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How to Sell Baseball Cards for Top Dollar

Collectors know this all too well: if you came into this “hobby” years ago so you could sell baseball cards in the future, there’s a good chance your cards can get top dollar.

You’ve probably spent a good chunk of your downtime collecting these baseball cards on and off for years.

Sometimes, a baseball card lands on your lap as a gift, an heirloom, or picked it up at a garage sale. If this is the case and you didn’t go collecting baseball cards on purpose, it’s not too late to cash in on your newfound treasure.

So how do you sell baseball cards?

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Where do you begin?

4 Important Things to do Before You Sell Baseball Cards

The world of sports cards is exciting, but it is also complicated and challenging.

Learning the ins and outs of the buy-and-sell world is important, especially if you have a lot of cards lined up for sale.

Here are the top 4 things you should do before introducing your baseball cards into the market:

1. Keep them in pristine condition

The value of baseball cards don’t just rely on the type and age of a card.

The condition is also a huge consideration.

If you’re a true blue card collector, you probably have your baseball cards documented, protected, and stored in a temperature-controlled, secure place. If you haven’t done so, you have to do it now.

There are albums for collections, individual plastic sleeves, storage boxes, or the best-of-the-best toploaders or magnetized cases.

2. Learn everything you can about the baseball cards

Categorize your cards by dates.

  • “Pre-War” baseball cards were printed before 1945. Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner or Christy Mathewson are just some of the names dominating this category.
  • “Vintage” baseball cards were¬†printed between 1946 and 1979. Topps released many of the highest-valued cards of this era, but those printed by Bowman, Fleer and Leaf could still fish for some cash. You’d find names of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in-demand in this category.
  • “Modern” baseball cards were¬†printed from 1980 to present. Unlike the older baseball cards, modern ones are printed on a massive scale, so your chance of getting money from them is pretty slim. Your card does have to be extra-special – autographed by the player for instance – to sell for top dollar.

Dividing your baseball cards into these categories can help you decide if it’s worth selling them or not. If you think they have value, go on to the next step…

3. Get an appraisal or price estimates

How much do you think your baseball cards could go for?

Generally speaking, the value of a card increases based on who is featured (all-stars go for higher prices), age of the card (as discussed above), card condition (how mint it is), and scarcity (how rare that type of baseball card is).

Another factor that increases a card’s value is professional grading.

Simply put, a third-party company (like PSA, SCG & Beckett) professionally inspect and grade your card.

You’d have to shoulder $5 to $20 per card for PSA grading, which is why it should only reserved for older, in-demand baseball cards.

4. Decide where to sell

Now that you know which cards have the most value, you can now pick which ones you’re willing to let go and decide where you’d like to sell.

  • Do you know of local card collectors who might be interested in what you have to offer?
  • Do you prefer to sell everything online?
  • Do you wish a third-party company handle everything for you?
  • Do you think an auction house could get the highest bids for your cards?

All of these methods have its own pros and cons, so choose wisely.

Where to sell baseball cards

4 Ways to Sell Baseball Cards

You control where you want your baseball cards to sell.

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All of the options below have benefits and disadvantages, so choose wisely to prevent getting scammed or cost you a lot of money that would’ve been double or twice the value of your baseball card.

1. Sell a card person-to-person

If you’re not a part of local baseball card group yet, go to Facebook and join local groups.

You can find interested parties when you mingle with like-minded people.

Because baseball card collectors value their own collections and the industry as a whole, there’s less chance of lowballing when you decide to sell your own cards to a fellow collector, or buyers they refer.

You can also advertise on local paper, bulletin boards, and online city-specific classified ads (such as Craigslist), but know that there are dangers of selling to strangers in person. Follow general safety precautions such as meeting in public spaces, going with a friend, and other similar rules.

2. Sell online

You have plenty of options for selling baseball cards online.

eBay

This online marketplace is perfect for selling sports cards because you have an option of putting up a baseball card for sale with three kinds of formats:

  • A flat “But it Now” fee – You decide the amount you wish to sell your card and wait for someone to buy it full price.
  • Auction-style – You set a minimum amount, wait for buyers to put in their “bids” and let the listing go its course. The highest bidder wins the baseball card (if the amount reaches the price you set at the beginning of the auction)
  • Fixed-price with “Accept Offer” option – You set a fixed price when listing the baseball card for sale, but add a button that tells would-be buyers that you’re willing to negotiate price.

COMC.com and other similar sites

COMC.com is a website exclusively created for sports cards collectors.

It provides a platform for sellers to sell their collections on the site.

To sell your card here, follow these steps:

  • Place cards in protective penny sleeves
  • Fill out a form, then send the card to COMC
  • COMC scans the cards and list them on the site
  • COMC emails you that the listing is ready, so you can customize and set the price
  • Wait for people to buy your cards. You’ll pay COMC 25 cents per card.

3. Sell baseball cards via a dealer

If you need cash quickly and have older baseball cards (dated 1980 or earlier), you can sell them through a dealer.

You communicate with the dealer about pricing and terms, negotiating via email, phone or face-to-face.

Depending on the terms you agreed on, you could either have a 50-50 share of the sale.

Many newcomers who have tried going this route find themselves earning less than what they desire, so make sure to compare trusted dealers before deciding on the one who’s getting your business.

4. Sell through an auction house

Auction houses are reserved to expensive baseball collections, one of a kind cards, and other valuable pieces from your collection. A good auction site values your cards as their own, which is why they’re setting up auctions were big-pocketed buyers.

The biggest benefit of going this route is the amount of marketing auctions provide.

Auction houses take care of everything from promoting to paying for a public event, shipping and handling cards, and so on. It does take longer to sell cards here, so you have to be a little patient.

How much can I earn selling baseball cards?

Selling your baseball cards can be a quick way to make money in a day.

Unless you have a 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner baseball card lying around (this is the highest-sold card of all time at $2.8 Million and only 57 of them are known to exist), you really can’t go rich overnight selling baseball cards.

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However, like other things you can sell to make money, your collection of baseball cards could get you through a rough patch, to earn extra cash for your Christmas fund, or other personal reasons.

Whether you’ve decided to just buy-and-sell now (or decades ago), flipping baseball card is a thing you might want to check out.

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