Selling baseball cards is a fantastic way to turn simple pieces of cardstock into cash.
Although most of us know someone who has extra baseball cards lying around, people rarely know how to sell baseball cards effectively or determine what they’re worth.
Whether you own a ton of cards and want to sell them off, this is where to sell baseball cards and turn the best profit.
How do I find out how much my baseball cards are worth?
Baseball cards are quickly rising in value again over recent years, and fans are excited to watch the market come back to life.
Although they were most valuable in the early 90s, the return of collectibles has made a huge impact on their value. From the comeback of beanie babies, to sports cards, it’s now even possible to sell Pokémon cards for money.
The easiest way to find out your card’s value is to look up the card by the player and the year. If the card has any visible misprints or errors, mark that down.
Be honest about the condition of your cards. If there’s any scuffing, staining, or folding, you can see the value of the card dramatically plummet.
Make sure that while you’re selling baseball cards, you keep them stored in a safe and water-proof location.
Although you can use card binders, avoid taking them out of these and putting them back in multiple times since this can scuff the edge of the cards and mess with their value.
Tactic for Success
When sorting through your cards, it’s a good idea to make a spreadsheet of what you own and how many of each card you have. Research the prices of these, and update your research weekly to ensure you don’t under-price your cards.
Which baseball cards are worth the most?
Baseball card value rests on just a few things, the condition, whether it has any print errors, what brand made it, how scarce the card is, and whether there are any variations in how it was printed.
These are some of the best cards to collect for a profit.
This is a quick rundown on what to look for when selling baseball cards.
What Makes A Card Valuable?
- Condition of Card – If a card is in mint and untouched condition, it’s worth far more.
- Unique Errors – Misprints and creation errors are rare and can make a card more valuable.
- Card Brand – The main card brands are Topps, Donruss, Fleer, and Upper Deck, each with its own value.
- Player Scarcity – If a player’s cards are less common, they’ll be worth more.
- Print Variation – If one print run used a different color or style, it’s usually worth more due to scarcity.
Although some may falsely assume that the better the player, the more valuable the card: baseball cards operate the same way any collectibles do, and scarcity drives up value.
The most valuable baseball card in the world is a 1909 to 1911 Honus Wagner card that’s worth three million dollars and has sold for over six million.
Wagner was a shortstop who played over 21 seasons in the MLB, but his value comes from how rare and old his cards are.
In 2022 an auction website noted that there are probably less than sixty of these baseball cards left in the world.
Rarity and age have boosted the value of them through the roof.
Trend on the Rise
The pandemic saw a major rise in the popularity of baseball cards: with sales increasing by 142% over what they were before 2020. This led to over four million cards getting sold on eBay that year. Use these tips to help you sell fast on eBay and maximize your profits.
Is selling baseball cards still profitable?
The main concern many have when getting into this hobby is how soon they’ll make their first million.
Although you can’t guarantee you’ll make it big selling baseball cards: if you play the slow and patient game, you can make thousands.
As with any business, the main skill you need to make money selling baseball cards is to be able to recognize a great deal and be able to mark it up, and follow through with a sale.
This means investing wisely in which cards you think will turn a profit and how much money you know you’ll be able to make for them.
You will need to be aware of the marketplaces to sell your cards and details that effect profits such as why eBay fees are so high.
Many treat buying and selling baseball cards like a lottery they luck into when they make a good sale: but this is a quick way to throw away tons of money.
Buy carefully and sell intelligently.
The average successful sports card trading business can generate profits between $30,000 and $50,000 within its first couple of years.
If you want to make a six-figure income, you’ll have to be patient to build up to it. In the meantime, it can be a fun way to make money in college without a job.
Tactic for Success
Selling baseball cards will always be profitable as long as you can buy cheap and sell high. If you have cards that aren’t worth much yet, hold onto them until they are.
What are the best sites to sell baseball cards?
Selling your cards is a careful art that requires you to be able to price your cards higher than you bought them, but not too high that they’ll sit on the market for six months to a year.
Although the classic go-to may be eBay, this site is only useful for auctions if you’re selling baseball cards.
Instead, try to meet with collectors specifically.
You can do this through sites like Reddit, which has a large community of collectors and avid fans, or through sites like Dean’s Cards, which are specifically geared towards the buying and selling of collector cards.
Be clear in your listing if there’s any wear and tear, and ensure that how you ship your cards keeps them as safe as possible from any bending or tearing.
Each card you sell can be worth a lot of money, and it will help your company’s reputation if you treat them like the collectibles they are while mailing them.
Trend on the Rise
Some rare cards are worth over a million dollars in mint condition: and the more time passes, the rarer they get. Although the average card is worth less than a dollar: you can make thousands by carefully buying and selling.
Is it better to sell baseball cards in bulk?
If you spend enough time buying and selling sports cards, you’ll find yourself with a massive catalog of cards you don’t want or can’t turn a profit on.
These cards are often thought of as worth next to nothing and aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on.
Is bulk selling a good deal? The average card dealer that sells bulk lots of cards does it for a mark-up, and doesn’t list all of the cards in the lot.
This ensures they can get away with sneaking in lower-value cards to get rid of them at some sort of profit.
If you sell in bulk: dig through your cards thoroughly. Never sell cards that are worth more than a dollar within a bulk sale, and avoid selling any cards you haven’t researched within a bulk sale.
Although you may like that you can get a quick sale, you could be leaving tons of money on the table.
Where do I source my baseball cards?
Picking where to buy your cards is important.
Although you may want to do what feels easiest and simply buy in bulk whenever you see it: this can lead to a massive backlog of cards that you could never work through.
And that could be worth less money than the cost of the time it would take to sort through them.
Source your cards carefully, pay attention to the history of the sellers if possible, and don’t buy any card lot sight unseen.
Best Places to Buy Baseball Cards
- Garage and Estate Sales – Garage and estate sales that sell baseball cards usually don’t know their value and sell for cheap.
- eBay – You can find a good deal on baseball cards in bulk, but these sell quickly.
- Second-Hand Stores – Look inside binders and books for forgotten cards.
- Craigslist Listings – You can often find bulk card sales, be wary of any high-value cards selling for cheap.
- Facebook Marketplace – Thus is a mixed bag but can get competitive, so try to get into listings early.
If you’re buying at a garage or estate sale, avoid being obvious about the value or interest you’re placing on these cards.
If you react strongly and let people know that you’re extremely interested in the cards, the sellers may back out of the deal and try to see what they can do with them instead.
Talking too much, and showing too much interest in them, could lead to them perceiving more value and wanting more money for them.
Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.