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You’ve been collecting sports cards for some time now, you’ve seen traders make thousands on them, and now you’ve finally decided to liquidate your assets. Sadly, you don’t know the first thing about selling trading cards.
Technically, you can sell football cards, baseball cards, and basketball cards anywhere. However, to get the best value for these collectibles, you’ll need to research which platforms can help you connect with like-minded sports fans.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to sell collectible cards. We can help! Our team checked various official and non-official sources to make a roundup of the legitimate and best card-selling websites and shops.
This article also covers sports card valuation. Knowing where to list your cards is one thing, but understanding the correct way to appraise and assess them is another.
We also read actual user reviews to gain first-hand insights into the sports card trading industry.
Let’s dive into everything you should know about selling sports cards online and don’t miss out on lucrative opportunities to maximize your sports cards’ trading values.
If you're looking for more ways to make a bit of money quickly, check out these 3 apps we recommend:
In this article
Are Sports Cards Still Worth Anything in 2022?
Before exploring the best platforms to sell sports memorabilia fast, you’ll probably want to check whether trading cards are still worth anything in 2022.
Yes, their values peaked in the past two years. Internet-famous personalities like Logan Paul, Chad Bleznick, and Gary Vaynerchuk even documented how their trading sports cards made them seven-digit earnings.
However, was all of it just a trend? You’ll be happy to know that the short answer to this question is no.
Sports cards have been around for over a century now, and some baseball cards from the early 1900s still hold value today. Sports fans will not stop collecting sports cards.
Sadly, you can’t expect to yield the same profits as you did in the past two years.
Subjective factors like nostalgia and sentimental value significantly increased the demand for specific sports cards, driving up their secondary market prices. A handful of early adopters and fanatics maximized these fluctuations successfully.
But with the sudden hype for sports cards stagnating, you can expect prices to normalize. Consider selling some of your sports cards before that happens. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on massive profits once they return to their primary market prices.
Checking Sports Cards’ Current Values
Whether you plan on selling sports cards for a living or as a hobby, you should know how to appraise correctly. Otherwise, you might get ripped off.
To make the valuation process quicker, follow this guide for appraising the secondary market prices of sports cards.
Step 1: Trace the Card’s Manufacturer and Publication Year
Before anything else, trace your card’s manufacturer and publication year. You’ll typically see the manufacturer’s markings on the back of your card (i.e., Bowman, Topps, Upper Deck).
As for the publication date, it’s usually the year following the card’s last year of recorded stats. If you want to double-check, try searching the card number + manufacturer + player name + potential publication year on Google. Try different years until you spot your card’s exact image.
#138 Topps Kobe Bryant 1996
Step 2: Assess the Card’s Physical Condition Objectively
Your card’s value could jump anywhere from a few bucks to several grand based on its physical condition. Check the following:
- Surface Wear
Check the card’s surface for any scratches, bumps, and cuts. Even the faintest hairline scratch could cut your card’s market value by 200% to 300%.
High-value cards often have sharp, crease-free corners.
- Image Position
Check how centered and aligned the card’s image is with its borders.
Check the card for creases and bubbling, but avoid pressing your fingers too hard against the surface.
- Printing Quality
Compare the card’s image with the other copies listed online. Dull, faded cards tend to have lower market values.
Step 3: Cross-Reference Online Listings
Once you know your card manufacturer and publication year, look for exact listings online. Check their secondary market prices.
For instance, you can input your card number and manufacturer, then filter the results to “Recently Sold” on eBay.
After generating multiple options, look for ones that match your card’s physical condition. Compare the prices of ongoing and sold listings.
Step 4: Log Your Results
Again, price differences between each listing could increase and decrease tenfold, so you can’t base your final appraisal on just one or two results. Instead, log all recently sold listings you find.
Don’t stop until you find an accurate result matching your card’s condition. Apart from the publication year and manufacturer, it also needs the same PSA grading and physical condition. Take into account even the tiniest creases.
Step 5: Research Relevant News and Trends
One of the primary drivers of secondary market prices is sentimental value. If the demand for a specific card suddenly spikes, its fair market value also increases accordingly.
Technically, you can’t predict the emergence of these trends. However, staying updated on the latest updates and news in the sports card industry allows you to position yourself as an early adopter.
Best Places to Sell Sports Cards
Having multiple places to buy and sell sports cards feels exciting for seasoned collectors, but first-timers might find the options overwhelming. Most don’t even know where to start selling trading cards.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, keep reading. Here are the best online platforms where you can buy, sell, and trade various sports cards.
eBay is the most widely recognized online platform among sports cards traders. It lets you post both auction-style and fixed-price listings, so you’ll have total control over your pricing strategy.
How to Sell:
- Click Sell Your Product, then input the necessary listing information on the site’s form.
- Upload all the necessary images.
- If you’re selling your sports card at a fixed price, click the List Item for Sale. However, if you want to post an auction, scroll down to the Listing Type section and select Auction from the drop-down list.
- Wait for buyers to place their offers.
- Once you accept an offer, expect 12.35% of the final sale price to go straight to eBay’s seller fees.
Beckett is a popular platform where you can sell and trade sports cards. You can trade cards with registered members, but you’ll need to sign up as a registered dealer to sell cards.
How to Sell:
- Sign up as a member for $64.99 per year, contact the Beckett customer service team, and follow their registration instructions.
- Once you’re a verified dealer, you can start creating listings. Note that you can only list graded sports cards that will stand up to the team’s stringent authentication process.
- After having your cards verified, the site will publish your listings.
- Set your fixed price, wait for buyers to contact you, then approve offers.
We don’t recommend buying from Amazon since it typically consists of overpriced cards. However, you can use it as a seller.
How to Sell:
- Sign up for an individual or professional plan. The latter costs $39.99 per year, while individual plans have a fee per unit sold.
- Choose whether to fulfill your card/s yourself or send them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. You’ll see these options when creating for-sale posts.
- Input the necessary listing details. However, note that as of April 2021, Amazon only allows sellers to post graded sports cards (we’ll have a tip about this in the section below). You can’t self-authenticate anymore.
- Afterward, set a fixed price and publish the listing.
- Wait for a buyer to place an offer, approve it, then fulfill the order.
4. Blowout Forums
Blowout Forums serves as an online platform wherein sports fans can talk about under the sun, including sports cards.
It’s not really a formal marketplace. However, the community allows ethical sellers and traders to connect with buyers on the site.
Disclaimer: You can only sell unopened super-rare cards or complete sets.
How to Sell:
- Go to the site’s Wanted list and check what cards other users want. See if you have anything in demand.
- Once you find a buyer looking for the specific card you want to let go of, reach out to them privately.
- Agree on a price, then finalize the details.
Contrary to popular belief, you can sell more than just sneakers on StockX. The site has modern and vintage cards featuring baseball, football, hockey, soccer, and basketball players.
How to Sell:
- Create a StockX account.
- List your card, set your asking price, then wait for a buyer to contact you. They’ll either place a lower offer or follow the “Buy Now” price.
- Accept the offer you want.
- Pay the 10% transaction fee and 3% payment processing fee, although you can lower the transaction fee to 9% if you sell six orders for a total of $1,500.
Sports Cards That Will Retain Long-Term Value
If you plan to invest in sports cards, you’ll do well to understand which ones will hold long-term value. Again, trends might change. However, expect sports card prices typically shift based on the following factors:
Sports cards featuring starting players typically have higher primary and secondary market prices than those with substitute players.
This idea also applies to popularity. When comparing two starting players’ sports cards, the one with the more widely known player holds more value.
Scarcity creates demand. Sports cards with a lower print-run already have a higher primary market price, and their value will only go up as the copies get harder to find.
Topps, Panini, and Upper Deck currently dominate the sports card market. Any limited-edition rookie card from these three brands will yield upward of six digits, regardless of the sport.
Grading companies assess the legitimacy of sports cards. They look for various signs of alteration, from faint touch-ups to blatant counterfeiting.
You can send your sports cards for assessment to any grading company, but to maximize profits, opt for reputable options like the following:
Pro Tip: Don’t blindly let go of limited edition, PSA-graded rookie cards with a low print-run. Whether you collect baseball, football, basketball, or soccer trading cards, you can expect them to hold significant value in the long run.
Making Money Flipping Sports Cards in 2022
Yes, you can still make money flipping sports cards in 2022.
However, you’ll need a unique trading strategy, or else you’ll keep ending up with low-value duds. Trust us—collecting and selling sports cards are two very different things.
Apart from exploring the best platforms for selling sports cards online, you can maximize your profits by:
Buying Graded Cards
You’ll save thousands buying ungraded cards, but are you really willing to risk your investment capital?
It’s better to stick to graded cards. Let reputable, acknowledged grading companies like the PSA authenticate your trading cards for you.
Participating in eBay Auctions
Again, eBay remains the most widely used platform for selling trading cards. As such, stay updated with ongoing auctions since you’ll likely find at least one or two super-rare gems up for grabs every week or two.
Avoiding the “Buy Now” Price
Never follow the “Buy Now” price. Yes, paying a premium price tag guarantees you the card, but it might take years of appreciation to get an ROI. In the worst case, your card’s value might even stagnate.
Getting Rookie Cards
As a beginner, you can keep your portfolio simply by limiting yourself to rookie cards. They’re guaranteed to hold value. If you buy them at the right price, you could make a killing even with short-term flips.
Investing in a Safety Deposit Box
We can’t stress enough the importance of a safety deposit box. Even minuscule imperfections and deformities could sink your limited edition rookie card’s value by 1,000%, so go above and beyond to preserve your sports cards.
The Future of the Sports Card Industry
Overall, the past two years were fantastic for sports fans. Card trading boomed in 2020 since everyone needed alternative ways to make money. Also, the sports industry regained a sense of normalcy in 2021 once states started lifting stringent COVID-19 guidelines.
However, we don’t think the sports card industry will further evolve any time soon. It has already undergone so much, so it will likely follow the same trends instead of adopting new practices.
Apart from the emergence of rookies and new players, you can’t expect much driving force to shift sports card values and trading practices this 2022.
If there’s anything to watch out for, it’s accessibility. Stay updated on how modern technologies like NFTs and global trading platforms will make sports cards more accessible to the general public.
Fanatics currently monopolize the most high-value sports cards. As such, the next best step is for more affordable, accessible sports cards to circulate in the market—lowering the business’s entry barrier.