How to Sell Low-Mid Value Sports Cards

April 18, 2021

The platforms and options to sell low-did value sports cards are growing and evolving, and while the options are a good thing, the amount of them can also be overwhelming.

In today’s post, we will discuss best practices for selling your low-end cards from the different marketplaces consider and tips for making smooth transactions.

Of course, if you’re looking to sell high-end cards (as in, cards that you could probably swap for a new card), it is often best to leave these transactions to the pros or even eBay consignment sellers to get the best value for your card, but that is a post for a later day.

Where Should You Sell Low-Mid Value Sports Cards online?

More than ever before, online marketplaces for sports cards are booming. Let’s look at some of the most popular options and figure out what works best for you.

eBay As a Way To Sell Cards

eBay is the obvious first choice. Since eBay began to boom in 1998, sports cards frequently been bought and sold on eBay. Since the 2020 boom in the hobby, the category has become one of its key moneymakers. Therefore, the company has recently paid more attention to sports cards and the needs of collectors and sellers.

Listing your cards on eBay has never been easier than it is now. However, to get the most out of your listing, you want to make sure to follow these tips.

eBay is the most popular venue for selling cards online.

The Best Titles for Selling Sports Cards Online

When you are coming up with the title for your listing, do not skimp on the effort. With almost any card, other cards are the same on the market, so you stand out with a quality title.

Make sure you do all the following:

  • Spell your player’s name correctly.
  • List the correct year of the card.
  • Mention whether the card is autographed (auto) or a rookie (RC).

Never list a “ja basketball card” when your description could be, “2019-20 JA MORANT OPTIC RC HOLO ROOKIE, SHARP CORNERS!” See which is more eye-catching? The buyers will feel the same way.

Using Good Pictures to Sell Low-Mid Value Sports Cards

Often, people looking at raw cards on eBay are looking for those they can buy and grade. If you’re opting not to grade the card, the more pictures you can share, the better. The extra effort can mean quicker sales and reduced chances of discrepancies.

  • ALWAYS include high-quality images of the front AND back of the card.
  • Include close-ups of the corners.
  • Scan the card in order to better show centering and the card surface.

The market’s opinion of scanning cards seems to be bouncing back and forth, but personally, I scan my cards in a penny sleeve and offer more pictures as requested.

I’ve seen a few pictures of a sasquatch that are clearer than a few of the eBay card listing I’ve run into, so never be that person. A bit of extra time invested in pictures can mean lots of extra money!

Always take a picture of the front and back.

Take Advantage of the Item-Specific Feature

eBay provides sellers with extra options to further describe the cards, such as the set, the team, the player, the additional features, the grade, and lots more.

While it might seem silly to list these things (especially if you included them in the title), eBay designed the feature to get more eyes on your item. Therefore, filling in the specifics for your card can boost its odds of selling quickly by earning it more views.

Ship Quickly and Securely

If possible, print the label off eBay as soon as possible. It is made available as soon as the buyer pays for the item. Therefore, it is best to get your cards shipped within 24 hours. This will win you a good rapport with both eBay and your customers.

Problems with Using eBay to Sell Low-Mid Value Cards

While eBay is the premier marketplace for selling cards, there are drawbacks and problems to consider.

  • eBay takes about 13 percent of all sales for fees. With mid-value cards, the fees make up a painful chunk of change.
  • eBay sided with the buyer quite a bit on discrepancies.
  • eBay buyers are quite flaky and sometimes downright manipulative. For example, before the 2021 Super Bowl, many buyers were buying Mahomes rookies to “lock-in a price,” basically, only to not pay after Brady and the Bucs won the big game.

Using Facebook Groups to Sell Low-Mid Value Sports Cards

Selling in Facebook groups is an increasingly popular way to connect with collectors and dodge eBay fees. To find a group, search “sports cards” on Facebook, and you’ll find many different options. They all have house rules (“no sealed product,” for example), so follow the rules and make friends.

When selling on Facebook, the threat of being scammed is higher than eBay, so do your due diligence on who you are selling to before the transaction. Obviously, this is more of a problem as a buyer, but agreeing to a “half in advance” deal with somebody you don’t know is always a bad idea (my advice: don’t do these deals ever.) Get vouches from people within the group.

These groups are a lot more personal than eBay, and collectors come together to help each other build out PCs, sets or talk about the hobby. While there are groups that focus exclusively on one brand or sport, my favorite group is the SICK Sports Card Community.

The group is well moderated and full of a lot of passionate (occasionally sassy) collectors. Most importantly, many members of this group have big hearts and try to pass the love of collecting to the next generations.

Other Options for Selling Cards

eBay and Facebook are the most common, best places to sell cards, but there are other options to consider.

  • Forums such as the Blowout Forum and PSA Card Forum function like Facebook groups with deals being made straight through collectors, but the forums are better for learning and not as efficient for selling.
  • COMC is a marketplace for selling cards. You send your cards to COMC, and they handle the scanning, listing, and selling… for a fee. This might be the best approach if you want to sell cards but have no free time.
  • StarStock is an up-and-coming company that is turning sports cards into a stock market trading platform. Sellers send cards to the company and manage inventory remotely.

Best Practices for Selling Low-Mid Value Cards

When you’re selling your low-mid value sports card, the best way to learn is by experience. That said, the experience can also be a tough teacher. Therefore, before you dive into selling cards online, here are three tips to help prevent problems.

How to Ship Low-Mid Value Cards

There are good ways to ship a card, and there are bad ways.  For mid-value cards, follow these steps:

  • Use a penny sleeve inside a top loader.
  • Tape the top loader closed with painter’s tape.
  • Fortify the card with cardboard squares you cut just wider than the top loader on both sides of the card.
  • Tape the cardboard to the outsides with the painters’ tape to make a sports card sandwich.
  • Put that in your bubble mailer (or box, depending on preference/value), and send it with tracking. Without insurance, this will most likely cost less than $4.

For low-value cards, eBay has recently introduced a “Standard Envelope that we covered in a recent story. In summary, you can ship cards valued at less than $20 with insurance costing less than $1. Note that a separate sports card collection insurance may cover loss in the mail.

Ship your cards securely and quickly.

Determine the Value of Your Low-Mid Value Cards

A quick way to get burned on eBay is underselling something. Or, even asking too much as a BIN without ever getting a sale.

Figuring out market value is easy. Go to eBay, search your card, filter by “sold auctions” on the options, and then view “recent first.” This practice will give you an idea of the price and even a short-term trend of which way it is moving.

Film Yourself Sealing the Package

Last, this is more extreme and may be more appropriate for upper-end of mid-value cards. However, if you sell something for a decent sum of money, it’s never a bad idea to record yourself sealing the secured card/box for shipment.

That way, if a buyer tries to claim a box’s shrink wrap was not sealed or that you did not tape your top loader, you have evidence to support your claim. This scenario might seem far-fetched but being burned on a four-digit would sure sting. So better safe than sorry.

Now It’s Your Turn to Sell Low-Mid Value Cards

As you can tell, the options for selling your cards are plentiful, and there’s never a better time to start selling than today. Now, remember these rules, stay smart, and get to it!

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