Sports cards collecting does not only involve buying, maintaining, and displaying cards. Sometimes, collecting would also involve letting go of some sports cards especially when a collection is growing.
For many business-minded sports enthusiasts, this is an opportunity for profit. True, selling sports collectibles and investing in sports cards is a lucrative venture.
But where can you sell your sports cards? Before discussing the possible avenues, here are some important points to remember in selling sports trading cards.
1. Know what sports card to sell.
Selling sports cards is not just about putting any sports cards for sale and wait until someone likes to buy them. You need to realize that there are cards that are (and are not) worth selling – the types that would tell your customers and fellow collectors that you are not wasting their time.
To know whether your cards can be sold, consider the factors like condition or state of the card, its age, and rarity. Also pay attention of special features like sports autographs and rookie sports cards.
It is generally discouraged to sell cards which have deteriorated (with chipped edges, wrinkles on surface, etc.) unless you are selling a very rare and valuable vintage baseball card like a T206 Honus Wagner. It can be worth $300,000 even when in poor condition (good condition could be worth more than $2 million). The state of the card will be determined through sports cards grading which will be done by third party sports authenticators.
Talking about grading, graded sports cards also offer you a premium. Therefore, it is advised that you send your collection to professional grading services. While high grades would correspond to high values of sports cards, low graded sports trading can also be more expensive than those without the grade.
2. Protect or maintain your sports cards.
Make sure that while your cards are not yet sold, you store and keep it in good condition. Protect them from moisture and air by placing them in plastic sleeves, top loaders (thin casing), sports cards albums, storage boxes and other sports cards collecting supplies.
Be sure to make secure packaging when your cards are in transit (e.g. during the times you send the sports card for grading or when you deliver them to your customers). Place them inside sturdy boxes and fill the box with packing foam or the like materials.
3. Sports cards pricing
Have sufficient knowledge about sports cards pricing and values. It is strongly advised to buy for your self price guides for sports cards such as those from Tuff Stuff or Beckett, the leading names in card catalogs. These will help you in appraising your collectible sports cards and in determining whether your dealer is giving you the right price of sport cards.
Also remember that sports memorabilia market is volatile which means sports cards values could change quickly. Refer from other sources such as online price guides and from other sporting memorabilia stores. The sports card values reflected on the web are more up to date than those published in magazines.
In this part of the article, you will know more about where you can sell your sports trading cards. You will also learn some tips and warnings in dealing with buyers and fellow sports cards sellers.
1. Sell your sports cards online
Selling your sports trading cards online is the new common way to earn profit from your sports card collection. It can be easy because most collectors nowadays buy through the internet. It is hard at the same time because you would encounter strong competition. You can keep up by selling your cards through different websites.
Read the terms and conditions thoroughly before you make transactions online. Pay special attention to the sections that talk about modes of payment and delivery terms. Familiarize your self with shipment costs, markups, market value, and percentage shares among others. Different conditions apply in specific transactions and particular websites, so have a good grasp of their guidelines and rules.
There are various methods of payment, some pay in cash or checks via mail while some pay through PayPal (a widely used online payment service).
Tips and Warnings in selling or trading sports cards online
o Post a photo of the exact sports card
In selling your cards via web, always post a good photo of the exact sports card that you have put on sale. Needless to say, a picture is important so interested buyers will see the kind of card you have and what its condition is. This does not only encourage customers to view your sale, it also adds assurance that you are not some phony seller.
o Always keep the communication lines open.
Once your receive inquiries from buyers who are interested about your post, do not keep them hanging. Reply to every question that they ask and answer them truthfully. Therefore, it is a must that you have wide knowledge about sports cards, and if possible, about sports in general. If you leave customers waiting, tendency is they would go to other sellers.
Once a deal has been closed, ship your cards promptly especially for those collectors who pay you on time. If you want to keep positive feedback coming and to maintain a good reputation as an online sports card seller, then be prompt and efficient.
Online auction sites for the sports card
The auction site, eBay, is both popular and infamous for sports cards collectors. It is known to be the dwelling of many fraudulent sellers and buyers. Though there had been quite a number of transactions made in this site, people are now more careful in transacting business with users on eBay.
Other auction sites for sports cards are sportscardworld.com and Memory Lane Inc. More frequently, items which are auctioned are the more valuable sports cards such as vintage sports cards.
Online sports shops or dealers
In selling to dealers, you would not have to communicate with individual buyers anymore, making the sale more convenient for you. But since your cards would pass through the “middlemen”, expect that you would earn as much as you sell the cards yourself.
In Dave and Adam’s Card World, they give you six steps to sell your sports trading cards to their store: confirmation, packing, shipping, invoicing, payment, and condition/fraud.
To summarize, first thing to do is communicate with a representative from the dealer. This representative will tell you the prices of the sports cards or sports card sets that you are sending them for sale.
You have to ensure safety and security when it comes to packing and shipping your cards (you will be instructed on how you pack your cards for mailing). Once they receive and have inspected the cards that you have sent, they will send a company check for the payment (provided that they are buying your sports cards). Sellers who would attempt to defraud them will be dealt with accordingly.
Sports forums and other web networks
Visit some communities or online networks of sports collectors like you. There are forums that prohibit selling collectibles while there are others that have specific rules on selling and trading sports cards. Whichever is the case, sports cards forums are fit avenues to find or contact potential and interested buyers.
Sports collecting website ads
You may sell your collectible sports cards through our site. All you have to do is click the Advertisement Section for more information or to fill out the ad form with the necessary details.
2. Selling cards in stores and card shows
Sports Card Dealers (strip malls) in your area
Selling to sports cards dealers or stores near you is easier and faster than selling them online – there is no need to wait for shipment or payment to arrive in your mail.
Locate sports cards strip malls (usually a row of stores by the roadside) within your area by browsing through phone directories or newspaper classifieds. Beckett website also provides a tool that will help you find sports card dealers within your state or city.
Before deciding, it is important that you visit the stores so you could inquire about sports cards values and selling terms. Discussing with the dealers in person is ideal to protect yourself from bogus deals.
Sports Card dealers in Card Shows
First step in selling sports cards in card shows is to be updated of sports card events or shows in your area. The internet, newspapers, and sports magazines can be helpful resources to know upcoming sports cards shows in places accessible for you.
A sports card show is an event where sports hobbyists and dealers of sports cards (and other sporting collectibles) gather in one place to trade, buy, and sell a huge variety of sports cards collections. This is a perfect occasion for selling your sports cards on the spot.