Sports fans across the world remember the joy of the first time they opened a pack of cards and saw exactly the card they'd been looking for. But sports cards have always been considered valuable for more than just the good memories. Since cards come in a wide range of rarity, collecting cards was one way to invest money in the future.
Even without collecting some of the really rare cards, sports card collections, especially baseball cards, were thought to be valuable.
Of course, if you've still got your old cards, or never stopped collecting, you might be wondering how to sell sports cards and how to get the most value from your sports memorabilia.
If you've been thinking about selling sports cards you're in the right place.
We'll cover everything you need to know about selling sports cards from whether it's still worth the effort to the best places to sell your cards. At the end, we'll also cover how to best sell vintage cards and protect your original investment on the most valuable parts of your collection. Let's get started!
Are Sports Cards Still Worth Money?
Yes, sports cards are still worth money, but not immediately. You won't be able to walk into a shop, hand over your collection, and walk out with a ton of cash most of the time. There's a process if you want to sell your cards, and only some cards are going to be worth selling. The most common sports cards of any type may not be worth putting up for sale, especially if you have to pay for consignment space or shipping.
The first step for most people who want to sell sports cards is to get a professional sports authenticator to take a look. After your cards have been inspected and authenticated, you're ready to start selling sports cards.
The authentication process should include getting your cards graded, as well as some evaluation of the value. The value of a card is a combination of its rarity and its condition. A gem-mint (the highest PSA grade) rare card may be worth a lot, but every defect on the card, like corner wear, reduces its value.
However, you can petition to have your previously graded cards reviewed if you think they might be worthy of a higher rating.
That doesn't mean that low-grade cards are worthless, or that a gem-mint common card will hold much value. It's all about the current market and what cards are in demand.
What's the Best Way to Sell My Sports Cards?
Selling sports cards can be complicated, so it's important to do your research before you decide on a selling method or market. It's worth taking a trip to local sports card dealers to see what they have on offer, if they accept cards on consignment, and to compare your collection with the cards on offer.
You might even be surprised to see that a particular card is a lot more valuable than you expected.
Unfortunately, after doing your research it can still be hard to tell what will be the best way to sell your sports cards. Things like shipping costs and listing fees can quickly eat into profits from online sales while selling in consignment shops and local groups can take a long time and may not win the same prices.
The truth is that the best method of selling your sports cards depends on what kinds of cards you have, how active your local sports card community is, and what grade your cards are after authentication. That said, we'll talk about some of the pros and cons of each selling method in the next section.
That way you'll be able to decide for yourself what the best method of selling your sports cards will be.
Places to Sell Sports Cards
This isn't a complete list of the places you can reasonably sell sports cards by any means, but it's a good place to get started if you're ready to get started selling sports cards.
eBay is one of the go-to marketplaces for trading cards of all types, including sports cards. The site usually has a wide selection of different cards, and is a reasonable way to check on the current market value of a card.
Payment through eBay is secure and reliable, and you might even be able to sell some cards above market value through auctions. However, auctioning cards also runs the risk of someone buying the card for less than it's worth. You'll also have to pay shipping costs to send the card to its buyer, which can get expensive if you want to list individual cards.
You may also be charged extra to list your cards on eBay if you have 200 or more cards that you want to sell. That means that it may be in your interest to list cards in groups so that you're not having to pay for shipping and listings on each individual card.
Related: Make Money Flipping on eBay
2. Dave & Adams
Dave & Adams is a great way to sell your sports cards if you want to sell them directly and don't want to mess with complicated order fulfillment. Dave & Adams will buy cards from you to list on their site. That means that you'll get a guaranteed price on every card, and they handle the details of finding new owners.
This is a good option for people with large collections, especially if you don't have many rare or highly valuable cards in the collection. It's also good if you're looking to cash out your collection quickly, or don't want to learn the details of selling different kinds of cards. They're also a good place to sell modern cards since a modern card tends to have less value than a vintage sports card.
However, Dave & Adams buys cards slightly below what they think they can get for the card, which means that you won't take home 100% of the profits. If you decide to go with Dave & Adams it's a good idea to know what your cards are worth ahead of time so you can tell reasonable offers from cheap ones.
SlabStox is a relatively new platform for buying and selling trading cards, but it's a fantastic option if you'd like to sell directly to the new owner. You have the ability to list and sell each sports card individually, and they accept the full range of cards from baseball cards to hockey cards.
The platform itself just exists to help connect sellers with buyers, you'll still have to handle the details of the transaction yourself, including shipping the cards.
It's a reasonable option if you want to treat selling cards like having an online card shop, but the overall experience is similar to selling on eBay.
4. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are a great way to sell cards if you're looking for top-dollar and don't mind waiting, or if you want to sell cards locally. That's because groups and Facebook Marketplace can both help connect you to potential buyers locally, or to a more motivated potential buyer further away.
Of course, if you list your cards on Facebook you'll need to do all the value research yourself. It also helps to share authentication details to help make sure each item sells. Without authentication, buyers might not be willing to risk a buying a fake card.
Selling on Facebook can be similar to selling on eBay and other online marketplaces, but several factors make it stand out. For one thing, you may be able to find a market for cards that don't have much value otherwise. For another, the lack of a bidding option means that your profit is more consistent, but may not be as high per card.
Craigslist isn't where most people think of to look for sports cards, but it's a good platform if you want to sell complete sets or multiple cards. It's also a good place for card flippers to look for cards since may collectors who list on Craigslist are motivated to sell and list their cards under market value.
That means that Craigslist can be a good place to pick up affordable cards to list on more traditional card markets. Savvy Craigslist users can profit quickly by picking up valuable cards often mixed in with other sports cards and reading market demand well.
6. Card Shows
Card shows are a great place to buy or sell cards from your collection. Collectors know that card shows are a great place to pick up rarer cards, or to find card by card number. Plus, card shows often attract other collectibles and can be a good place to sell sports memorabilia in addition to cards.
However, card shows can sometimes be a difficult place to get the best value for your cards. Sellers are looking to sell at the highest prices, while collectors are looking for the best deal, which can mean that some shows have inflated prices. It can take savvy haggling to get a good deal as either the buyer or seller.
Card shows also require that you bring your collection to the show if you want to sell it. That can be difficult for individual collectors, so shows tend to attract card flippers more than casual collectors.
However, card shows can offer some of the best prices if you're looking to sell baseball cards or vintage cards.
Related: Flea Market Flipping
Beckett is one of the most popular online card selling platforms, and really caters to people who are looking for a specific sports card. That can make it a great place to sell if you have valuable or vintage cards, but also means that this market place is a little more competitive.
For more average collections, without the benefit of particularly rare cards, Beckett might not be the best place to sell for a profit. However, if you're looking to buy sports cards there aren't many better places.
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8. Sports Card Shops
Local sports card shops are another good option, assuming you have one available. Shops tend to recognize the value of buying from local collectors, and many also have consignment space so you can choose how you'd prefer to market your cards.
Best of all, sports card shops value rare cards because they can bring more attention to the whole store. If you have particularly rare cards you'd like to sell you may be able to get a better price for those cards simply because the store wants to have them in their business.
9. Private Card Auction Houses
Private card auction houses are best for valuable collections and professionals. They attract card flippers, card shops, and other professionals, including authenticators. That means that prices are usually good and sellers usually have several options to help make sure their cards sell.
Private card auction houses can also be a good place to find prewar cards and other rare and valuable sports memorabilia.
OfferUp is another online selling platform, and one that's a little more expensive than other options since there is a fee for listing all cards. However, the real advantage of selling through OfferUp is that the buyer is responsible for shipping. That means that you get to keep a larger percentage of the selling price.
OfferUp is also a larger platform, so you'll be able to attract more potential buyers. However, that also means that price competition is fierce and it can be hard to get top dollar for your cards.
11. PSA Card Forums
PSA Card Forums is a good option for sellers who don't mind putting in a little research and extra work. The big advantage here is that PSA card forums allows collectors to list their cards and collections, and make those collections visible.
That means that savvy sellers can reach out to collectors and offer to sell them the exact cards they are missing, filling in the gaps and making a quick profit in the meantime.
This system is effective for card collectors as well since complete sets are usually worth more than incomplete sets, even if the set is only missing common low-value cards.
TonyeTrade specializes a little more in baseball cards, but you can list almost any sports cards on the site. They also specialize in sports comics and other rare memorabilia.
Unlike other trading sites, TonyeTrade buys the cards and other collectibles you want to sell from you directly. Just contact them with an exact listing of what you have and would like to sell, and they will quote you what they'd be willing to pay.
However, that does mean that you may not be able to sell if you don't have anything TonyeTrade is interested in purchasing right then.
If you're looking for an auction-only marketplace as an alternative to selling your sports cards on eBay, StockX may be a good option. StockX is also a good site for sellers that don't want to go through the process of authentication and getting their cards graded on their own since the site handles those details.
Simply list your minimum price, and then, once the auction goes through, send the card to StockX. They handle details of making sure the card is authenticated, in the proper condition, and that it meets all other requirements.
After authenticating the cards, StockX sends the card to the buyer. That means there is a little more of a delay after a purchase, but also means that the buyer has a lot less work to sell their cards.
COMC is another option that will buy your cards directly from you for listing on their site. That eliminates the hassle of storing and shipping cards, and you won't have to worry about finding a buyer, but it also means that you'll lose out on some of the profit.
COMC is a little different though. Instead of getting an upfront payment for the value of the card, COMC acts a little like an auction or drop shipping site in that you mostly get payment after each card has sold. It also means that payment reflects the selling price a little more closely than some other sites that handle finding buyers and shipping.
15. Blowout Forums
Blowout Forums is one option that's a little less geared toward the buying and selling of cards, and more about talking about cards and enthusing over new releases. However, like any forum focused on sports cards, Blowout Forums does offer a section for buyers and sellers. In fact, while selling is a little less common with Blowout Forums, the crowd of card enthusiasts means you can get some of the best prices selling on Blowout Forums.
How To Get Good Value For Vintage Sports Cards
Vintage sports cards have the most value when they are in good condition, but there are buyers for almost all vintage cards, regardless of condition.
When it comes to selling vintage cards, watch the markets closely. Some cards' value is relatively stable, while others see swells and dips depending on market availability. If you have a valuable card and can capitalize on a price peak, that's one of the best ways to make money off the card.
If you have a large collection of vintage cards it may also be in your best interest to keep your cards held back waiting for those swells. Limiting the market supply of already rare cards is a good way for sellers to increase their profits.
It's also important to make sure you only list vintage cards on sites known for attracting enthusiast buyers. Sportscard lovers are much more likely to recognize the value of a vintage card than casual buyers. You want to attract experienced collectors, flippers, and even some vintage collectors.
Can You Make Money Flipping Sports Cards?
A lot of collectors wonder if they could make money flipping cards instead of just selling their own. The truth is that getting into flipping cards can be difficult, and you'll likely need a fair amount of money to invest at first, but you can make money.
In fact, depending on the kinds of cards you want to trade, sports card flippers can turn the hobby into a full-time job and reliable income.
The problem is that you need to have a lot of knowledge about sports cards, across multiple sports and eras, to really succeed. Flipping sports cards also takes a lot of time and patience, and most flippers maintain accounts on multiple buying and selling platforms.
That's a lot of moving parts to track and maintain, which can make the job more difficult. It's also difficult to manage because you may want to double list some cards, which also means making sure the listing is always accurate, and that you remove all copies of a listing as soon as the card has sold.
Many sports card flippers use their own collections to earn seed money for the hobby. Otherwise, it's a good idea to have at least several hundred dollars you can invest into flipping, without expecting a return on that investment for several months.
Getting certified as an authenticator can help as well since you'll be able to make some money authenticating other people's cards in addition to your own.
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Final Thoughts on Selling Sports Cards
That's it folks, that's what you need to know about the best platforms for selling sports cards, and what you need to know before you get started. We trust that you already know your cards pretty well, so you're armed with everything you need to get started.
Remember that market is everything when it comes to selling sports cards. Choosing the right place to sell your cards is the best way to get the right buyer and the best price. Be patient, wait for a good offer, and don't underrate the value of your cards.
Have you sold sports cards? Comment your thoughts below!