How to Sell Baseball Cards

Three Methods:Evaluating and Presenting Your CardsSelling Individual CardsSelling a Collection

Selling your old baseball collection can become a fun endeavor. Sometimes the cards just aren’t worth parting with because of sentimental reasons. There is a large market out there for baseball cards (mostly for cards produced before 1970). If you put more effort into the presentation of the cards, your chances are higher of someone buying them.

Method 1
Evaluating and Presenting Your Cards

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    Organize your cards. To better determine the value of your cards, place them into three different categories. The first category is modern cards, or cards that were produced from the 1970s to the present. Then your next category is post-war cards, or cards produced between 1948 to 1969. Your last category of cards, if you have any of these, is call pre-war cards, or cards produced before WW2.[1]
    • If you find that many of your cards are modern cards, you might not get much money for them.
    • Modern cards were produced at the highest volume, so their value is very small.
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    Take care of your cards. Get soft sleeves for your modern cards. For your higher end cards, use a higher protection like a magnetized case. It is only worth selling cards that have been well cared for.
    • Any flaw in the card’s condition can decrease the overall worth of the card.[2]
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    Consult a Beckett price guide. Beckett is a company that tracks down the value of cards for serious card traders. To use their service, write down the baseball card's name, brand and number. This is not the player's number; it's the card's name. You can either use an online edition or find a hard copy to determine a rough estimate.[3]
    • For example, rookie Barry Bonds Topps card ID number is 12. The market has it listed for $12 USD.
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    Determine which cards to sell. For many avid card collectors, many of the cards that are most valuable are also the most sentimental. Decide if certain cards are worth parting with before having them evaluated by a card trader or hobbyist shop.[4]
    • Check the condition of your Mickie Mantle card before departing with it. A card in poor condition may not be worth its sentimental value.

Method 2
Selling Individual Cards

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    Present the card. If you have a few cards that you want to sell individually, you’ll need to present the cards in a marketable fashion. Use a magnetic card holder to present the card as a higher end card. Wipe off any loose debris before placing the card in the holder.[5]
    • It is generally recommended to only sell cards individually if they are rare cards. The market usually buys cards in a collection.
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    Contact a local buyer. Any community has a “go-to” vintage cards buyer. Ask around in local sports stores that specialize in memorabilia as opposed to athletic gear. Tell them what type of cards you are trying to sell and ask if they or someone they know might be interested.
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    Get the word out online. Put ads out on Craigslist, Ebay or other websites where cards are sold. Newspapers and card collector magazine's classifieds are another possibility. Your best luck may be with Ebay since it has an active community who knows what to look for.
    • Be honest in your post. You’ll receive more inquiries if you take high quality pictures of the actual cards.
    • Make sure the spotlight is on your cards. If there is a highlighting feature, make use of it.[6]
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    Research and price your individual cards. Look through the online sellers who are also selling the exact same card and take note of what price they are selling it for. Put the exact price or lower when you sell them, or they will not sell.
    • Search the card's information before letting a dealer evaluate the card. For example, Bo Jackson's 1986 Topps ID number is 50T. The market online has the card worth about $140 USD in good condition.[7]
    • Google search the cards you have. For example, google "Dock Ellis baseball card". You'll find plenty of information and prices online for the exact card you have.
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    Use a local buyer or a card buying company. If you want to avoid the hassle of selling your cards independently, there are services available to help. Many buyers may be suspicious if you do not have a selling history. It is good to research as much as you can before presenting your cards to a buyer.[8]

Method 3
Selling a Collection

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    Purchase presentation supplies. A great way to showcase a larger collection of hand selected cards is by organizing them in a binder. Purchase a binder and pocket protection pages. You will be able to find the pocket protectors online or at your local hobby store.
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    Present your cards. Organize your baseball cards by brand and year. Start with the oldest, most valuable cards, and move to the newer, less valuable cards.
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    Research similar collections. Decide what the collection is worth as a whole. You may find it helpful to look for similar collections online, to see what they're charging. Take a moment to jot down every card in the collection in the order you are presenting them in. This will help you understand the worth, and inform the buyers of what exactly they are purchasing.[9]
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    Determine a starting price. Always ask for a price a little higher than what they are really worth. This will open up a negotiation and barter between you and the buyer. Negotiate the best deal you can for your collection. Collect payment before sending your card collection out or having it collected if completing the transaction online.
    • A secure way of paying and receiving payment online is a service like PayPal.[10]


  • Take great care of your cards. They are only worth reselling if in great condition.
  • Make your ad attractive to catch everyone's attention.
  • Describe your cards very well. Never lie about their condition.

Things You'll Need

  • 9pt pages and or Ultra Pro One Touch
  • A baseball card price guide or an expert’s opinion

Article Info

Categories: Fans of Baseball