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Collecting and investing in sports cards is a great hobby to get in to (okay, I’m a tad biased). A big part of the sports card game is selling the sports cards you already have. You can use the cash to re-invest, or some cards can even get you a little more (some can even earn you a lot more).
Although, you need to find the right place to sell your cards, otherwise you’ll be trying too hard to get new customers.
In this article we’ll look at how to sell sports cards and a list of the six best options to sell cards.
When it comes to selling cards, eBay is still the biggest and best marketplace out there.
There’s a crazy-large amount of potential buyers out there. I’m sure if you’ve been involved in card collecting, you’ve used eBay as a buyer before.
With eBay, you can list your cards in three different ways
- ‘Buy it Now’ fixed prices
- A fixed “Buy it Now” price with the ability to accept offers from buyers
All options have thier pros and cons, I like the “buy it now” with offers as an option – you can usually sell your card quicker – although, you can get a lot of offers to manage that way.
The sheer reach you get with eBay listings is easily the largest out of any other platform we’ll look at here.
However, as you can imagine, taking care of an eBay store can be a time consuming task.
Pros of eBay
- The largest selection of buyers
- You can quickly sell cards
- Different selling options
- Great for any type of card
Cons of eBay
- Organizing your own shipping and handling
- Managing listings
It may not get the love it deserves from some, but I think Facebook is an underrated way to sell sports cards.
When it comes to Facebook, there’s a bunch of ways to sell cards, but there’s two main ones groups, and local marketplaces.
There are plenty of groups that have dedicated buyers. There’s groups dedicated to particular sports, teams, players, leagues and eras.
You can find your ideal target audience within these dedicated groups and list your cards at a good sale price. This is espescially true if you have a card that’s unique and requires a buyer with some proir knowledge.
Also, if you’re a member of particular breaker groups, you might have an opportunity to list cards for sale.
If you’re in a bigger city (or close enough to one), you might find some buyers in the local Facebook marketplace.
It really does depend on the city though. Some might already have a thriving trading card scene, while other may not yet. Either way, local Facebook buy/swap/sell marketplaces are a great place to list your cards and also make some local card collector connections – odds are those who want to buy your cards are also collectors.
Pros of Facebook
- Everyone uses Facebook
- You can sell to people in your home town or even internationally
- Different selling options
- Groups can have very dedicated buyers
Cons of Facebook
- No storefront – you’ll need to use PayPal or cash on pickup (if local marketplace)
- No seller protection
- A lot of upkeep creating new posts and talking to potential customers etc
3. In Person at Shows and Markets
If you’re in or close to a city, there’s likely going to be some card or hobby shows and conventions.
If you have a decent card collection then these markets are a great way to sell a lot of cards in one day.
All you need to do is organize a stall at these markets – so when you find them, contact the owner to book yourself in. Keep in mind that a lot of these shows and markets are pretty big, so make sure you book in early. Odds are you won’t be able to book a spot a few weeks in advance. Sometimes you need to book six months to a year ahead.
When you’re there though, you can basically bring your entire collection and sell off whatever you get a good offer for.
Pros of Shows
- Don’t have to deal with shipping
- You can sell a lot of cards
- You can sell cheap cards (ones that may not be worth selling online with shipping costs and fees)
Cons of Shows
- Time consuming
- If you want to sell on a regular basis, you’ll need to travel to card shows
- Can take an entire day to sell your cards
- You may not have card shows near you
4. Sport Card and Hobby Shops
Most large-ish towns and cities have hobby shops and card shops that sell a range of sports cards (both old and new).
And if you’re selling old school (I’m talking pre-war) cards, then these places may be your best option too. All you need to do is negotiate a price for your cards and you’re good to go!
You can even negotiate bulk prices for them buying a lot of your cards at the same time.
Keep in mind though, that shop owner is looking to sell that card for a profit, so you probably won’t get the best price. However, you can get a deal to sell a lot of cards at once – so it’s kinda up to you if it’s worth waiting and getting a better sales price by selling cards individually. I’ve seen some people sell some pretty expensive cards for a fraction of the price they could have done if they’d just waited and listed it on eBay.
There’s talk about some store owners being a bit untrustworthy – but you get that with almost every other sales avenue, so don’t let that put you off. Just make sure you go to card dealers and shops that you’ve used before.
Pros of Card Shops
- You can sell a lot of cards at the same time
- Don’t have to deal with listing your cards or shipping them
- You can negotiate prices
- Awesome for quick sales – if your need money ASAP, then this is the quickest option
Cons of Card Shops
- You’ll probably get low-ball offers at the start (I’ve heard even 50-60% of market value
- You may not have a card shop near you
5. Private Card Aution Houses
For cards that fit a particular niche (like vintage cards), a private auction house could be a great option.
Where eBay offers a lof more potential buyers (many without the required industry knowledge and not all dedicated buyers), private auction houses offer fewer totaly buyers, but a lot of great buyers and collectors who are waiting for the new card listing to go up!
The private auction companies do all the work for you – you just need to send them in your cards and they’ll take care of the listing and funneling your cards to the best-suited buyers.
However, finding a good auction house can be a bit hard – there’s a huge market for them these days. I’m not a huge user of private auction houses (I don’t do vintage cards) so I don’t want to recommend any to you, just in case they rip you off. You’ll need to do your homework with this option.
A private auction house can take longer to sell too – sometimes auction houses only add new listings a few times a year, so you may have to wait months for a sale. However, if waiting isn’t an issue, then they’re a great option.
Pros of Private Auction Houses
- Dedicated buyers
- Hand-off way of selling
- You cards are promoted heavily to the right people
Cons of Private Auction Houses
- Some auction houses can take a large cut of your earnings – so make sure you’re selling valuable cards
- Can take a long time to sell
- A lot of different companies, so make sure you choose the right one
A somewhat new player in the game, StarStock offers a different way to sell your cards.
If you’re familiar with sneaker collecting/flipping then you may have already heard of the site, but if you haven’t there’s a different method here compared to most auction and sale sites.
StarStock gets sellers to send in their cards and add them to their “collection”. From there, you can list your card for sale and others can bid for your cards. You then negotiate a deal with a buyer.
Buyers can also put in offers for cards that aren’t listed yet.
For example, let’s just say you wanted to buy this 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout card with a PSA 10 grade.
However, whene you went to StarStock, you saw that nobody had listed their card for sale.
You could put in a blanket offer for that card (let’s say you put $400 for the offer). Then, any StarStock member who has that card as a PSA 10 can take you up on that offer.
When a buyer purchases a card, the card simply moves from your collection to theirs – and you get the money.
Pros of StarStock
- No worrying about constant shipping
- Easy platform
- You can get good sales prices without too much hassle
Cons of StarStock
- They’re only really interested in rookie cards of new players at this stage
- It’s a somewhat new platform, so still growing in many ways
When it comes to selling your sports cards, you need to find the right sales platform for your needs. Try a few different options and find the mix that suits you.
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