Saving Money Online Selling & Trading Sports Cards

Since I began collecting baseball and football cards as a kid in the late 1980’s I’ve been trading and selling them. There’s a common misconception that floats throughout the hobby that people selling their cards are shysters and are only in it for the money. False…for the most part.

While there are people out there only trying to make a buck, most collectors selling cards use that money to reinvest in the hobby. One of my biggest pet peeves is reading that people selling cards are “bad for the hobby.” That’s ludicrous. First of all, money is exchanging hands which is good. Second, much of the money a seller gets by selling cards goes right back into the hobby. That’s great for the hobby.

Since I’ve been more actively selling and trading over the past few years I’m always seeking ways to save. Whether it be buying bubble mailers in bulk on eBay, used too loaders, tips on saving postage, and fees.


If you plan on selling and trading more than once in a while, invest on supplies in bulk. Penny sleeves, top loaders, and mailers can be found for pennies (or fractions of a penny) on eBay. I buy used top loaders via flat rate box and try to find them for about $0.04 per loader. Penny sleeves can be found in bulk many places on the cheap, as well as all sizes of bubble mailers.


Just recently I discovered PayPal Shipping for non-eBay transactions. This covers my Sportlots sales as well as trades. If you walk into the post office with a standard bubble mailer it will cost you $3.50. On PayPal – $2.66. That’s a huge savings no matter how many transactions. Paypal doesn’t advertise this well. The link is . When you start shipping cards in excess of 1,000 cards, flat rate boxes is the way to go. Again, use PayPal to save. Then there are the 400 and 500 count boxes. A filled 500-count box will run you about $11.00. Fortunately, Jenny blogged about flat rate envelopes for $7.25 that will fit a 500-count box. That tip is going to save me $4 on many trades. My post office doesn’t stock them, so I placed an order on the USPS website.


The reason I posted this blog was a change I made this week on PayPal. I’ve read about micro payments in the past, but PayPal doesn’t advertise this service well. And for good reason, because they are making a lot more money on their standard fee structure.

If most of your PayPal transactions are under $10, then micro payments are the way to go. Recently I upgraded my eBay store to list many of my cards at $2 and $3. I’ve been selling many cards for $1.99 with free shipping (in a plain white envelope). Under the standard fee structure it was $0.37. With micro payments it’s only $0.18. You can only have it one way. If you sign up for micro payments all transactions fall under the 5% fee plus $0.05 per transaction as opposed to the 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. This means the break even point on the fee structure is $11.75.

I have found these tips to be very useful in saving money. And money saved means more money to spend on Cubs cards. Now who wants to put these tips to practice and trade me some Cubs cards?

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