Selling old sports cards can be a rewarding way to declutter your collection, generate extra cash, or monetize a profitable hobby. However, knowing the best way to sell your sports cards is crucial in getting the most value from your collection. Here, we will explore the most effective strategies and platforms for selling sports cards.
Assess Your Collection
Before you can sell, you need to understand exactly what you’re selling. Assess the condition of your cards because this significantly affects their value. Familiarize yourself with industry grading standards from organizations like PSA, BGS, and SGC. You might consider having high-value cards professionally graded, as this can increase their value and make them easier to sell.
Research Card Values
Understanding the market value of your cards is paramount. Use resources like eBay’s sold listings, the Beckett price guide, and websites dedicated to sports card trading like CardReviewClub to get an idea of how much your cards might be worth.
Where to Sell Your Old Sports Cards
There are various platforms for selling sports cards, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The best platform for you will depend on the value of your cards, how quickly you want to sell, and how much effort you’re willing to put into the selling process.
eBay is one of the most popular platforms for selling sports cards due to its vast user base. Here, you can set your own prices and have control over the selling process. However, keep in mind that eBay charges seller fees.
2. Auction Houses
High-value cards may benefit from being sold through a sports memorabilia auction house. These establishments can often reach wealthy collectors willing to pay top dollar for rare items. Auction houses like Heritage Auctions, Goldin Auctions, or SCP Auctions are notable names in this field.
3. Card Shows and Conventions
Card shows and conventions offer an opportunity to sell your cards in person. This avenue can save you from shipping hassles and fees. However, it might be more time-consuming and less ideal if you have a large collection to sell.
4. Direct to Card Shops or Dealers
Selling directly to local card shops or dealers can be a quick and convenient way to sell your collection, but it may not yield the highest return. Dealers need to make a profit, so they’re unlikely to pay top dollar.
5. Online Marketplaces and Social Media
Facebook groups, Reddit, Instagram, and other sports card forums can be great places to sell cards, especially if you’re well-connected in the community. These platforms often have lower fees than eBay but might require more effort to establish trust with buyers.
6. Consignment Services
Companies like COMC (Check Out My Collectibles) or Probstein123 offer consignment services where they handle the listing, selling, and shipping of your cards for a fee. They do tend to do much of the work for you.
Selling Expensive Sports Cards
High-end cards, whether they are rare vintage cards, limited-edition releases, or cards of superstar athletes, can command impressive prices. These cards require a different selling approach to maximize their value.
To sell expensive sports cards, consider the following:
- Get Them Graded: If they aren’t already, have your cards professionally graded by a reputable grading company like PSA, BGS, or SGC. The cost of grading can be justified by the potential increase in value and buyer confidence.
- Use High-End Auction Houses: Platforms like Heritage Auctions, Goldin Auctions, and SCP Auctions specialize in high-value sports memorabilia and have access to buyers willing to spend big on rare cards.
- Provide Detailed Descriptions and High-Quality Images: When listing your card, include a comprehensive description and high-resolution images to showcase its condition and details.
Selling Vintage Sports Cards
Vintage sports cards, typically those pre-1980, can be desirable among collectors, especially if they are in good condition or feature popular players.
To sell vintage sports cards, consider:
- Understand the Market: Vintage card prices can fluctuate based on various factors. Understand the demand for specific players, teams, and card sets before setting your price.
- Consider Professional Grading: Given their age and potential value, vintage cards often benefit from professional grading.
- Use Specialized Platforms: Some platforms, like eBay or vintage card-specific forums, might be better suited for selling vintage cards due to a targeted buyer base.
Selling Common or Base Cards
Selling common or base cards, which aren’t rare or particularly valuable, can be more challenging. However, there are still ways to sell them:
- Sell in Bulk: Consider selling common cards in lots or complete sets. This can be more appealing to buyers looking to build a collection or find a hidden gem.
- Trade Them: Some collectors or shops may be willing to trade for your common cards. You might not make a profit, but you could get cards you’re more interested in.
- Donate Them: If selling isn’t feasible or worth the effort, consider donating your cards to charities, schools, or organizations that can use them.
The best way to sell old sports cards depends on the specific cards you’re selling, your selling goals, and the amount of effort you’re willing to put into the process. Assessing your collection, researching card values, and exploring various selling platforms will put you in the best position to make profitable sales. Whether you’re selling for profit, to streamline your collection, or simply to enjoy the thrill of the chase, there’s a selling strategy that will suit your needs.