4 Ways to Sell Sports Cards

And make a profit while you're at it

Where to Resell Sports Cards

Key Points

  • Depending on where you sell your cards, you can make (or lose) a lot of money

  • First identify the cards you want, then research their value

  • List them on the right platforms to make the most money

Identify and Research Your Sports Cards

Now, before you can start selling your cards, you need to know what they’re worth. Otherwise you’re just going to be taking the word of strangers, and that’s a great way to get ripped off.

First things first, identify your cards. If you’re not an avid collector or you picked them up off someone else, you might not even know what you have. Again, another way to get ripped off.

As usual, Google is your friend. Start with the player’s name, the card manufacturer, and the card number which can be found on the reverse corner. Nine times out of ten this information can be used to figure out the exact card.

How to Find a Cards Value

From there, you’ll also want to identify if the card has any unique characteristics such as foil treatment or bordering. Beckett has published a great guide which you can find here, but some basic Google-Fu is all you need.

Once you know the card, get a baseline for its value. You can use eBay’s Advanced Search functionality to comb through sold listings for similar cards.

130point is a powerful tool for card resellers. Simply enter in the card details you want to research, and you can get an accurate and wide-ranging estimate of its value.

130 Point Card Reseller

Also, now would be a good time to decide if you’re going to sell the cards graded or ungraded (also known as “raw”). If you have no idea what grading is or where to get started, check out our full guide here.

TL;DR: grading means having your card appraised by a professional third party. Almost all high value card sales will involve graded cards, and if you want to make a serious profit you’ll generally need to have your cards graded.

When to Sell Ungraded Cards

Like we said, most serious sellers and collectors will be dealing in graded cards, especially online. It’s just easier for everyone involved.

That said, there are situations where selling raw cards makes sense. Cost is a major factor; submitting cards to PSA or Beckett can run you anywhere from $15 to $50 per card. If you have a large batch of cards to sell and you’re unsure of their values, paying to have them all graded might not be worth it.

Additionally, before submitting your cards to be graded it’s worth doing some research on a card’s value first. Even a PSA 10 may not be worth that much if the market for the card is highly saturated.

Back in September, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam did a special collaboration with the Pokémon company. A number of Van Gogh Pikachu cards were handed out to museumgoers for free.

These cards exploded online, and resellers were turning out easy money by selling them. Most of them were listed as ungraded cards, and would sell for around $300 to $400 at a time.

Sellers that chose to send their cards into PSA missed out on the early hype, and even PSA 10 cards aren’t worth much now.

For most situations, you’ll want to comb through your cards yourself and select the rarest and most valuable cards out of the collection, then send those to be graded.

Where to Sell Sports Cards

And now it’s time for the fun part. Once you’ve decided what cards you’re putting up for sale and whether you’ll be grading them, it’s time to put them up for sale.

Most platforms are pretty similar, and your own personal preferences will be the primary reason for choosing one over another.

Let’s list them from most common to most niche:

Selling Sports Cards on eBay

Well, what did you expect? eBay is a great place to sell anything on the internet.

For one, it’s absolutely massive. For most people, eBay is the first and only place they look when they’re trying to buy something from someone else online. If you want the most amount of people possible to look at your cards, listing on eBay is obvious.

eBay charges a 13.25% fee on the final sale price for trading card sales. This isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. Additionally, if you’re already doing a lot of business here, selling trading cards on eBay can help boost your seller rating.

Verdict: Reselling sports cards on eBay is the best option for most sellers.

Selling Sports Cards on StockX

On the other hand, you may prefer StockX. While primarily known as a platform for shoes, StockX has branched out tremendously in recent years. They’re set up for all kinds of collectibles, including a dedicated trading card section.

Compared to eBay, selling sports cards on StockX has more stipulations. Until recently, StockX required all trading cards listed on their platform to have been professionally graded by either PSA or Beckett, but that restriction has been recently overturned. Still, most sales are on graded cards.

StockX charges a different fee depending on your “Seller Level”. This ranges from 9% to 7% of the final sale, but for cards the maximum fee is $10.

Here’s a breakdown of how StockX’s fees change depending on Seller Level

If you’re submitting a graded card to StockX, the slab must be in good condition, without visible scratches or defects.

Finally, once the sale is made, the card will be shipped to StockX for inspection. Your card will be examined by experts who will make sure the card is genuine before sending it the buyer.

Verdict: Reselling sports cards on StockX is ideal for valuable or rare cards

Selling Sports Cards Locally

Collecting and trading sports cards is huge hobby with a long history. That means that finding people nearby who will buy your cards is pretty easy.

If you prefer doing your business in person, selling locally can be a great way to bypass online sellers’ fees and shipping hassles.

In terms of platforms, you can take your pick. Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and Craigslist are all great options, and we’ve posted guides for all three.

There are a couple advantages when it comes to selling cards locally:

One, it’s potentially faster and more profitable than an online sale. If you can arrange a sale with a local buyer for the same price you listed it for on eBay, and you can make the sale the same day, that’s pretty much perfect.

It’s also better for selling raw cards. Since buyers can physically inspect the cards themselves, they’ll be more likely to pay a premium even if the cards are ungraded.

However selling locally comes with its own risks. As with any local sale, you need to be careful about meeting in person. People have been robbed and even killed while participating in person-to-person sales, so be smart, and meet in public places. Your local police station will likely allow you to use their lobby to conduct a transaction.

Flip Items on Craigslist Safe Meet Place

OfferUp sponsors the Safe Trade Spots program to find nearby meeting points

Because you can only sell to people nearby, you won’t have nearly as many eyes on your listings. That can mean slower sales, and lower offers.

Verdict: Reselling sports cards locally is a mixed bag, but worth trying.

Sell Sports Cards to a Dealer

And because card collecting is so big, there are plenty of dealers operating online and locally. Do a quick Google search for card shops in your area, and you’ll likely find a few willing to buy your cards.

Because these dealers are looking to make a profit off your cards, the prices they pay will be below market. Don’t expect to make a ton of money.

Selling to a dealer is best if you have a significant volume of cards you want to get rid of for a lump sum, and you dont want to deal with the hassle of individual sales. If you don’t have the time, flipping the entire lot saves time in exchange for money.

It’s still a good idea to take a thorough look through your collection. Make sure you don’t have anything valuable that you’ll regret letting go for cheap.

Verdict: Reselling sports cards to a dealer should be a last resort

Which Platform is the Best for Selling Cards

Like most things in life, this one is up to you. We’ve laid out some of the most common options, but you’ll need to put the pieces together and make a decision for yourself.

Consider this: when you’re trying to choose where to list your sports cards, keep in mind your profit, cost, and hassle. If you want more money; you’ll need to pay more to get them graded, and spend time hunting for a good deal, increasing your cost and hassle as well.

Want an easy sale with no investment on your part? Expect to make less profit as well. It’s an entirely possible to sell an entire lot of cards in a single afternoon, or piece them out individually and sell them that way.

Again, it’s all up to you. We would recommend taking an approach somewhere in the middle. Start by evaluating your collection and researching your most valuable cards. Save those for grading, and either keep the rest for display or sell them in bulk to someone interested.

It costs time and money to get your cards graded, but only graded cards will sell for a major profit (generally).

Remember, it’s not just sports cards that resell. If you want to learn more about reselling trading cards, check out our articles on the recent MTG Lord of the Rings expansion, Disney’s Lorcana TCG, and even a Topps X Bob Ross crossover.

Cards are a big business, and while the insane highs of 2020 have come down a bit, there’s still plenty of money to be made.

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