How To Turn a Profit With eBay Sports Card Lots

June 12, 2021

If you buy a “lot of cards” on eBay, this might mean something completely different than what you may think. A lot of cards might be a shoebox full. But they can sometimes only be two cards. Either way, you can profit with eBay sports card lots

In other words, lots come in all shapes and sizes. As a result, you can find lots of players, packs, boxes, teams, cards, or various combos at any given time.

As a buyer, the best part about lots is that they rarely sell for a premium. As a result, sellers save time and shipping expenses. Meanwhile, buyers don’t have to pay as much as they would if they bought all the cards individually.

But lots can get better. Way better.

Some lots can contain hidden gems—cards that can make a significant profit if you can pick them out and buy them at the right price. Let’s look into card lots and see how to achieve a massive return on investment.

Lots can contain any sport, opened and unopened wax, vintage and brand new (picture taken from Amazon).

What can you expect to find in a lot?

Lots can contain everything.

One lot might be “Lot of 2 Stephen Curry Topps Rookies,” while the next is a “miscellaneous lot of old baseball cards.” See the difference?

The most exciting lots for you will largely depend on what you collect. So as you search eBay for sports card lots, remember that your searches can be incredibly specific or very generic. Whatever you’re into, go for it.

Here are some examples of the spectrum:

  • Football packs
  • Vintage sports cards packs
  • Kevin Durant 2019-20 lot
  • Seattle Seahawks Lot
  • Gardner Minshew Prizm lot

There’s no secret to finding interesting lots beyond simply knowing what interests you and searching for it.

But, if you’re looking to make a big profit by flipping lots, we have some tips on that too.

Strategies For Turning A Profit With eBay Sports Card Lots

If there’s a golden rule for buying lots that can yield a high ROI, it’s this: you want to buy lots listed by people who have no idea what they are listing.

A lot of people are selling cards without knowing much about it. Some are widows selling estates. Others are new to the hobby. Most of these people presumably heard that sports cards are a popular item on eBay. Fortunately, many of them do not do any serious market research.

In other words, there are some awful listings of cards.

Just last week, I saw a 1990-something base Larry Bird card listed for $5,000. At the same time, a good friend of mine picked up a poorly-listed lot of cards for $30. His lot contained a $100+ Michael Jordan card, a LeBron jersey card, and some other big-name memorabilia cards. By the time he pieces it out and sells it, he’ll make over 10x his money back.

If you want to enjoy that kind of ROI, we have you covered.

These cards were found at an estate liquidation (picture taken from Collectors Universe Message Boards).

A Checklist For Turning A Profit With eBay Sports Card Lots

Here is the specific method you should follow to score big on lots. As we said, people without much knowledge of the hobby usually post the best lots. Therefore, you will need to get in their heads.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding lots of bargain lots:

  1. Start with a very generic search, and type it in parenthesis. That will force eBay to show results that match your exact, vague wording. For example, “football cards lot,” “estate sale cards,” or “old sports cards.”
  2. Most of the time, the ones you should be most interested in are auctions, so I’d recommend filtering your search to only show auctions. If you search for Buy It Now lots as well, you can sort it by Newly Listed to make sure you have a chance to snatch up bargains before anybody else sees them.
  3. When you find promising lots, carefully look through the pictures for any promising cards and then search any cards you can’t appraise on sight. Don’t hesitate to ask the seller for more pictures.
  4. Once you find lots you’re interested in, you should put them on your watch list but don’t bid on them until near the end. If a lousy listing has early bids, that might attract other bidders, as well. To truly get a great last-minute bid, consider an auction sniper.
  5. Finally, bid at the end and try to get the win. If you do, enjoy the resell profits!

A Word of Caution for Buying Lots

If you’re buying many cards, there are a few words of wisdom to keep in mind.

Most importantly, recognize that the person selling the cards—at least the kinds of lots you’ll find using the checklist above—is most likely not a collector. Unfortunately, that means he or she will probably not be aware of how to package and ship cards to preserve their condition.

In this case, you can either contact the buyer and make sure you’re both on the same page or just roll the dice. For example, I have received many basketball cards that were rattling around loosely in a taped-shoebox, and I’ve also received a lot of 300+ nickel-and-dime cards in penny sleeves and top loaders. In other words, you never know.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact the buyer with any questions, concerns, or requests. Most likely, these people are more than happy to accommodate your needs. So check-in before bidding on a big purchase.

Keep in mind that this can be a double-edged sword. If you ask too many questions, there’s also a chance they’ll begin doing some research of their cards on their own).

When you buy from people without knowledge of sports cards, they may not pack the cards properly (picture taken from Valhalla Toys).

Takeaways from these lots

Lots can be an exciting way to build out a collection, find bulk cards to sort, or make purchases poised for a solid flip. But, no matter your intent, you can always find lots relevant to your collecting interests.

For lots with considerable ROI potential, search off the beaten path. Poorly listed lots might be one of the best resell gems on eBay.