Once upon a time you rode your bicycle to a local hobby shop, retail outlet, or grocery store to buy a pack of the latest Topps baseball cards. By the end of summer you may have been left over with half dozen Frank DiPino cards. Commons. Today we recognize those commons as “base cards,” and the search has shifted away from rookie “base cards” of Gregg Jeffries or Sam Horn to a jersey card, autograph, serial numbered card, or variation.
Much like our extra DiPino cards, we’re left with a box of commons that will sit lonely at the bottom of a closet. Sure, you could move a box of 2017 Topps on Ebay, but by the time you pay the fees and shipping you’re return is $1.00 for 500 cards. Doesn’t seem worth it.
Enter the third party sports card selling site, Sportlots. To put it simple, Sportlots is a website in which you can buy and sell cards (mostly “commons”), but higher end cards are also listed.
As a seller, the fee structure may seem high, but the more cards you post in your inventory the more you will likely sell. The more you sell, the lower your fees. See below for the Sportlots fee structure.
Monthly Fee Schedule
Low Amt-High Amt Fee Pct.
Over the years, I posted inventory and learned different tips to maximize sales on Sportlots. We introduce three tips that are equally important.
1) Inventory Advice: Prioritize Your Listings
You will sell current year cards at a quicker rate than past baseball card set releases. Additionally, you will gain more sales nearest to a set release. For example, 2017 Bowman Chrome will release on Friday September 29. You will see maximum return by selling Bowman Chrome as close to September 29 as possible. By October 29, the sales will only be trickling in. It is also important when opening your online Sportlots store that you prioritize your initial listings. It takes time to sort and organize and will not be done in one day. The goal should be to list most recent sets. Oddball issues also sell well on Sportlots, and personally I have found that 1977, 1978, and 1979 Topps have sold well. Vintage does not sell well on Sportlots.
2) List Your Inventory In Vacation Mode
When opening a store, keep it in vacation mode while you are posting inventory. This will delay any sales to avoid the larger percentage fees. The Sportlots monthly sales calendar runs from the first of the month to the last day of the month. If you begin listing on the 15th, you only have 15 days in your sales period. If you only sell $10 worth of cards, Sportlots will take $5 in fees. If you sit in vacation mode until the first day of the next month you could potentially climb into the next fee bracket, which drops from 50% for sales up to $24.99 to 35% for sales between $25 and $49.99.
3) Organization of Inventory is Critical
This was a downfall for Set Filler Cards before moving to a different location. If your inventory is unorganized, you may fall victim to misplacing cards and wasting time. It’s counter-productive to spend 45 minutes trying to fill three orders that equal $0.72. Set Filler Cards’ biggest mistake was organizing each set in its own box on shelving units. This was a time killer. If a buyer placed an order for 20 cards from 10 sets, it took extra time rearranging 800-count boxes on a shelf in addition to having to open several boxes to pull cards.
It seems that 3000-count and 5,000-count boxes aided in saving time by sorting inventory into these larger boxes by year with a large post-it note stating each year on the box. Each set within the larger box is organized by using a small post-it note sticking to the top for easy access.
I keep these boxes on shelves without the tops on for two reasons: 1) Saves a few seconds and 2) keeps the small post-it notes within the box upright and not pushed down by the box top.