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We Tried Buying Cards On Reddit. Here’s What We Learned

reddit baseball cards

When I started collecting cards, the number of places you could buy cards was very limited. Packs of Topps at the local convenience store. A local card shop downtown. That was it.

But the internet has changed collecting in amazing ways. There are now so many ways to buy cards, from the obvious like eBay to auction houses, COMC, Facebook Marketplace, and even Goodwill. But what about Reddit?

I’ll admit, I’d not thought about buying cards on Reddit before, but once I started to explore, there’s a thriving marketplace to explore. But what is Reddit?

And what is the biggest baseball card subreddit r/baseballcards? How does it work? And what happened when we tried buying cards on Reddit r/baseballcards for the first time?

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a social news aggregation, content rating, and forum social network. It is constantly ranked among the top 20 visited sites on the internet. Users submit content to the site, which is then up or downvoted by other users.

Content on Reddit is split into communities based on topic, called “communities” or “subreddits”. Communities are moderated by community-specific moderators, who do not work for Reddit.

Content that is upvoted is more likely to appear at the top of its subreddit, and potentially the Reddit home page.

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What is Reddit r/baseballcards subreddit?

r/baseballcards is the most popular baseball card-themed subreddit on Reddit. With over 100,000 subscribers, r/baseballcards is among the top 5% of all Reddit communities.

The subreddit appears to be well-moderated, with clear rules posted right on the front page. While there are lots of posts, you don’t see a lot of in-depth discussion. It appears to be much more quick hits. All friendly enough, with a nice tone. A lot of pictures of cards but not a lot of in-depth discussion.

Buying Cards on Reddit r/baseballcards

What I saw a lot of was posts “showing off” the hits from recent breaks. A lot of ink and sparkle, for sure. Lots of really nice hits. But honestly, maybe it’s because I prefer vintage, but scrolling through it all got old pretty fast for me.

Maybe there’s more of a community than you can see at first look, or maybe other people just like looking at shiny cards more than I do. But hey, nothing wrong with it, and the level of activity and overall tone were both very good.

While the most popular, r/baseballcards is not the only baseball card subreddit, not by a long shot. For example, vintage card fans should check out r/baseballcards_vintage. Or if you’re interested in other sports, check out r/basketballcards, r/footballcards, r/soccercards, or r/hockeycards.

Joining Reddit in search of cards

When I started this article, I was new to Reddit. So new that I needed to create an account to get started. Thankfully, the process is straightforward and pretty standard. Within minutes I was registered and scrolling through posts.

In terms of searching for cards for sale, you can filter the subreddit feed by themes or tags, which Reddit calls “flair”. These tags include “Show Off”, “Rainbow”, “Mail Day”, “Random”, plus “Sale” and “Trade” to filter by for sale offerings.

Once filtered by items for sale, you can scroll through and view items. The good is that most sellers put one or more good-quality photos of scans. The quality of titles varied, as did whether the price was in the title or only inside the listing. That is true of lots of platforms, from card forums to Facebook.

One issue I found with the platform is that it’s not always easy to tell which cards are still available, and which ones have sold. If a seller doesn’t remove a card once sold, or they have multiple cards listed, you will need to read the comments to see if the card is still available.

The above, plus a lack of more advanced filtering like you’d find on a platform like eBay, makes it a little monotonous to find a card you’d like to buy.

I’d say that shopping on the platform is really more “browsing” for something you’d like, as opposed to a targeted search for a specific card.

Buying and selling cards on Reddit

Purchasing cards on Reddit is straightforward, if somewhat low-tech. You can communicate through commenting on a card or sending a Direct Message (DM) to the seller. I had a little trouble sending a DM at first, potentially because I had a brand new account and potentially because they had set up a block on incoming DMs.

In terms of the types of cards you’ll find on Reddit, they run the gambit. Scrolling through I saw everything from $1 cards up to those in the hundreds, and even a few $1,000-plus cards for sale.

Most of what I saw was raw, although there was a spattering of graded cards in the mix. The cards available during my search trended strongly towards the ultra-modern, with many cards from 2023 or 2024.

Reddit does have a feedback system for transactions, so you can see a seller’s track record before deciding to buy.

My Reddit r/baseball cards buying experience

On the day I decided to buy, I scrolled through quite a few cards. I’m not a huge collector of ultra-modern shiny cards, including parallels and autographs. There’s nothing wrong with those cards of course, it’s just not my collecting focus.

I settled on a 2023 Bowman Marcelo Mayer Fucshia Lunar Refractor numbered out of 199. The card is raw, and I have no idea if it’s got a chance to be gradable or not. The price, though, was right.

The card cost $5 plus $1 for shipping. If you’re going to spend money on the internet, $6 seems like a good low-risk amount to spend.

2023 Bowman Marcelo Mayer Fucshia Lunar Refractor

I don’t often buy ultra-modern parallels of prospects. When I do, however, I tend to buy cards of Red Sox prospects. Something about buying prospect cards for your team somehow intensifies the entire prospecting experience. If the prospect becomes a star, you win twice. If they turn out to be a bust, it hurts double.

The seller, who only had two reviews, was responsive and patient during my initial struggles to send a DM. As soon as payment was provided, the card was processed and shipped very quickly.

Just over a week later (there were two Sundays and a holiday in the mix) the card arrived, well packaged in a PWE (as described).

The card was in nice shape, with just a tiny imperfection on one corner keeping it from being a grading candidate. So, while not a home run, well worth the $6 price, delivered.

Pros and cons of buying cards on Reddit

As with any platform for buying and selling cards, there seem to be some clear pros and cons to Reddit r/baseballcards.

Pros

  • Signing up and joining Reddit and the subreddit is straight forward and quick.
  • There are some good cards and prices to be found here. If you’re the type of person who enjoys browsing instead of looking for something specific, there’s a lot to see here.
  • The subreddit rules and moderation both are reasonable, well publicized, and enforced.

Cons

  • It’s not that easy to search for and find specific cards. This is more of a “browse” than a “search” platform.
  • The focus seems to be very much on cards produced within the last year. This may not be a negative if this is what you collect, but other platforms provide more variety.
  • Reddit lacks a full purchase/pay/ship/track apparatus that a traditional online store such as eBay would provide.

Some tips for buying cards on Reddit

Buying cards on Reddit r/baseballcards can be an enjoyable experience, but there are some tips you should follow to have the best possible experience.

  • Go in with a plan to “browse”, and act if you see something you like at a good price. That should work better than searching for specific cards.
  • Start with some small purchases before you dive into pricier fare (or selling) to get a feel for how transactions work on Reddit
  • Be a positive contributor to the community, in whatever way you participate.
  • As with all card buying, stay within your collecting budget and be cautious of potential scams. A deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.

Final thoughts on buying cards on Reddit r/baseballcards

So, this Reddit rookie figured out how to sign up for the site, find a card to buy, and my card arrived safely. While Reddit appears to be less than ideal for searching for specific cards, you can absolutely buy and sell cards on the site successfully.

It’s a worthwhile addition to your hobby box of tricks.

Do you buy or sell cards on Reddit? What did this rookie get right? What did I miss on? Tell us about your Reddit card-buying experiences at Cardlines on Twitter.

Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.
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