How To Invest In Sports Cards – 22 Tips To Maximize Your Profits


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How To Invest In Sports Cards

Here are some top tips and tricks to increase your return on investment (ROI) when looking at sports cards.


  1. Open an eBay account. By far the best way to buy and sell sports cards for the average investor, every other online site won’t be able to compete with the prices via an eBay auction.
  2. Never buy cards on Amazon as they are always overpriced.
  3. You should almost always purchase a PSA 10 or PSA 9 graded card (see our HGA Grading AI Discussion) as they will have a superior ROI when it’s time to sell.
  4. Most of your purchases should be either Hall of Fame Players’ PSA 10 graded rookie cards (i.e. Michael Jordan RC), or future HoF PSA 10 rookie cards (i.e. Mike Trout RC). A smaller percentage of your budget should be focused on highly touted prospects (i.e. Wander Franco PSA 10 RC) or 2nd-year players coming off a great rookie campaign (i.e. Luka Doncic in 2019). We suggest something like an 80% to 20% HOF player to prospect ratio, 70% to 30% or 90% to 10% are fine as well. Just remember that alloting more to prospects will equate to higher risk overall.
  5. Not sure which players to buy? Simply visit the Gold Card Auctions Best Sports Cards to Invest In Now write-up for the best of the best in terms of future ROI. (In our humble opinion!)
  6. Hardly ever buy raw cards, although there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, we have found that 2017 Bowman Chrome baseball cards hold up very well and a good percentage we have sent to PSA come back graded gem mint.
  7. When you do buy a raw card search for “lots” as they will be cheaper in most cases. Send it to PSA as this will maximize your return on investment.
  8. When purchasing prospects’ rookie cards we suggest selling right before they are called up, or you run the risk of the player falling flat on their face which would result in a dramatic drop in the player’s value and a bad hit to your ROI.
  9. Never buy hobby boxes. These are horrible investments and will destroy your ROI. We overlook this purchase only if ripping a hobby box as a social event vs an investment (similar to a night out at the casino). But never expect a positive ROI when buying a hobby box of any kind. If your looking to purchase a hobby box for fun to open some night with friends check out our “Best Hobby Boxes to Buy” write-up.
  10. Ideally, you should have a mix of all sports from all eras to include baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer, boxing, and golf cards (just make sure you are buying PSA 10 or PSA 9 graded cards).
  11. Buy cards via eBay auctions as you are most likely to get the best price for the card.
  12. Check eBay advance search for previous auction prices to determine a rough value of the card you’re interested in buying. Be sure to click on “auction” and not “all listings” as they do not show the true sale price.
  13. You should almost never find yourself buying a card via eBay Buy Now as it is rare to find a fair deal in that format of buying.
  14. When it’s time to sell we recommend 7-day eBay auctions starting at 8 PM EST time. Start the auction on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday night.
  15. Buy bulk mailing supplies on eBay or Amazon (i.e. envelopes, tape, bubble wrap.)
  16. Make sure you secure the card properly when mailing. There are a ton of videos on YouTube in regards to how to mail a sports card.
  17. You should almost always be buying rookie cards but in some cases, an autograph card can have a good to great ROI. Some of the best purchases are rookie cards with the player’s autograph. If your new or just want to keep things simple just buy rookie cards we recommend for the given player.
  18. We like to hold high-value cards for years (i.e. Ty Cobb T206 PSA 7 graded baseball card) and lower-value cards for a few months (i.e. Ja Morant Prizm RC)  as it gives us a nice mix of buying and selling.
  19. You should keep track of your buying and selling. A simple spreadsheet works best. Just list the date of purchase, the price paid, player name, year of the card, and set name. Then when you sell include the sell date and sale price.
  20. Keep your valuable sports cards in a safety deposit box at your local bank. Don’t keep them in your house or office.
  21. Sign up for a UPS or FedEx Office mailing box and have all of your eBay sports card purchases sent there. Also, use that address for the return address when selling a card. Privacy is very underrated and important in today’s world (we cannot stress this enough). To find a UPS Store near you visit;
  22. Always visit to find a player’s top-rated rookie cards when it comes to making a purchase.


There you go! Follow these tips and watch your ROI rise rapidly!

We will probably add more tips as time goes by so check back every once in a while.

For any and all questions in relation to these tips please email us at;

Also, check out the Gold Card Auctions About Us Page for more details in regards to who we are, what we strive to be, and further helpful information in regards to making money in the sports card hobby.


Here are additional resources we find extremely useful:
Sports Card Investor - Trusted, sports card investor dedicated to maximizing sports card portfolio profits. Part-time contributor to Chicago, NBC,,, and the Washington


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