The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Old Cards
If you’re a longtime collector, odds are that you’ve built up an impressive collection of cards that you have no use for. These could be cards from the Junk Wax Era, commons you have no use for, or just irrelevant players people have forgotten about.
When you finally decide to get rid of those cards, here’s some advice for what to do with them.
Selling cards can be an excellent option to get some return on your past investment — at least with some cards. Before going with any of the below options, be sure to appraise your cards and see if you have any hidden gems. Who knows, you may of been sitting on a treasure trove this entire time.
One of the most popular places to buy and sell sports cards is eBay. Depending on the player, card quality, and what year they are from, you might be able to make some extra profit. Worst case scenario, you can fill up a USPS flat rate box and set the price to cover your shipping fees.
Selling Cards From the Same Set
A common way to sell older cards is to organize them by brand and year. For example, you would sell all of your cards from 1989 Topps in one listing, and your 1988 Topps in a different listing. These sets are from the Junk Wax era, so they don’t draw high prices on the resell market.
Prices you’ll receive vary greatly depending on the number of cards you are selling, but overall don’t expect life-changing money from this.
Selling Star Players
A second method to sell cards from the Junk Wax Era is to group together cards of star players and sell them together. One benefit of selling cards this way is that you don’t have to worry about cards being from the same year.
Prices for card lots of star players will have a huge variance due to multiple factors. The quality of the cards, the amount of them, and the player all play a significant role in valuation. For example, 500 1989 John Smoltz cards went for $250 while 5 1989 Randy Johnson cards went for $9.99.
There’s a huge variation in prices for card lots of star players, so it’s vital you perform prior research to determine pricing.
Selling team sets
Another viable way to sell cards in bulk is to organize them by team. This method requires the most effort compared to the other two, since you’ll have to scrounge through your collection hunting for every card from a team in a given year.
Team sets from the Junk War Era tend to go for somewhere in the 5-10 dollar range.
Another great site to sell old cards in bulk is Craigslist. On Craigslist you can list your cards for sale similar to eBay. Alternatively, you can find people or groups in your region that are hunting for older cards for whatever reason.
Finding a local group has the added benefit of saving you from having to worry about the logistics and cost of shipping.
If you want to do things the old-fashioned way, hosting a yard sale can be a great way to offload your cards and anything else you have sitting around with no use.
This also saves you the effort of having to sell and ship large boxes of cards online. To get your yard sale going, make some signs advertising it and post on some local groups online.
Donate your cards
If you want to do some good in the world or don’t think anybody will buy your cards, consider donating them. Cards can be donated to schools or hospitals that accept them, a charitable organization like Goodwill, or to a Little Free Library.
For most people, the easiest way to donate your old cards will be through Goodwill. Simply call your local store to see if they’re interested, and arrange a pickup or a drop-off. In exchange for your donation, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt, so it’s a win-win for everybody involved. You can learn more about the donation process at the Goodwill website.
Collectibles With Causes
Another charitable option is the Collectibles with Causes organization. They provided collectibles and memorabilia to people in need around the United States. Similar to Goodwill, donors are eligible for tax write-offs in exchange for their donation. Everything you need to know about donating can be found here.
Little Free Libraries
Donating cards to a Little Free Library near you is a nice way to provide cards to your community. Organize your spare cards however you like and put them into small bags before dropping them off so that they will fit.
If you don’t know where a local Little Free Library is, you can check out this map to find one.
Depending on what material your cards are made of, recycling could be a viable option to dispose of your old cards. Be sure to confirm whether the cards are cardboard or plastic so that they can be recycled properly.
If you don’t have room for your cards, it might be time to find something to do with them. In this day and age, there are plenty of ways to dispose of them. If none of the options above appeal to you, maybe you could find somebody in your community who would appreciate some older cards.
One More Thought…
Cardlines author Mike D. loves writing about baseball cards. About the only think that approaches his love of writing about baseball and baseball cards is his love of writing about sustainability, especially composting.
He wanted to add that in addition to the great recommendations that Jonah made in his article, there’s one more approach to cards you truly don’t want or can’t find another use for: Composting!
This works best with non-glossy, non-foil cards like your standard junk wax fare, but cards make great compost. They serve as a “brown”, or carbon source in your compost mix.
Recycling is great, but many recycling setups aren’t designed to sort cards properly. If you put them in your recycle bin, they might get recycled. But if you put them in your compost, you know they will get recycled.
For best results, cards can be shredded or at least torn into pieces. Mike D. keeps a paper shredder next to his card sorting desk to make short work of any unwanted or damaged cards. They get mixed in with lots of other scrap paper, such as junk mail, and get added to the compost pile.