How to Buy Sports Cards on eBay

Have you ever wanted to learn how to buy sports cards on eBay? Card collecting reached an all-time high when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. People were desperate to find a hobby as they were stuck in their homes. Now, sports card collecting has been around for a lot longer than the past two years and even though there are many ways to purchase sports cards, one platform has always been king — eBay.

How to Buy Sports Cards on eBay - sports card wax boxes

It’s likely everyone has at least heard of eBay whether they’ve used it or not. Anyone can get online and , but how do you buy sports card on eBay effectively? By the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll know all the basics to making informed purchases on eBay.

What’s that saying, ‘you must walk before you can run’? Well, the same applies here. Before we get into how to buy sports cards on eBay, first we need to talk about determining the right price for cards so you don’t overpay.

eBay Comps

Since you’re already on eBay, you might as well look at recent card sales there. It’s very simple, all you do is search for the card you are interested in buying, then filter for sold and completed items. Once you do that, you will see all the recent purchases of that card. Typically, you want to look at the five most recent purchases to determine a card’s value.

It’s not an exact science. Things can throw off the overall value such as the amount of recent sales (i.e. if there were a couple recently, but none had sold for months prior). So at the end of the day, use your own judgment because you’re probably right.

How to Buy Sports Cards on eBay - eBay makes it easy to buy the best cards

eBay Buy Now

If you don’t want to put in the effort to bid on an item and you want it right away, the buy now feature is your best bet. Keep in mind, sellers will often list their cards higher than comp prices in the hopes rookie buyers will purchase without checking the card’s value. Since you’ve read this blog, that trick isn’t going to work on you. Look for fixed price listings with a “best offer” option. Look up comps on the card and then make the seller an offer based on that number. Typically, I try to get cards for 20 percent lower than the comp, but obviously that isn’t always going to work out.

eBay Auction

Auctions are the easiest way to snipe sports cards on eBay. What you’re looking for are auctions that end soon and are looking like they will sell below comps. The best time to look for these auctions are in the middle of the week and late at night. Less people online means less people to fight for the bid. You can place your highest bid and eBay will do the rest from there. If you get outbid, you will get a notification. Try to place a bid at the last second so you can win!

You could also try out an eBay auction sniper if you are concerned about trying to get the last bid in. All you need to do is set your maximum price and the sniper will put in your bid with seconds left.

Free Sports Card Price Tools to Help You Buy

BTC is another great way to determine a card’s value. Using our Sports Card Price Lookup tool, you can search for any card and immediately find real-time statistics on the card’s average price, average bid count, and more. The price tool isn’t the only feature on our site that will help turn you into a sports card pro.

BTC has everything you need to purchase sports cards. Are you noticing a trend? Whether you’re seeking a Mickey Mantle rookie, Michael Jordan basketball card, Joe Burrow auto card, or any sports card, our price lookup tool allows for you to see real-time eBay listings with data to go along with it. When you search for a card, you are immediately provided with a list of available cards, the seller’s feedback data, the price differential from other listings, how many bids are on the item, and a card analysis to let you know if the price is fair.

BTC Star Rating

As you search for individual listings on BTC, you will notice a star rating over the player’s picture if BTC values that listing as a potential buy opportunity. This BTC star rating is based on multiple criteria such as price percent change, average dollars bid, bid rating score, and power ranking numbers.

How to buy sports cards on eBay - the BTC Star Rating is a valuable tool to help quickly identify the best cards deals

Sports Card Analysis

At the bottom of each listing you will see a section that says “card analysis.” This is designed to help you understand how valuable the card is. The higher the Bid Rating (BR) or List Ranking (LR) number, the more valuable the card is considered to be.

Bid Rating Number

A listing’s BR  revolves around the bid count activity on an individual listing compared to other listings. Simply speaking, any BTC bid rating higher than 1.0 is considered above average bidding activity.

Active Bid Icon

Who doesn’t love emojis, right? When a listing has higher than average bidding action, we put a small fire emoji icon on it, indicating it’s a hot listing. This is a great way to see what people are looking to buy so you can stock up yourself.

Power Ranking Number

The power ranking (PR) system takes the listing you are looking at and compares it to the queried list’s average cost. The higher the power ranking, the more valuable the card.

Digest Summary Information

This is the best way to see the card’s trend over the past 7 days. Here you can see average price, bid counts, total listings, bid averages, and average dollars per bid.

Who would’ve thought so much goes into buying small pieces of paper? At the end of the day, anyone can learn how to buy sports cards on eBay, but to do so effectively you need to be strategic and thorough. This is how card vendors are profitable on individual card sales.

Written by Chris Keeley, Freelance Staff Writer