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New Site Helps Expand Online Collector Tools

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Sports Card Database is aimed at helping collectors find the information they’re after.

It’s a virtual online, working catalog of sports cards issued from 1948-1992.

The newly launched Sports Card Database offers detailed listings of every major sports card issue during the time frame as well as basic pricing information for non-graded cards and a comparison shopping tool. The site is free to use.

Jay Grossman, founder of, an autograph resource community, and a small team of associates began working on the idea ten years ago. Beta testing began in 2007, with over 2000 collectors involved in using various versions of the current site, providing feedback that led to the current format.

“Our team felt that the sites and resources on the internet did a good job serving collectors in many cases, but there was room to offer more," Grossman told Sports Collectors Daily. "There were tools we wanted to use for ourselves that weren’t available elsewhere so we decided to build them.”

For each card in the database, up-to-date marketplace comparison shopping is available for items being sold in fixed price and auction formats. The site also offers a real time sports card pricing engine which arrives at its numbers through a formula that includes recent sales figures and asking prices. Graded cards are not included in the pricing data. Significant pricing extremes are removed from the collected data and a general value for a particular card is rendered through these weighted factors:

* successful sales and items currently offered
* both fixed price and auction formats
* median sales values and average sales values
* real time and historical trend data
* number of times item is sold and offered for sale
* length of time the item is offered and whether it sells successfully

“We analyzed several million records of completed sales and items offered for sale,” Grossman explained. “Once in our data warehouse, we were able to see the trends on particular indicators that created variances in pricing. We used these patterns to develop an algorithm that weights each indicator accordingly. As we go along, we optimize.”

It is often difficult to put accurate pricing information on single cards because of the vast differences in condition of cards offered and the resulting differences in prices realized. However, Grossman believes the site’s pricing information will become increasingly accurate as time goes on.

“What I wish it could do is help as many collectors as we can. The more people who use our site, the bigger our sample and better our analytics. As our data continues to grow and our samples become larger, it will open up more opportunities for analyzing and providing value to our users.”

The site is designed to be fast and simple, with searches rarely taking more than a couple of seconds. It was one of the primary goals Grossman and his associates hoped to accomplish.

Thus far, the ability for collectors to get a look at real time prices has proven to be the most valuable tool. "I would have thought it would have been the pricing data we offer," Grossman "but it has actually been the comparative shopping across many marketplaces. Collectors have told us they like being able to easily see what a particular card is selling as part of their research."

Grossman said the site plans to expand into a more interactive portal, allowing collectors to track their collections online.

"As a user, you’ll be able record what you have in your collection and items you want – with the option to keep this information private or make it public."