Selling Baseball Cards: A Complete Guide

Baseball cards have been a beloved collecting hobby for over a century. With thousands of players and cards in existence, most people have dozens or even hundreds of duplicates just taking up space. If you’ve decided to cash in some of your baseball card collection, this guide will walk you through the entire process of selling your cards.

Sorting and Organizing

The first step is to go through your entire collection and sort all the cards. You’ll want to separate them by sport, league, set, year, player, and condition. This process could take hours or even days for a large collection, but it is essential for properly assessing value. Make piles or boxes for each category so you can easily find cards later. Be sure to remove any cards that are in truly horrible condition before assessing value.

Grading Condition

objectively grading the condition of each card on a standard 1-10 scale is very important when determining value. The two main grading services used are PSA and BGS. On a PSA scale:


1-4 is Poor – has severe flaws/damage and is mostly worthless
5 is Good – heavily played with edge/corner wear
6 is Very Good – moderately played with clear flaws
7 is Fine – lightly played with some defects
8 is Very Fine – near mint with minimal flaws
9 is Mint – pristine card with perfect centering and edges
10 is Gem Mint – flawless and best possible condition

You don’t need to pay to grade each individual card, but get a feel for where most land to set proper expectations on price. Centering, corners, edges and surface are the key things that determine grade. You can compare to graded example photos online.

researching Values

Now it’s time to research recent sold prices for each card on the major online marketplaces like eBay, COMC, 130point.com or PWCCMarketplace. Focus on comps from the past 6 months. Pay close attention to the grade, year, and any special variations that could impact value. Note the highest and lowest recent selling prices to establish a range. Also factor in 10% of sale price for potential fees/shipping when pricing your cards.

Pricing your Cards

Armed with condition grades and recent value data, you can now price all your individual cards. For common/bulk cards in lower grades, you may just want to group into lots by player and estimate total value. But price each key/valuable card individually. Remember – condition drives nearly all the value, so account for that in your list prices. It’s always better to slightly under price to maximize chances of selling quickly.

Photographing and Listing

Now comes adding everything to your online marketplace(s) of choice. Make sure to take high quality, well-lit photos that clearly show the front and back of each individually priced card. Accurately describe conditions and include relevant comps in descriptions. Also cross-list in multiple places to reach the widest potential audience. Be prepared to answer questions from buyers once listed.

Payment and Shipping

When sales start coming in, promptly confirm payment has fully cleared before sending cards. Use secure and fully insured shipping methods based on item value. Always send cards in rigid holders or toploaders, then surrounded by bubble wrap in a box. Require a signature on higher value packages. Keep payment and shipping records for your taxes.


Expanding Your Audience

Beyond online auctions, you may also consider selling in person at card shows/conventions if any are locally scheduled. Advertise your higher end collection on message boards too. Cataloguing everything on a detailed spreadsheet also makes your entire collection accessible to potential wholesale buyers. Be patient – it can take time to sell everything off, but with persistence you’ll maximize profits from those old cards filling your attic and drawers!

Selling baseball cards is a rewarding way to put underutilized collection items back to work generating income. By meticulously sorting, grading, researching values, photographing and listing items online, you can sell cards individually or in bulk lots to collectors worldwide. Just be sure to secure fair prices that match or beat recent marketplace comparables based on accurate condition assessments. With some work up front, your leftovers could turn into thousands of dollars for other hobbies, collections or life expenses down the road.

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