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The 3 Best Strategies To Make Money Using eBay’s Vault

Sponsored by eBay

The idea of vaults isn’t new to the hobby, but the new eBay vault improves on existing vaults while offering a service that is directly linked to the biggest sports card marketplace in the world. CardLines is working with eBay to spread awareness of the new vault and all the ways it can improve the hobby.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at three strategies for making money using the eBay vault to buy and sell. And if that piques your interest, be sure to read our detailed overview of the eBay vault and our guide for buying cards with the eBay vault, and our breakdown of the eBay vault’s Authenticity Guarantee.

Recap: The eBay Vault overview

In case you’ve missed our previous articles, eBay’s vault, in a nutshell, is a secure location in which you can store the high-dollar cards you purchased on eBay and then use the same service to sell them without paying sales tax, storage, or selling fees. It’s a great idea and incredibly easy to use.

Anybody can participate, you just need to visit this page and opt-in. 

This service has specific offers that incentivize becoming an early adopter, such as no vault buyer’s premium until Spring 2023 and Free Storage until 2024, so the sooner you can sign up, the better. 

Why the eBay vault makes sense as a great way to make money with cards

The eBay vault is a new offering from eBay, and with the newness comes a lot of fantastic offers to help sweeten the pot even more for collectors who are willing to be early adapters.

As mentioned, there is no sales tax, storage, or selling fees on vault purchases. 

While this might be simplifying, let’s compare two transactions for the same buying and selling point – one with the vault and one without.

Purchase A) You buy a card for $100 and sell it for $150. Selling fees take roughly 12%, or $18, and you ship the card for $5. Your profit: $27

Purchase B) You buy a card for $100, send it to the eBay vault, and sell it for $150. There are no selling fees and there’s no out-of-pocket shipping. Your profit: $50.

On top of profiting nearly twice as much in that example, you don’t weigh in the time it takes to find, package and ship your card. That time adds up, and every second spent on shipping is a billable hour, basically, that could be spent elsewhere. 

So, in short, the eBay vault adds both profit and convenience to selling cards. 

Top three strategies for making money with the eBay Vault

If you’re serious about getting the most out of the eBay vault and maximizing your profit, we’ve put together a roadmap of some of the best tips for making extra profit. 

Of course, the #1 way to make a profit with sports cards is by correctly predicting which players and teams will succeed over the course of a season (or career) and buying as low as possible.

But, if you’re looking for sure-fire tactics that mitigate risk and boost profits, here are our best strategies.

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Buy listings that are listed incorrectly or misspelled

If you’re willing to put in a little effort, the most certain way to make a decent profit on a flip is by misspelling a player’s name intentionally to buy the incorrectly listed cards. You can relist the card, correct the spelling, and sell it to the new, larger audience.

Finding a misspelled listing is done in a similar way to finding any listing—you just need a few choice hacks at your fingertips:

For one, eBay treats anything listed in quotation marks as an exact search, so eBay will only pull results that match exactly what you typed.

For example, search for “Luca” Doncic —including the quotation marks—and you’ll get lots of “Luca” cards.

The other strategy is using the minus sign. Use it before a word or phrase, and eBay will exclude any results with that word included.

For example, if you search “Doncic -Luka,” your search will return results that include any listing under the title Doncic, which does not include Luka. So your results could be Luca Doncic, Luke Doncic, Lukka Doncic, or anything else in between.

The second approach is more of a shotgun approach. You’ll get more results, but some of them will include accurate (though incomplete) listings. 

In this article, you can see the pricing difference we found between misspelled and correctly spelled auctions. The results were staggering: almost a 40% difference!

Either way, apply these approaches to any of your favorite players and see what you can turn up. 

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Buy listings out of season

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew, like clockwork, you could by Amazon stock at a low point every July and sell for peak value in February? If you did, everybody would do it. 

Crazy enough, sports cards work about like that. They’re at a low point every offseason (the time of year depends on the sport),  they start rising as the season draws near, peak during playoff time, and then reset. 

As we discovered in this research article, the difference between buying in the offseason vs. playoffs can be up to 50%, depending on the card.

If you want to make money consistently, don’t buy the player that everybody is talking about… buy the player (or sport) that nobody is talking about. 

Buy auctions that end at bad times 

Lastly, don’t overlook the power of buying auctions that end in bad times. Of course, the cards you buy need to be eligible for the vault (we covered eligibility in this post), but if you can find eligible cards, here’s the scoop:

When auctions end at bad times, fewer people see them, fewer people bid on them, and they sell for less. 

Consider when you are most likely to not be on eBay. If you’re like most people, this is probably late night and early morning. Those are the times that auctions are much less likely to have high bidding traffic in the final minute. Other listings, even those ending midmorning, are still better than those ending during prime time.

In this article, we tested the numbers for ourselves with three identical cards and auctions: one listing ending at a bad time and one ending in prime time. The bad-time auctions sold for 30% less!

And, friendly PSA: remember this as a seller, too!

The Takeaway: Making money on the eBay vault

The tips for making money using the eBay vault are the same tips we’ve been using to make money on eBay for years. Now, thanks to the vault, you can make even better profits with the same old tricks.

It’s not a matter of reinventing the wheel – it’s just being sports card savvy and knowing how to get the most mileage (and profit) out of your sports card knowledge. 

If you’re ready to take your eBay skills to the next level and maximize your returns, sign up for the eBay vault right here. 

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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Important: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.