed them each with details about their strengths, ease of selling/buying, reliability, population of users, and additional factors like services offered. For simplicity, they are in alphabetical order, with “Big Retail Outlets” at the end.
Beckett is the other big grading company and they have a worthwhile offering that gives both buyers and sellers a leg up in getting the cards they want or top dollars for the ones they are selling. Their site includes guides and checklists to help collectors and investors, both new and experienced.
While buyers can buy on the site with ease, sellers must become a registered dealer on the marketplace in order to list and sell items. This involves membership fees, so only use Beckett if you have a bulk of items to sell over time. That membership comes with useful tools for sellers, but they are better for optimizing the efforts of a longtime seller than for new sellers.
Beckett - Fees and Considerations
- Fees vary for having a dealer license, storefront and deluxe options. Check with Beckett’s team for current pricing.
- Beckett can grade and help you sell your cards, but their pricing only makes sense if you have a large collection of highly-valued cards.
- Buying is much easier, though and the selection is huge.
Becket - Tips
- Beckett notes that over 100 million cards are for sale in their marketplace, which can be a double-edged sword. You can find most of what you want, but your items for sale might struggle to get noticed in such a large inventory.
- When you buy from Beckett, you can be assured of authenticity since that’s their direct business.
- Grading and selling together can introduce efficiencies like free shipping from Beckett so consider all costs when you think about where to sell.
Check Out My Collectibles (COMC)
COMC is another full-service option that can help you get your sports cards appraised, sold, and shipped. They accept cards individually and charge a nominal fee for accepting them into their process. Keep in mind that there will also be a final value fee when the card is sold as well, so make sure you know the whole host of costs involved before sending them your sports cards.
For buyers, COMC has a fine selection of cards, although many are graded by their partners who aren’t as well known as PSA and BGS in this industry. Thus, you might find pricing to be more broadly spread out.
COMC - Fees and Considerations
- These will be different based on what you use among their services, plus they can expedite sales for an extra fee.
- COMC will automatically put your proceeds from sales into store credit, assuming you’d like to purchase more cards. You can ask for them to transfer the credit into cash if you prefer.
COMC - Tips
- COMC isn’t a bad choice for getting rid of a small number of high-value cards, but it’s worth checking their marketplace selling prices against the others. Cardbase searches can help there.
- If you want a concierge service that does focus entirely on sports cards, COMC is a solid choice.
Dave & Adam’s
Dave & Adam’s is another marketplace with a focus on older and minimum value cards. Unless you have cards from before 1970 or that are professionally graded or with a value over $50, Dave & Adam’s is not for you.
For buyers, Dave & Adam’s makes it easy to find and pay for what you want with minimal setup or fuss. Their collection isn’t as extensive as other marketplaces, but if they have what you want, it’s easy to complete your transaction.
For sellers, Dave & Adam’s has a buy list if you want to just sell to them and make it easier to move your cars. You won’t get top dollar, but it’s a no-hassle way to sell cards if you don’t want to do the research and maximize what you get.
Dave & Adam’s - Fees and Considerations
- Selling directly to Dave & Adam’s will incur you zero fees.
- Buying is dead simple and they have a solid selection of cards to choose from.
Dave & Adam’s - Tips
- If you are not a collector and just want to move a collection you inherited or obtained from a relative, Dave & Adam’s is ideal for you.
- Buying from an organization like Dave & Adam’s minimizes the chance of buying fraudulent cards because they buy and inspect them before sales.
- Serious sellers will want to use other marketplaces to ensure they get the best prices for their cards.
eBay has been around for more than 25 years and they are still one of the simplest tools for buying and selling online.
For buyers, eBay is simple. You can jump onto the platform and search without creating an account, but you will need to create one to bid on cards. It doesn’t get much easier than this popular marketplace. Plus, eBay has sellers with thousands of transactions rated in their feedback system so you can feel confident in your purchase.
For sellers, if you know the value of your cards from researching them on Cardbase, auctions on eBay can put your cards in front of a large number of buyers. Also, with so many thousands of buyers using the system, many have automated search bots that will notice your cards when they get posted, helping you close more sales.
eBay - Fees and Considerations
- 250 free listings, but you can get more with a formal eBay Store setup; after 250 listings, eBay charges $0.35 per listing in a category
- Lots of paid options to boost your listing, including shorter auction times, bolded listings, more pictures, listing special perks, and reserve prices (prices you won’t sell below).
- 12.9%* on total amount of the sale up to $7,500, calculated per item
- 2.35%* on the portion of the sale over $7,500
eBay - Tips
- That commission percentage can be hefty for valuable, rare sports cards, but if you get a higher price through an auction, this extra cost might be worth it.
- Be cautious about those upgrades like bolding your listing. Most online sellers believe they are not worth it if you look at the data of the highest prices paid vs. those in bold.
- Consider accepting eBay’s low starting bid recommendation. If your card is worth $200 and you list it with a starting bid of $200, you are likely to get little activity. But if you list it to start at $20, you will attract bargain hunters and it will still go for the price the market is willing to pay. Yet, the activity and desirability conveyed by more bids, watchers, and activity on your auction can end up driving the price higher.
The Facebook Marketplace has come in and pushed Craigslist and apps like OfferUp to the side for local/regional buying/selling activities. It’s a key place for lower-value collectibles to be easily sold for cash. This can save sellers the hassle of shipping and buyers the cost of getting things shipped, what with mailing rates getting sky-high.
As long as you have a Facebook account, you can list cards on both the marketplace and you can search for buy/sell groups for both your area and trading cards in your area. Buyers will reach out to you directly.
For buyers, Facebook Marketplace is similarly easy to just search for what you want, but be warned that Facebook Marketplace does send you a lot of notifications and will keep asking you if you bought things. Check your notification options to disallow the bulk of them.
Facebook Marketplace - Fees and Considerations
- Keep in mind that although you can do shipping on this marketplace, most people expect to meet up.
- This is a solid way for new buyers and sellers to find cards, but do your research to make sure you are either getting or paying an appropriate price.
Facebook Marketplace - Tips
- If you meet up with people for sales, you can pick a third-party location like Starbucks or another public place for safety. Some police departments have trade/sales zones at their precinct buildings.
- If your cards are worth more than $50-$100, consider grading them and selling on a trading card marketplace if you want to maximize your returns.
Goldin is one of the larger marketplaces for trading cards and other collectibles. They partner with PSA grading to offer a full-service experience where you can get cards graded and sold in one process. They focus on higher-value cards and guarantee buyers are good for big-money bids. Keep in mind that Goldin generally only deals in graded cards and collectibles.
Goldin - Fees and Considerations
- Fees depend on how much of their services you use. Expect to pay more if you use their grading, storage, and full service fees.
- Lower-value cards can be part of the auction marketplace, with a $3 fee for items selling under $15 and no fee for items that sell for more.
- Goldin has a special designation for collectibles over $5,000 in value and more services associated with those sales in the Elite Marketplace.
Goldin - Tips
- Their Vault feature can be useful if you have a lot of cards to get graded and sold. Check out the details on their website for this full service option.
- Most cards on their platform are graded by PSA, ensuring you get quality cards and minimizing the chance of fraudulent collectibles.
- This is definitely not the place to sell ungraded, lower-end cards since everything involved in the sale will both boost the value of your sale and the cost for you to get it sold.
Heritage Auctions is a more traditional auction house that deals with a lot of different types of collectibles. Sports cards are a key category for them and their search tools are set up for sports card collectors to find what they are seeking.
You will need to register to buy and see sale prices for completed auctions. If you choose to sell, you are essentially putting your items in their hands as a consignment item. Heritage says it’s the largest auction house founded in the US, and it has over 1.5 million registered buyers. They are also impressively ranked for online visits, meaning they have a lot of traffic coming to their site to buy and sell collectibles, although how that breaks down for sports cards isn’t clear.
Heritage Auctions - Fees and Considerations
- HA offers a ‘free auction appraisal’ but since it looks to be done through an automated system (with the options you need to fill out), do a little reality check before you assume those values are real (for example: Check those prices against what see on Cardbase’s search).
- Full appraisal services are also a possibility, but the fees will vary. They do offer estimates, but this will only be worthwhile if you have high-value items, at least in excess of $500.
Heritage Auctions - Tips
- Heritage’s reputation is strong, but still be cautious about ungraded cards. It’s a large marketplace and, like eBay, you should still be watchful about what you buy.
- Heritage is a good solution for mid-to-high value sports cards and they can be useful as a reference point for auction pricing so you can see how your item might trend when it is sold.
This marketplace is best for sellers trying to sell off their whole collection. While Otia states they are focused on vintage cards from the 1970s and before, they will buy more recent cards among collections, too. Simply send Otia pictures of your cards on an inventory list and they will let you know what they’re willing to pay. If you agree, you ship the cards and get paid. If they feel an in-person review is worth it, they will send someone to check out a large or really valuable collection.
Otia - Fees and Considerations
- Since they are offering sellers a flat fee for their cards, there isn’t a concept of a fee.
- Buying through Otia isn’t really their thing - they do sell on Ebay and through special purchasing options that are pricey on their “Elite Marketplace.”
Otia - Tips
- Otia is the right choice if you are interested in unloading an entire collection. Another marketplace, Kruk Cards, is similar in processes and benefits to Otia. Check them out, too, for a potential second offer. Another similar option is TonyeTrade.
- Otia pays a 10% ‘finder’s fee’ if you help get someone to sell cards to them.
- Remember that if you don’t like their offer after a picture, you may do better selling your collection individually.
PSA Card Forums
PSA is one of the big trading card grading companies, but their card forums are a side offering from the company. Since PSA had been in this space so long, they have a large community of buyers and sellers, which makes this a bustling marketplace with lots of transactions going on.
If your card went through PSA’s grading process, it’s easy to register cards and get them into the marketplace. There are tools to allow you to converse with buyers and sellers to work out the details of a transaction.
PSA Card Forum - Fees and Considerations
- Fees are high, so make sure you are aware of them before you sell anything.
- With a firm focus on trading cards and similar collectibles, this is an ideal place for your listings and possibly the place where you’ll find that Holy Grail card you seek.
- If you are selling low-value cards, use another service more suited for that type of collectible.
PSA Card Forum - Tips
- If you have a lot of cards to sell, joining the PSA Collectors Club might make sense. For a $99 annual fee, you get reduced grading prices plus other perks like their magazine and special deals.
- Buying PSA graded cards will alleviate any worries about fake or fraudulent cards since they are experts in spotting inauthentic collectibles.
- If you need an autographed card authenticated for sale, PSA is ideal for getting a grading and then selling.
PWCC Marketplace offers one of the largest marketplaces for trading cards sold in auctions or fixed prices. While this marketplace specializes in Trading Cards, they also allow other collectables. While the site is set up to handle most trading cards valued above $50, it’s divided into auction areas, fixed pricing, and an elite area for the most valuable cards.
You will need to register to buy and see the full range of cards for sale, but selling can also be made easier with many of the services PWCC offers. This includes partnerships with grading services, storage, and even credit accounts to buy more using the value of cards you store with them.
PWCC - Fees and Considerations
- These vary based on the services you use. If you do grading and storage, you can get a lot of good deals on other services.
- Selling from their vaults can be cost-effective and make things easier for people that are collecting cards for investment rather than buying for their personal collection.
PWCC - Tips
- PWCC offers a lot of choices but make sure you consider all your options before committing to one. There are a variety of grading services and levels to their service options so consider them carefully before making a commitment.
- Buying from a company like PWCC means a strong guarantee against fraudulent cards and collectibles with the items passing through their system.
- PWCC is really an ideal marketplace for investors and those interested in speculating on higher-value and more expensive cards. If you are a casual buyer, this might not be the place for selling your cards.
Big Retail: Amazon, Walmart and Target
These large retailers have gotten into the collectibles market, especially since the pricing has surged in the last few years. Their selection will never be as good as real card marketplaces since it is subject to the individuals listing their collectibles on their websites. For sellers, this is more of a place to sell lower-value cards than high-value collectibles.
Big Retail - Fees and Considerations
- Fees will vary, but watch out for higher cuts they may demand for lower-value sales. Amazon also has limits on shipping costs you can charge, which can play havoc with actually asking a buyer to pay what it really costs to ship an item.
- The advantage of these marketplaces is the sheer volume of people on these marketplaces. Amazon is one of the world’s biggest marketplaces, and both Walmart and Target have huge numbers going to their site each day. You get the advantage of a staggering number of searches conducted on these sites, but most of those are for other kinds of products, so keep that in mind.
Big Retail - Tips
- Buying from a marketplace like this is no guarantee that you will get authentic cards, especially if you are buying ungraded cards.
- Be sure to look at the seller’s reputation on the marketplace before buying from them and make sure they have a reasonable return policy if you get the card and it’s not what you’re expecting.
- Make good use of the listing information because more details can help buyers find your cards on these marketplaces with really deep search functions (i.e., they will look at every word you enter, whereas searches on other platforms might just look at listing titles).
Buying and selling sports cards online: Enjoy the Hobby
We hope that this comprehensive guide to buying and selling sports cards online has provided you with valuable insights and strategies to guide your efforts.
By understanding the market, identifying valuable cards, and using proven buying and selling strategies, you can increase your chances of success and even profit. With patience and perseverance, you can build a valuable and rewarding sports card collection.
Remember to always do your research, stay up-to-date with market trends, and have fun exploring the exciting world of sports card collecting!