What You Need To Know About Memory Lane Auctions

February 24, 2023

If you’ve been following our monthly auction house review (February 2023 edition here) then you’ve seen Memory Lane Auctions make a number of appearances.

But who is Memory Lane? What do their auctions look like and how do you bid? What are the rules of the road? We’ll explore these questions and more in this review.

Who is Memory Lane Auctions?

Memory Lane Auctions has been in the auction business for over 20 years. They are located in Tustin CA and were founded by and are run by J.P. Cohen. Mr. Cohen created quite a stir in 2022 by offering $2 million for Aaron Judge’s 62nd Home Run ball, before it was even hit.

Memory Lane boasts over 120 years of hobby experience on their staff. They are a long-time player in the hobby and have a good reputation within the industry. It does say something that they can be a big player in the industry for that long and still have a generally positive public perception.

What is Memory Lane Auctions known for?

Memory Lane’s tagline is “The Leader in Vintage Sports Cards & Memorabilia”. While you can dispute if they are THE leader, a leader, not a leader, etc., their focus should be pretty evident. Sure, they do offer some more recent cards, but their bread and butter is vintage, and typically high-end vintage.

I find their auctions tend to skew heavy towards baseball, although all major sports are typically represented.

With the pandemic-fueled boom in card prices, Memory Lane was able to set several records in the last few years for some big cards.

For example, in summer of 2022 new records were set on:

  • 1953 Topps Willie Mays PSA 8: $194,579
  • 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8: $117,604
  • 1955 Topps Ted Williams PSA 9: $71,532
  • 1941 Play Ball Ted Williams PSA 8: $31,210
  • 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 2.5: $89,249
  • 1973 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 10: $52,102
  • 1961 Fleer Jim Brown PSA 9: $27,457
This Babe Ruth Signed Baseball Sold for $37,934.40 in the Winter Rarities Auction

Where can I find Memory Lane Sports Auctions Online?

Memory Lane Auctions has a presence across the internet, hitting all the major platforms, as you’d expect.

A rundown:

You can also find Memory Lane founder and President J.P. Cohen on LinkedIn.

Memory Lane Website Home Page

Memory Lane Auctions auction frequency

Typcially, Memory Lane Auctions runs its flagship auctions on a quarterly basis. In addition, they run auctions more regularly on eBay. You can also buy collectibles from Memory Lane in non-auction “buy it now” format through their I Own It Now offering.  

Registering with Memory Lane Auctions

The registration process with Memory Lane Auctions is straightforward. You provide some basic info, including a username, password, name, and address.

Memory Lane does require at least two hobby references. It appears that they will contact them, although if you’re a long-time eBay member with solid feedback, that may count as one of the references. They also require a credit card to be on file. They run a $1 authorization, although your card is not charged.

Many of the major auction houses have similar policies, so this is not out of the ordinary.

Memory Lane Auctions Sport Auction basics

Memory Lane Auctions clearly denotes auction start and end dates right on their auction home page, making it clear when items are set to end.

To avoid last-second “snipe” bids, and ensure the highest price for sellers, Memory Lane uses “The 15 Minute Rule”. What this means is that once standard bidding ends, any bidder who has bid on a particular lot can continue to bid on that lot. Bidding continues until a 15-minute increment in which nobody bids further. In order to be eligible for this process, you must have bid on the auction prior to the close of preliminary bidding.

There are a few elements to be aware of when bidding, including:

  • Bid increments: $50 for minimum bids of $500, 10% from $500 to $20,000; and 5% from $20,001 and up
  • Bid retractions are not allowed: So make sure everything looks good before hitting the submit button.
  • Sales tax: Memory Lane will collect the appropriate sales tax as part of the purchase.
  • Reserve prices: Some auctions do have reserve prices, although this is not the norm.
  • Top all bids: See an item you HAVE to have, no matter the price? Top All Bids is available.

Check out the full Terms & Conditions before bidding.

Memory Lane Auctions Shipping & buyer’s premium

Memory Lane Auctions all carry a buyer’s premium of 20%, which is fairly standard for the industry.

Shipping costs for the continental US are based on the item cost, and currently are:

  • Invoice price Zero – $500.00 = $15.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $501.00 – $2,000.00 = $25.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $2,001.00 – $5,000.00 = $35.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $5,001.00 – $10,000.00 = $50.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $10,001.00 – $15,000.00 = $100.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $15,001.00 – $50,000.00 = $125.00 shipping
  • Invoice price $50,001.00 and above $150.00 shipping

Review the Memory Lane website for the latest shipping costs, and note that some large/bulky items may require additional postage. These are noted on the auction listing.

Memory Lane Auction: Searching, Viewing, Bidding

The online bidding platform used by Memory Lane Auctions on their website seems to be generally well-liked by auction bidders. The mechanism for placing bids is intuitive and follows industry and internet standards, making it easy to pick up and easy to use.

The auction home page has the ability to adjust the number of items shown per page, change the sort order, and jump among pages.

In addition, you can search, view in different ways, and filter by category. The combination of these features makes finding auctions of note fairly easy, although there’s something to be said about scrolling through the items to keep an eye out for hidden gems.

The auction lot pages include a large, clear photo or photos of the item as well as a detailed description. Information on the minimum bid, current bid, and bid increments are also available.

Again, the site seems to work in accordance with industry norms and is generally considered at least average among bidders, with many ranking it solidly above average.

Memory Lane Auction Website: Auction Page

Final thoughts on Memory Lane Auctions

Memory Lane Auctions is a long-time industry player with a solid reputation, clear focus on vintage, and a clean and user friendly web site. If you’re looking to get into the auction action, Memory Lane is a great place to find some impressive collectibles.

Check out our other reviews on notable auction house providers in the industry:

Memory Lane Auctions frequently asked questions

Is Memory Lane Auctions Legit?

Yes! Memory Lane has been in business for over 20 years and has a good reputation within the card collecting hobby.

Where can I find Memory Lane Auctions results?

Memory Lane posts highlights of past auctions on their website. For example, highlights from their Winter ’23 Rarities auction.

What is Memory Lane Auctions phone number?

You can reach Memory Lane by phone at 877.606.5263 or 714.730.0600. You can reach Memory Lane via email at [email protected].

Where can I find Memory Lane rules?

You can find Memory Lane Auctions Terms and Conditions on their website.

When is the next Memory Lane Auction?

You can find info on Memory Lane’s current auction on their website. Follow them on Twitter for the latest on upcoming auctions.