Selling baseball cards online can be a hassle. From shipping the cards to dealing with customers, it can often feel like a full-time job. That’s without mentioning the numerous fees involved, or scam artists that prey on collectors who don’t know much about the hobby, to begin with.
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However, it’s still far better than the traditional method, which often involved heading off to a trade fair or taking a walk over to a local hobby shop. You’d have to collect magazines to have a better idea of what cards were worth, and you could never be sure about whether they were lying to you or not.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best places to sell baseball cards online, although there really aren’t as many as you might expect.
The Best Places to Sell Baseball Cards Online
Think about it this way. Where would you look if you wanted to buy a baseball card online? We’ll begin with the most obvious answer for the majority of collectors.
eBay (buy and sell on eBay now)
The original and the best known, eBay is the largest online marketplace in the world by a significant margin. There are 183m recorded users as of 2020, and even their app is found on the devices of 34.9 percent of all US mobile users.
Their 2019 revenue amounted to $10.8b with the majority of it being generated through marketplaces transactions, while most of their business takes place in the US. The sheer amount of users and the North American focus make it a prime location if you’re looking for baseball cards, whether it be the hottest RC’s, or a vintage card worth tens of thousands of dollars.
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Graded options will always sell for more money, so it could be worth checking out a service like PSA or Beckett before listing them up online. For the best of the best, it might be a good idea to list your cards through a third-party seller like PWCC or Rick Probstein. We’ll give a rundown of their respective services below.
For cheaper cards or full sets, it might be better to package them together rather than selling them piecemeal, as you’ll be able to avoid paying fees many times over. It’ll depend on the card/s itself and your personal circumstances, but eBay tends to be a decent option overall.
eBay is far from perfect, but you can’t argue with the huge mass of potential customers that come packaged with the biggest auction site on the planet. Information about the various eBay selling fees can be found here.
eBay: PWCC (shop PWCC on eBay now)
PWCC is a professionally run company that will sell your cards through eBay. Their service is easy to understand, as they run 12 massive monthly auctions per year. Each event features some of the most expensive baseball cards ever produced, so it’s a great option if you want to get the best price for a rare card. For example, their 2020 Premier Auction #6 features over 15,000 lots.
For a better idea of their typical fees, you can take a look at the tables below.
In terms of additional benefits, PWCC offers; “loans using trading cards in the vault as collateral, as well as financing for purchases through payment plans. Free cash advances are available on items submitted for auction, and cash advances can be used to pay for purchases.”
It’s clear why some collectors prefer to use PWCC, especially if you’d like to get a card placed in an auction that specifically relates to your personal collection. They’ll handle almost everything for you, and they’re a trusted name that is sure to get you a good final price when all is said and done.
eBay: Probstein123 (shop Probstein123 on eBay now)
With a 99.9% satisfaction rate, Rick Probstein is a respected eBay seller who has seen thousands of high-end cards over the years. Like PWCC, Probstein will sell your cards on the eBay marketplace, and it’s easy to get in touch with him. He doesn’t have a website but does a lot of business via Facebook and you can also contact him on eBay. Alternatively, you can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, and he should respond promptly.
His price list is as follows;
- $2,500+ – you get 90% of the sales price.
- $1,000-$2,499 – you get 89% of the sales price.
- $100-$999 – you get 88% of the sales price.
- $50-$99 – you get 87% of the sales price.
- $25-$49 – you get 86% of the sales price.
- $10-$25 – you get 85% of the sales price. Below $10 – they charge $1.00 per auction plus 8% of the final sales price.
Both Probstein and PWCC have continued to offer their services despite the pandemic, and they’re great if you can’t be bothered to go through the trouble of taking photos and listing the card up yourself.
Also, they’re worth considering if you don’t have an eBay account. Both are trustworthy, and the card is likely to attract more bids on average. If you’d like to check for yourself, head to eBay and take a look for yourself.
Sports buy & Other eBay Alternatives
SportsBuy looked like it could be a viable alternative to eBay back in the day, as they focused on memorabilia and charged hardly anything fee-wise. Of course, this probably contributed to their demise in the long run. They said goodbye via a Facebook post in 2014, which can still be seen on their social media page;
“Dear SportsBuy users, It is with a heavy heart and sadness that after 13 years, we have made the decision that it is time to close down the SportsBuy.com Marketplace. We have made this decision due to the costs to support and upgrade the site in an industry that isn’t currently growing. The ability to withdraw funds is available, but transactions have been disabled and the SportsBuy.com Marketplace will shut down on April 30th.”
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It shows that despite the large fees involved with some baseball cards, it can be hard to compete with a juggernaut like eBay. You can still look for an alternative auction site with fewer fees, but you’re unlikely to get a similar price, or anywhere near the same amount of attention as you would from ‘the largest online marketplace’.
UPDATE: At the time of writing this article we stumbled across a potential eBay rival/killer in the form of www.starstock.com/marketplace… this place is a pretty good shop to buy and sell baseball cards and is one to keep an eye on!
An option that many collectors overlook, there are a number of online forums that work well if you’re hoping to sell baseball cards.
For example, the Blowout forums are great if you want to talk about cards, or simply to learn more about the hobby in general. They also have a section dedicated solely to buying and selling, while you can stick to dealing with trusted accounts if you’re unsure about selling to a random user who hasn’t been there for very long.
Of course, you’ll be missing out on the massive eBay user base, and most forum members will know a lot about baseball cards. They might drive a hard bargain, but it’s also a great place to find die-hard collectors who are willing to pay any price to complete their sets.
Social Media Platforms
One of the best things about social media is the reach you can enjoy. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or the next big thing, it’s not that difficult to sell almost anything online. You will probably have to deal with the usual list of lowballers and time wasters, but at least you won’t have to worry about paying any additional fees on top as you do with eBay.
It’ll probably take more time and effort if you plan to sell baseball cards through social media, but it can also be a good opportunity to build a business of your own.
If you decide to sell cards as a side hustle, it could be worth taking the time to build up a social media profile, so people will know where to look when they want to buy a card or two. Take the many YouTube channels which crack open vintage packs, getting hundreds of thousands of views when they pull something exceptionally rare or expensive like Michael Jordan’s ‘86 Fleer.
They must get numerous offers for the fresh cards they’ve just added to their collection, and it’s one of many ways that new media can be used to drive more attention to your baseball cards.
It can be a daunting task, while many people don’t have the time needed to make a name for themselves in the collectible card game. It’s another reason why eBay, (and particularly Probstein and PWCC) are favored by big-ticket item holders who just want to cash in on their cards as quickly as they can, for the best possible price.
Selling Baseball Cards Online: Summary
The internet has changed the way we communicate with each other, sometimes for the better, and often for the worse. It has also affected the way the baseball card market works and has helped the hobby to reach new heights in recent years. After all, it’s easy to read about cards online or to check the prices of the latest hot prospects. Then there are impulse purchases, which eBay is tailor-made for.
eBay has a stranglehold over the market when it comes to reselling second-hand items, and the same is true for almost every collectible you can think of.
Despite its numerous flaws, you’re probably going to struggle to find better if you’re looking for the best possible price, which is the most important aspect for most owners. After all, that’s the whole point of selling up.
You’ll have to pay fees, but it’s to save the time and effort you’ll need to expend to get the cards to their new owners, as well as the money into your bank account.
The internet has made it more difficult to find cheap cards, as it’s pretty easy to find out how much they’re worth compared to the good old days when finesse (or lies) could help you to add a bargain or two to your personal collection. However, it is much easier to sell cards, and there are multiple options as long as you’re willing to put the work in.