Is My Slabs a Viable Sportscards Alternative to eBay?

March 10, 2021

My Slabs is an online marketplace for buying and selling sportscards, serving as an alternative to eBay. It has been operating since 2018.

The platform holds a fair amount of appeal to many collectors due to the reduced selling fees. Today we’re going to review the platform’s offerings, layout, and process.

Problems with Selling Sportscards on eBay

According to the company’s About Us page, my slabs have something in common with most recent sportscards startup companies: the idea behind it is rooted in collectors’ frustration.

In this case, the object of frustration was eBay’s fees. While the people behind My Slabs have “respect for eBay and have collectively bought and sold millions of dollars of collectibles on their platform,” they were dismayed by the 13% of selling price the platform takes in exchange for the buyer-selling connection.

As the My Slabs states, “For slabbed cards, especially fixed price listings, the fees seemed egregious. Other complaints include eBays permissive return policy, the frequency of non-paying customers, the cumbersome nature of the site for buyers, and the arduous listing process for sellers.”

For anybody who has been on eBay long enough, all these complaints probably hit pretty close to home.

So, with these issues fresh on their minds, the team of collectors came together to address the problem and a big question: there had to be a better way, right?

The question birthed My Slabs’ idea: an online marketplace for buying and selling graded sportscards. There would be NO listing fees and a 1% selling fee with a $1 minimum. However, My Slabs does not pay the 3% good and services fee on PayPal, so add that to your calculations.

Where eBay slants in favor of the buyer, My Slabs is more of a sellers’ market. They maintain a strict No Return policy (with limited exceptions), and the owners remove buyers who do not pay for a card or violate guidelines. Sellers, however, are only charged if their item sells.

In other words, My Slab s is working actively to eliminate the significant problems sellers face on eBay. While this might seem like a lofty goal, the company is doing it quite well so far.

eBay has control over the sportcards market, at least for now.

My Slabs: a Functional Way to Sell Sportscards

As more ambitious collectors see the sportscards market soaring, many people are trying to stake their small piece of the market with startups. The result, often, is a sloppy, amateurish website that has no real chance to stay afloat in the long-term

With My Slabs, this is NOT the case. Far from it, even.

The company started working before the card boom and is not merely attempting to cash in on the craze. The timing was fortunate from their perspective, as they had already established themselves when it began.

The company’s website is not only visually appealing, but it is also highly functional. The site is very minimal and eye-catching in terms of layout, emphasizing the pictures of the slabbed cards instead of the listing description. In fact, as opposed to eBay, cards do not even have a description on My Slabs.

While this might make some collectors raise an eyebrow, the idea works well with the format. In this format: The slabs do the talking.

Since the significant third-party graders label the cards anyway, the only other necessary piece of information accompanying each card is the price, which hovers directly under the picture in a subtle font.

Selling Sportscards on My Slabs

To start shopping on this growing marketplace, the first thing you need to do is Register for My Slabs. Not only is the company enthusiastic about growing members, but they also actively seek feedback from users to help with the growth.

In terms of the process, it is very straightforward.

Since all the cards have a front and back picture, buyers know what they are getting (plus they’re slabbed). Just click on a card to make an offer or buy it outright, but note that My Slabs is a PayPal marketplace, so that you will need an active account.

The search options are simple yet effective. You can use the search bar or filter by sport, third-party grader, or price. Of course, a combination of fields can yield very precise results if you have something particular in mind.

Despite the name of the platform, slabs are not the only thing you will find there. While there are no raw cards on the marketplace, there is an option to buy sealed products under the “wax” tab.

If you’d like to start selling on My Slabs, you need to apply with your PayPal email and eBay seller idea so the team can do a “background check” of sorts and vet the sellers. It might be an extra step, but it is certainly worthwhile if it cuts down scammers and headaches.

Can My Slabs Compete with eBay?

My slabs can be a significant player in the card market, including a passionate user base. Moving forward, the biggest challenge for the company is to draw in more users to the platform and away from eBay.

The number of buyers and sellers on eBay is TREMENDOUS, so there is a lot of growth potential. However, people typically resist change—even if the alternative is as good, and in some ways, better.

While this is a challenge, it’s not an insurmountable one. My Slabs has a built-in network effect through collectors’ word of mouth. With the addition of well-targeted advertising, the company should be able to grow its user base.

On top of this, it offers a sticky solution. The people who sell a card on My Slabs will see just how much they lose in eBay fees and will be very inclined to become repeat sellers. However, the main problem they are likely to face will be in attracting enough buyers.

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