Too many old baseball cards sitting around, taking up space and collecting dust? Have you ever thought about how to sell your baseball cards? At some time or another, most baseball card collectors have looked at their card collection and thought; I wonder how much these cards are worth? The next thing that usually goes through your head is; how would I go about selling them?
If you have come to the decision that it is time to try and sell some, or all, of your cards, there are many options available to you.
Things To Consider
Now that you have made the decision to sell some cards, there are a few things that you will want to consider.
Expectations: One of the most important things that you can do is to give yourself a good idea of what your cards are worth. The best way you can do this is to buy a Beckett Price Guide. The Beckett Price Guide is like a card collectors Bible.
Keep in mind that cards from the 80’s and 90’s are readily available just about anywhere and buyers will generally be willing to give you somewhere around 5% – 30% of book value. You will have a better chance at getting closer to book value with older cards from the 1900’s through the 60’s.
That’s not to say that all cards from this era aren’t worth a lot. There are some special insert cards, limited edition, and autographed cards that will command at or above book value. I have seen some Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera cards selling for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Time and Effort: Another important thing to consider is how much time you are willing to put into the effort of selling your cards.
If you have hundreds, or even thousands, of baseball cards, selling them can turn into a monumental and time consuming effort. You need to determine how much time you have. If time is not an issue for you, you should consider selling them yourself. If you are like a lot of people and time is something that there is never enough of, you may want to consider having someone sell your cards for you.
Condition: The condition of your baseball cards is going to be one of the biggest factors in determining the value of your collection.
Be honest with yourself. If you have that awesome rookie card that’s priced in Beckett for $500 in mint condition, but your card has bent corners, creases, or old bubblegum stuck all over it, it is just not going to command that price.
If you happen to have a card that is worth a lot of money, you will definitely want to consider having it graded by a trusted professional grading service like PSA/DNA, Beckett, or GMA. These services will authenticate and grade your card, seal it up, and send it back to you in a case with all the certification information on the label. This is a big advantage for you when you are trying to get top dollar for your card.
Where to Sell Your Baseball Cards
Now that you have considered some of the important factors above and have done your homework, the next step in your card selling journey is going to be determining the best place for you to sell your cards. Don’t settle on just one, keep your options open.
More and more, the Internet is becoming the most popular and (some would say) easiest way to sell your cards.
⇒ Online auction sites like Ebay give you the opportunity to reach thousands of people who are looking to buy cards. If time is short and you are looking to sell your cards quickly, you can sell them off in lots of 50, 100, 1,000, or as many as you want. If you have some some time, you will want to sell some of your more valuable cards on an individual basis.
If you are unfamiliar with Ebay, you may want to start off with a small auction so you can familiarize yourself with how everything works. Take a look around to see if the cards you want to sell are currently selling well. Put some consideration into listing fees to determine if it’s worth the money.
You will want to include as many pictures as possible when selling on Ebay. Items with lots of pictures tend to sell much better, especially with collectible related items.
⇒Another great place to check out when selling your cards online is Beckett.com. They have a community you can join where you can sell, buy, and trade cards and other collectibles with other members. You can have some fun here and communicate with other members while gaining insight into what your cards may be worth.
The Internet is definitely a great tool when you’re selling your cards. Keep these things in mind if you decide to go this route.
- Do your homework.
- Sell only to reputable buyers.
- Check for references.
- Deal only with reputable dealers and retailers.
Card shows give you a unique opportunity to offer your baseball cards to a targeted audience. You can check with places like your nearest flea market or indoor trade centers to see if they have any upcoming card shows.
You can walk around and talk with various dealers to see if they are interested in buying any or all of your cards. If you’re feeling energetic, you could even set up a booth of your own to show off your cards.
If you are comfortable with face to face interaction, card shows could be your best chance at getting the best price for your cards.
Just as my local card shop is my favorite place to buy baseball cards, it can also be a great place to sell them.
Card shop owners are usually very knowledgeable when it comes to pricing cards. They will usually be more than happy to assist you in organizing your collection and giving you an idea of what they’re worth. They may even be willing to make you an offer.
Have Someone Sell Them for You
When time is short and selling your baseball cards on your own is not an option, or you just don’t feel like doing it yourself, you may want to consider having someone else do it for you.
You can talk to your local card shop and see if they will sell your cards for you. If they have the space, most will have no problem doing this. You can also have someone else sell them for you on Ebay or other online sites. I have also seen a few places on the web who will come to you and either buy your cards or sell them for you.
Just keep in mind that having someone else sell your cards may be a lot easier, but they are most likely not going to do it for free. Typically, a dealer will sell your cards for a 50/50 split of the profits.
Whether you are selling your baseball cards because you want to, have to, or just want to see what happens, always keep in mind that they are your cards. Use all of the tips that we talked about to your advantage.
When you walk into a card shop, visit a card show, or decide to go the internet route, do it with a firm understanding of what your cards are potentially worth, and exactly what your realistic expectations are. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you and try to be fair with your buyer also.
If you keep all of these things in mind, selling your baseball cards should be an enjoyable experience, and hopefully a profitable one!
I hope this article has helped you in your quest to sell your baseball cards. Should you have any questions, or would like to share your own tips, please leave a comment below and I’ll get right back with you. ~Jeremy