eBay revolutionized the sports collecting hobby, but it can also be overwhelming and competitive for collectors. There are bargains to be found on the site if you know what to look for and are willing to do a little more digging online.
- Look for listings of large lots of cards, including complete sets. Some sellers can be lazy. They will often sell a large lot of cards that have much more value when sold individually. Look for lots that really have little in common. You can often buy these lots, break them into smaller lots or individual cards and turn them over for immediate profit.
- Listings that have vague descriptions and poor or no pictures can be bought for much less than face value. Some dealers sell PSA graded cards without a picture. Their reasoning is that is a card is graded in a certain manner its appearance is pretty much irrelevant. In reality, the customer demands a high quality picture accompany each ad. Failure to do so will lessen your price and offer the dealer an opportunity to buy and turn over for quick profit.
- Listings with misspelled words or other forms of improper description are ripe for the sharp dealer. You can find free services on the internet that allow you to search for these type of auctions. You simply type the term in correctly and it will search for auctions with similar but incorrect spellings.
- I like to buy professionally graded cards from dealers with less than stellar feedback, especially when the low feedback is for a less offensive practice such as delayed shipping. eBay has tools in place to protect a buyer from being scammed. If a card is professionally graded you know what you are getting, especially when it is accompanied by a picture. If waiting a little longer or dealing with a rude dealer gets me a card for six hundred dollars that would normally cost eight hundred dollars I am perfectly fine with that.
- Looking for sports memorabilia that is not placed in the correct category can work very well. Ebay has a category for Collectibles that has a sub category of Trading Cards. Many sellers that are perhaps not very experiences put cards in this category. These listing inevitably sell for far less than they would if put correctly into the Sports Trading Cards section of eBay.
- Buying cards from new sellers that do not know baseball terminology works very well. I have bought many cards from dealers that offer no picture and merely describe the card as “good condition”. Experienced hobbyists know a card in “good” condition is really not flattering. To the inexperienced hobbyist “good” has a much more positive meaning. I have bought many cards on Ebay described as “good” that were really very good, excellent or even better condition. An inexperienced dealer may call a near perfect card “excellent” when in reality it is near mint or better.
- The ending time of an auction also affects the price. I like to bid on auctions ending at inconvenient times and turning my purchases over with better pictures and a much more convenient ending time. Ebay bidders like to be there when the auction ends and will typically not notice or even avoid auctions that end at times that do not fit their schedules. Those are just a few of the ways to find potential bargains on Ebay. An industrious entrepreneur can easily form a business by just buying and selling form this single website. Armed with knowledge, experience, ingenuity and a little extra time, you can make the eBay experience a great one.]
You can visit the sports card and memorabilia main page on eBay here.