When it comes to buying and selling sports cards, eBay is the clear market leader and is unlikely to be dethroned any time soon, but the selling fees charged can really take a discouraging chunk out of your profits. Although eBay charges “only” 10% of final value to sell items in the sports cards category, additional fees from PayPal and the cost of shipping (or even fees on shipping!) can drive the total selling costs to as much as 25% of the sale price.
As a result of this, and in an attempt to better serve the many niches of collectors, a variety of alternative sports card marketplaces have emerged, each offering their own sets of pros and cons. Below we take a look at three of the most interesting and worthy eBay alternatives for people who are buying and selling sports cards online.
COMC.com (Check Out My Cards) is a fantastic alternative to eBay for buying sports cards, primarily for people interested in collecting singles of particular players or when trying to build and complete sets. The selection of graded cards is not as large as eBay, but the ability to easily browse cards by player, set or year is super convenient. Even better, there is a scanned image of the front and back of every single card. When buying on COMC, one benefit is that you can purchase a card and then keep it in your COMC account, rather than pay to have it shipped via mail.
For sellers, COMC charges 5% per sale and handles the shipping and fulfillment for orders. Unlike eBay, COMC allows sellers to mail in bulk quantities of cards and pay a per item processing fee to have them scanned and added to inventory. From there it up to sellers to determine pricing and list make cards available for sale. If you have a ton of singles and don’t want to spend the time to list them yourself, COMC is probably your best option.
Have you used COMC to buy or sell sports cards? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a review on the COMC page of our Sports Card Tech Directory.
StarStock.com is one of the newest entrants into the evolving world of online sports card marketplaces. Billing itself as the “Stock Market of Sports Cards,” StarStock shares many of the same benefits as COMC (instant ownership, fee-free vault storage and low selling fees), but focuses exclusively on the most desirable rookie cards from popular players, rather than providing an extensive catalog of as many cards as possible. To oversimplify, COMC skews more toward the collecting audience, while StarStock is more tailored for sports card investors. You can see the exact list of manufacturers and sets that are accepted below.
- SPECIFIC BRANDS ACCEPTED (RAW AND GRADED):
- NFL: Prizm, Optic, Select, Mosaic, Donruss, Prizm Draft, Topps/Bowman (2015 & earlier), National Treasures, Origins, Immaculate
- NBA: Prizm, Optic, Select, Mosaic, Donruss, Prizm Draft, Topps/Bowman (2012 & earlier), National Treasures, Origins, Immaculate
- MLB: *Bowman, *Bowman Chrome, *Bowman Draft, Topps Series 1, Topps Series 2, Topps Update, Topps Chrome, Topps Heritage
Also similar to COMC, StarStock helps buyers save on taxes and shipping by using its own “wallet” that allows for buying and selling within the StarStock economy, saving both sides on fees and payment transaction costs. There are no fees to use StarStock outside of a 5% selling fee for each transaction. We believe StarStock is off to a great start and likely to carve out a larger piece of the market for themselves as more folks join (and re-join) The Hobby, and as they continue to grow their inventory.
Long established as a go-to site for sneakerheads and fans of streetwear, handbags and watches, StockX.com entered the sports card (trading card) game earlier this year in an attempt to latch on to the growing momentum surround The Hobby. Using the business model it pioneered with sneakers, StockX works differently than other sports card marketplaces by acting as a true intermediary between buyer and seller.
Unlike “vault services” that other companies offer, sellers are required to ship cards to StockX when a sale is made so that the item can be verified for authenticity before sending it out to the buyer. An essential service for sneakers and fashion items that are often “faked,” this is less essential for collectibles like graded cards, but still provides an additional layer of security and convenience for sellers who prefer to deal anonymously.
Perhaps the most innovative feature of StockX is that each item on the site is given a unique “ticker symbol” that allows for the existence of a true bid/ask marketplace. Sellers can list items with an asking price while buyers can put a bid price they are willing to pay, which helps create a more comprehensive idea of current market value, especially when dealing with items that have multiple levels of quality or card grades. Using a generic image of the card itself, the screenshot below shows the way prices vary depending on the PSA grade and the amount of supply in the marketplace.
For more, be sure to view the StockX page in the Sports Card Tech Directory, where you can leave a review and discover new sports card tech tools.