Here are some tips and tricks to increase your return on investment (ROI) when looking at sports cards.
- 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.
- Never buy cards on Amazon, as they are always overpriced.
- 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.
- 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 an outstanding 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 OK as well. Just remember that allowing more prospects will equate to higher risk overall.
- 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!)
- I 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 comes back graded gem mint.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 you’re looking to purchase a hobby box for fun to open some nights with friends, check out our “Best Hobby Boxes to Buy” write-up.
- Ideally, you should have a mix of all sports from all eras, including baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer, boxing, and golf cards (make sure you are buying PSA 10 or PSA 9 graded cards).
- Buy cards via eBay auctions as you are most likely to get the best price for the card.
- Check eBay’s 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.
- You should rarely find yourself buying a card via eBay Buy Now as it is rare to find a fair deal in that buying format.
- 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.
- Buy bulk mailing supplies on eBay or Amazon (i.e., envelopes, tape, bubble wrap.)
- Make sure you secure the card properly when mailing. There are a ton of videos on YouTube in regard to how to mail a sports card.
- You should almost always be buying rookie cards, but in some cases, an autograph card can have a good to significant ROI. Some of the best purchases are rookie cards with the player’s autograph. If you are new or just want to keep things simple, just buy the rookie cards we recommend for the given player.
- 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.
- You should keep track of your buying and selling. A simple spreadsheet works best. Just list the date of purchase, the price paid, the player’s name, the year of the card, and the set name. Then when you sell, include the sell date and sale price.
- Keep your valuable sports cards in a safety deposit box at your local bank. Please don’t keep them in your house or office.
- 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 underrated and essential in today’s world (we cannot stress this enough). To find a UPS Store near you, visit; theupsstore.com/tools/find-a-store.
- Always visit GoldCardAuctions.com 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 questions in relation to these tips, please email us at; email@example.com.
Also, check out the Gold Card Auctions About Us Page for more details about who we are, what we strive to be, and further helpful information about making money in the sports card hobby.