The Best Places to Buy Sports Cards
After you’ve dug in and done your research, narrowed your focus, and analyzed the sales data in the Sports Card Investor Market Movers tool, where do you go to start buying cards? (Editor Note: Get 20% off your first payment for a SportsCardInvestor.com subscription by using the promo code: GRINDERS). Well, there are tons of places to buy sports cards. Online sites, hobby shops, card shows, plus old fashioned in person deals all move cards from one collector to another. Today, we’re going to focus on three of the biggest and most trustworthy online platforms.
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When it comes to sports card marketplaces, eBay is king. They are far and away the largest online seller of cards. In fact, sports cards are one of the largest product segments on the entire site. Selling prices on eBay have become the de facto price guide for cards since so many transactions take place for all kinds of cards.
The search criteria and available filters make it fairly easy to find what you are looking for. In addition to the traditional text search window, buyers are also able to filter by Grade, and dozens of other card attributes so you can find exactly what you want.
One of the most important things you need to know when buying on eBay is to always check “Sold Items” to see what the card is actually selling for. Sometimes sellers list their cards at “aspirational” prices in hopes an uneducated seller comes along and just pays their full asking price. This is not you!
Once you have a page of search results, there will be a show only “Sold Items” filter option on the left side of the screen. Use that to see what actual selling prices are so you can see what competitive prices are. This in combination with the Market Movers data will help give you the assurance that you offering a competitive price. There’s still no guarantee for the future value of the card, but at least you will know you are not overpaying at the buy.
One other thing I highly recommend when buying on eBay is to check the seller’s feedback score. High feedback scores at or very close to 100% positive also gives you more confidence that the seller is legit and it minimizes your potential risk of getting scammed.
Check Out My Cards or COMC is another one of my “core” buying and selling platforms. If you are looking to flip, it may be the single best platform to use.
They are a huge consignment seller and have an inventory of millions of cards which are all stored at the company’s warehouse. This means you can consolidate purchases from a variety of sellers into one low cost shipment. However, the sites biggest advantage comes if you’re looking to flip cards. Since all the cards are centrally located at their facilities, you can buy and relist cards without ever taking physical possession! With just a couple clicks you can literally buy and relist a card at whatever price you want.
You can also submit cards to sell. For a fee they sort, organize, categorize, scan, and list them for you on their site. In addition, they cross list your card on eBay at no additional fee.
Personally, I use the site to both submit and flip and currently have over 50K cards available for sale. My initial deposit was around $100 and I’ve used my profits to grow from that small initial inventory to what I have today!
I did a three part podcast series on buying, flipping, and submitting that you may find helpful! The link to the first episode is available here
If you want to focus on the Sports Card equivalent of microstakes, then Sportlots is the platform you need to explore.
What Sportlots lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up in practicality. It is one of the go to locations to buy standard base and insert cards. It dominates the low-end market that many people overlook.
I have used the site to turn the cards that many high end collectors view as worthless into a consistent, low risk, revenue stream of hundreds of dollars a month. I am able to buy entire collections of base and insert cards for pennies a piece from Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay, and sell them on Sportlots for .18 – $1 each. Now don’t get me wrong, you have to put in some work to organize and list them, but I’ve found tremendous success turning other people’s “trash” into extra cash.
It is also a great place to pick up large quantities of undiscovered prospects. Some large sellers have 25 or 50 of the same prospect, and they can often be found at very cheap prices. So if you want to try buying a prospect and stashing them away until they have the opportunity to break out, the site can potentially be a great place to find the cards you are looking for.
One of the biggest advantages of utilizing multiple sites to buy and sell is that you can compare prices across the platforms. The market prices for cards can vary widely across sites, so being familiar with several can create arbitrage opportunities. In addition, you may find that certain aspects of one site or another just “click” for you.