Doing The Opposite to Find Sports Card Deals

I talk about this on my podcast a lot.  It’s about doing the exact opposite of what everyone is doing. Why? Because that is where you will find the best deals.  You are always trying to buy low and sell high but to buy when everyone else is buying doesn’t make sense. To find the best deals you need to be smarter than everyone else and look where no one else is looking.

2018 Panini Prizm Sam Darnold PSA 10


If you listen to my podcast you’ll know I am a gigantic New York Jets fan and I want to buy PSA 10 Sam Donarld Panini Prism rookie cards, but when I started to get into football cards the prices were already too high at around $120 to me the pricing was on par with Baker Mayfield prices and he had done a little bit more than Sam Donald did in 2018.  This was not the buying opportunity I had to wait. So when Sam Darnold contracted mono I saw this as a buying  opportunity. I still wasn’t patient enough but I was able to buy multiple cards for less than $80, some as low as $60.  This is when you buy, you buy when the market is going down. He wasn’t playing poorly he didn’t do anything wrong he just got sick and that presented a buying opportunity.

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2018 Topps Update Jumbo Box

The same can be said for 2018 topps update. Their was a run on hobby and jumbo boxes because of how much the Ronald Acuna Jr. base rookie cards was going for in a PSA 10 as well as having Gleyber Torres and Juan Soto rookie card. PSA 10 Acuna Jr cards were going for as high as $175. So all these people were buying these boxes and opening them up to try and get these cards. What did they do with the rest of those cards? The buying opportunity is in buying the rest of those cards because people are just trying to get rid of them. They are trying to recoup whatever money they can after chasing Acuna Jr, Juan Soto, and Gleyber Torres.  You should be able to buy an Austin Meadows, Ohtani, or any other inserts for a much cheaper cost then what is typical because people will be a lot more supply.

The same can go for seasons, right now you should start looking for deals for baseball cards because it’s the end of the season. You should start looking for players and teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Their will be buying opportunities through out the end of the year and in January and even in February. You should be also able to buy football cards starting with teams out of the playoff hunt and around March thru July.  There will be an uptick around draft time.   

Doing the opposite of what everyone is doing is where you can find the best deals and make the most money from flipping.  If you keep buying during the off-season of each sport you live steady supply of cards to sell and make money. Now buy some cards and go broke.  

Which Cards Should I get Graded?

When you are getting back into cards you realize that getting your cards graded is more important than ever. Gone are the days where an ungraded card will get you top dollar. Collectors now like the comfort that PSA or Beckett graded card gives you.

Graded cards give you that warm and fuzzy feeling….

Now, yes, their has been turmoil recently in the hobby with regards to grading, but it hasn’t slowed people getting their cards graded. Yet…

But how do you figure out which cards to grade or not? Will it greatly increase the value of my card or am I just throwing money away? Also, there is no guarantee that you will get a top grade. PSA 10 or BGS 9.5 are tough to get. If you don’t carefully inspect a card you can get a lower grade which will make the card worth the same as a raw card. I would say 40% of the time you won’t get a PSA 10.

Want to see how I check my cards out to make sure you give yourself the best shot at a PSA 10? Check out this Video!

Make sure you check your corners, centering (front and back), surface issues, and edges. When buying online compare cards to PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 and 10’s. Centering is one of the easier things to check online compared to the other 3 modifiers. If autograph’s are not clean and a little smeared that will affect the grade as well.

Look at the centering left to right, not PSA 10 worthy.

Compare the top card to this and the centering is really good. However, corners, edges, and surface wear are much harder to detect buying cards online.

Now getting your cards graded can be expensive and take more than 3 months to get back! During that time a player can get hurt, be in a slump, or do something stupid that will lower their card values. He can also get hot and perform amazingly well which will make his card become more valuable. Well duhh…. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples to see if we should grade a card or not. We are going to figure $15 to get it graded by PSA and $25 for BGS auto card. I’m including shipping both ways. If it’s more for you just add to these numbers. Also eBay fees are 10% and pay pal fees are around 3%.

2019 Topps Series 2 Pete Alonso Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping goes for $7.00 a card. We would submit this card for $15.00 so our total cost would be $22.00. Now a PSA 10 goes for $64.00 including shipping. Now take out any fees and that will be your profit. If you sell on eBay figure 13%. So in this example you would make a profit of $30.00. A PSA 9 has one sold at $15.00. You are pretty much breaking even. However, you would have had to wait a couple of months to get this card. In this example you would definitely grade this card.

2018 Topps Update Juan Soto Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping are around $6-7 dollar so we will figure $6.50. A psa 10 goes for $35.00 shipped on average. Total profit would be $5.95. Now this is an average some cards sell for less. Would you wait a couple of months to make $6.00? You are still almost doubling your money so I would say you should grade this card. But if I were you I would get a lot of these cards because some will come back as a PSA 9 where you will lose money or break even around $15.00.

2013 Topps Update Manny Machado #172 – Raw Prices are around $5.00 including shipping. PSA 10 goes for $16.00 shipped. It would cost more to get this graded, then to actually just buy a PSA 10. I would say this is a good deal to just buy a PSA 10. PSA 9, well, it is a nice paper weight.

2018 Bowman Draft Chrome Casey Mize Auto – Raw Prices are around $75 including shipping. A bgs 9.5/auto 10 is around $180.00. I am not even going to do the math. You would definitely do this. But on prospects you should do a quicker turnaround because a couple of bad games may spell doom for a prospects chances. However, a bgs 9/10 will be harder to sell. I think you can still get $100 for this particular card, but their are no solds for it on ebay.

If you are fanatical about condition you may improve the 60% of your cards being graded PSA 10 or BGS 9.5. But always figure the worse case scenario, if I get a PSA 9 can I atleast get my money back? If not what tolerance do you have?

What about vintage cards? I believe you should grade them for two reasons. More often than not it will enhance it’s value and it will let you know if your cards have been altered or are authentic. Many of the alterations that happened to cards are vintage. Yes, it’s starting to creeping in big time for modern cards, but vintage cards is where cards can go from hundreds to thousands when graded a point or two higher. Again, take a look at ebay comps to gauge whether or not the condition of your card validates getting it graded.

Now, buy some cards and go broke!

9 Tips to Help you Sell Baseball Cards on Instagram

You are getting back into collecting and you are all pumped up. You have been getting good deals and now you want to sell. Ebay charges 10% and PayPal charges 3%. Damn the man you say and you start to look for alternatives to selling online. The kids these days have been using Instagram. I’m hip, I’m cool. Let me create an account and start taking pictures of my cards. I will be rolling in the dough. Doesn’t work quite like that.

It is difficult to get a sale, especially if they don’t know you. Why should they buy from you? They don’t know you or trust you. Trust is built over time. Here are 9 Tips to Help you Sell Sports Cards on Instagram:

Before you read follow me on Instagram – @Svabbcollectors

1. Hash Tags – Search popular hashtags and make sure use them when posting your pictures. When you start you won’t have any followers. People follow hashtags so there is one way for people to like your photos and maybe start to follow you. After you post a pic, comment on your picture with popular hashtags. Here are a couple to use #topps, #cardcollector,#thehobby, #whodoyoucollect, #baseballcards, #cardcollection

2. Post Daily and Multiple Times – You need to post often – Minimum 2-3 times per day. In order for you to gain traction and get followers you need to be posting everyday. Nice clear photos, don’t try to sell all the time. Post pictures of cards that are in your pc (personal collection). Try to post when people are on, early morning, during lunch, and when people are home from work.

3. Interact with the Community – You need to be constantly on instagram commenting on other people’s post and liking their photos. You can also like other people’s comments left for another user. They will get a notification that you liked their comment and they may check your profile out. Be genuine when responding. Don’t just give generic comments because who wants that?

4. Post on stories – You can just put your post that you just put into your stories. People who may have missed your post on their feed will be able to see it on your stories. These only last 24 hours but they have been proven to get more responses. People check out stories and you will get better engagement.

5. Buy cards – In order for you to gain a reputation you should buy cards from other people. It will lead to credibility and the beginning of building your reputation.

6. Post Videos – You should post videos of your cards, making sure that when starting the video the card is in frame and clear. That is because when scrolling thru posts, they will see the card that you are starting with. So make it a good one! Also, you can talk about collecting and anything you learned.

7. Go Live! – On stories you can go live and interact with your followers. The more you engage, the better. Also, people like to see who they are dealing with.

8. Follow other People – People will follow, people who follow them. I don’t believe in follow for a follow, but if you like their pictures and their comments, show some love!

9. Patience – You probably won’t get people to buy your cards right away. You need to build reputation and an audience. You will need a following of over 1,000 to start seeing some good results.

Just to let you know, you will not have overnight success. But I promise you this, if you do this everyday you WILL see real results. The more you do, the quicker you will get there. Their isn’t any shortcuts. If you post, engage, and build a great reputation; you will see results.