How You Can Make Money Selling Baseball Cards

Baseball cards are hot, and in many cases selling for a lot of money. You can make money selling baseball cards, but it’s not as easy as buying a pack and striking it rich. There are many different ways to go about selling baseball cards for profit. It is not one size fits all. Not every method will work for you. Find a niche and you can make it work. This article will go into detail on how I have been able to make money selling baseball cards.


How To Make Money Selling Baseball Cards

Large Work, Small Margins

If you want to make money selling baseball cards, do not expect to get rich quick. It must be fun for you, and worth your time. I have collected baseball cards since 1988, and began selling cards online shortly after eBay was invented in the mid-1990’s. A few people make a lot of money and many people lose money trying to flip baseball cards. It takes a lot of work, and the margins are often small.

This article will explain how I have made money selling baseball cards, but there are many others who make money by doing it differently. There are high end buyers and sellers. Some buy raw cards and submit to PSA or Beckett for grading hoping for gem mint 10’s. Others buy collections and part them out. There are also box breakers who can make big profits. Find your niche, practice, and get comfortable.


In the past I have tried a few different methods. In 2015, I began buying cases of products. Initially, I started with Topps Heritage Minors because it was a cheap entry into case breaking. Sportlots and eBay were my main platforms to sell. Eventually, I scaled up and in 2016 and 2017 I was breaking cases.

Buying Boxes/Cases & Selling Singles

Here is one method I made money selling baseball cards. Remember, this was also in 2016 and 2017 and the prices of hobby boxes was significantly less than what we are seeing in 2020. For example, my case of 2017 Bowman cost me $797. Cases of 2020 Bowman are selling for $3,000 on Blowout Cards. So…I would not advise buying a case of 2020 Bowman and expect to make money.

Make money selling baseball cards.

When I was buying cases and listing on Sportlots, I always received the case on or the day after release day. I would pre-list a certain amount of base cards to get ahead of the game (because those cards are guaranteed). Once all boxes were opened, I would sort and list as soon as possible. Hits would be listed on eBay, while all singles and inserts went to Sportlots.


The key to making money was getting the base cards listed as soon as the checklist was released on Sportlots, and opening and listing the cards as soon as I had busted open the boxes. I was making 35% of my case cost back just selling base cards. Topps Heritage was a great money maker, and Allen & Ginter was both a profit and loss. One year A&G was a big money maker, while the next year was a big loss. I never tried the Sportlots case strategy with flagship Topps, but it seems it could be a profit even today.

Make money selling baseball cards.

Again, my experience breaking cases and selling on Sportlots is based on 2016 and 2017 numbers. I do not think it is sustainable with many products in 2020, most notably Bowman (which was even a big loser for me in 2017 at $800 a case). The key to all this is doing your homework.


Study the Baseball Card Market

Before I really immersed myself in the baseball card hobby, I was buying garbage boxes from Blowout Cards and other online card retailers. During the holidays, the online retailers will have big sales on non-selling products. There are some real gems to be found, while most are big duds. I found myself buying the duds many times.

Make money selling baseball cards.

How did I learn? I mention Blowout Cards often in this article, because it is typically the lowest online retailer of hobby boxes, but most importantly the Blowout Forums have given me so much information on what to sell, and when to sell it. It’s almost like the posters in the threads are one step ahead of the game.


Often I have opened up the forums to find a thread about the enormous popularity of a certain player or product. It also helps me to find which prospects to buy or sell, products that could be or are hot, or even how the retail segment of the hobby works.

Do your homework, like with anything. Immerse yourself in the Blowout Forums if you want to make money selling baseball cards. Treat it like you would your newspaper (remember those things?). Read it every day.

This Is How I Make Money Selling Cards

Most of the money I make selling baseball cards these days is by acquring collections from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Sometimes you can find a needle in the haystack collection that provides a huge return on investment like this Craigslist baseball card collection did for me.

Buying baseball card collections can make you big money.

Many of you will say, “I never find deals like that.” Keep looking. I peruse Craigslist for my local market as well as surrounding cities regularly. Even doing so, I only find a great collection about once a year. And I could probably find many more if I had the room to add and looked a little bit further.


So, how do I decide if it’s a good fit? A lot of it is just knowing the hobby. By immersing myself heavily the past five years I can get a good gauge on return by looking through a little bit of a collection. The key is for the collection to have some heavy hitters that will take a nice chunk of the total cost on the flip.

What I mean by that is the cream off the top. A few things that will sell for 10-20% of the total investment of the collection. The above Craigslist collection had a couple items that sold for $100 and a set that sold for $200. That was almost $500 of the $900 purchase price. Not to mention there were/are a thousand cards that sell between $1 and $20.

Selling PWE

PWE means plain white envelope and is an amazing part of the hobby these days. As a buyer, if I am looking for a $1 card, I am not going to pay $1 plus $3 or $4 for shipping in a bubble mailer. But…I’ll pay $2 or $3 if it is shipped in a PWE. As a seller, I have thousands and thousands of baseball cards that could sell for $2 or $3 shipped in a PWE. But nobody is going to pay $5-6 for those same cards.

Shipping baseball cards in plain white envelopes (PWE)

This video shows you how I safely package a baseball card in a plain white envelope (PWE). Now you are wondering how I can actually profit by selling a card on eBay for $2 shipped taking into account eBay and Paypal fees.

I am signed up for Paypal’s micropayments, which is 5% of the gross cost plus a $0.05 transaction cost. My eBay fees are 11%. So, on a $2.00 card, I am paying eBay $0.22 in fees plus Paypal gets $0.15. The stamp costs $0.55, so my net profit is $1.08 less supplies cost. I buy top loaders in bulk or used, and the last several thousand used top loaders set me back only $0.02 per top loaders. Penny sleeves are under a penny when bought in bulk, so my net profit stays above $1 on a $2 sale.


Opening an eBay Store

I have scaled up my eBay Store since COVID-19 hit us. Ebay began offering 50,000 free buy it now listings for store owners for March through July. With the extra time, I have listed hundreds more items at no additional cost.

That is one of the best reasons to open an eBay Store, and here I detail the advantages of owning one. You also need to know what to sell. Are you going to sell a 1989 Topps Mark McGwire on eBay? No. But, I have found singles from the 1970’s and stars from the 1980’s have been selling well lately. Examples include set fillers for mid-1970’s sets, and super stars from the early 1980’s.


If you open an eBay Store, it’s also a good addition to have benefits for volume buyers. I offer 10% off purchases of three or more cards from my store. This incites buyers to pick up additional cards, and you can up the margin per card sold by saving on postage costs.

Feedback Welcome

Since tweeting about making money selling baseball cards several days ago, I had many people email and direct message me with questions. I am always willing to help out and answer any questions you may have on this or any other topic.

22 thoughts on “How You Can Make Money Selling Baseball Cards

  1. I have slowly been expanding on my card collecting hobby into a small business but I haven’t seen much online or on youtube discussing how people handle taxes from their sales or how they record their cost basis from purchases such as the craigslist purchase you show. I was curious if you had any posts about this or any recommendations.



      1. I have a large amount of baseball cards and pokemon cards.I want to sale all of them.1987 -1989 !990-1993 they are not graded but excellent condition.i am a 70 year old grandmom my grandson was not in to collecting cards.

  2. Are any of the 1980s cards worth buying? If so what year did they start mass productions cards? I keep seeing late 1980s but no where is sayin a specific year?

    1. There is not an easy, clear-cut answer, unfortunately. Baseball cards were mass produced starting in the mid-1980’s. The specific year varies, but 1987 is typically when the explosion of mass production began.

  3. My hubby has a ridiculous collection of baseball, basketball, and football cards. 98% of them are in great condition. All boxed, climate controlled stored, sleeves/protectors on most. I have been slowly going through them and separating them out by years, teams, etc, but have no idea how to see what their worth. I know being a sports girl there are some that would fetch a decent price. Any advice on where to see how much their worth, before we go posting them for sale, so we get a fair or decent price for them?

    1. Best way to do it is do an eBay sold search on cards you think could have value. Make sure it’s a SOLD search, because anybody can list items on eBay at any price. A sold search will show you what current market prices are.

  4. I acquired a brand new unopened box of 1988 Topps Baseball cards with 24 boxes of 500 cards in each. There are a Ton of errors and variations as well as some really big name cards and multiples of them. Would like to make as much as possible of it, if I were to sell. Could help me out with some suggestions?!? Thanks!

    1. Your best bet is to pull out the error cards and rookie cards. Unfortunately, 1988 Topps is one of the least valuable Topps sets with limited key rookies. You will always maximize profits by taking the time to break up and sell singles as opposed to selling lots and sets.

  5. I’m in over my head at first it all started with a youtube video then coming across a bunch of cards at my local goodwill made 900 almost just in few cards i listed on local site now I’m addicted my problem is it just don’t have the time to set go find a value post and etc etc now I’m not have that problem when it comes to buying I’m overloaded and won’t sell because iwant to go through them so now I’m overloaded where would be a good start ? Help me before i die covered in baseball I’m a card hoarder

  6. I have Thousands of Mint condition baseball cards from the late 80’s and 90’s. I also some cards from the 50’s and 60’s like Ernie Banks RC, Roberto Clemente RC and 1965 Mickey Mantle Autographed card! I would like to know the best way to try and sell these!

  7. I have a collection that I found in the attic, if I go to ebay to sell them what is the best way to seperate them, by date or by the producer? I have found some Michael Jordan, Bret farve, elway, and Brady I also have baseball cards basket ball do I seperate by names? Any help would be appreciated.

      1. Email Mike Kerr, I have the better cards from 80-90s. Ripken ,Griffy,chipper Jones. In different brands. I have quite a few all raw ,football and basketball also

  8. i am not a baseball collector, but i do have a few cads left to me by my late husband. they seem to be very old of decese players.

  9. I have a large collection from 60’s 70’s full collections baseball, muscle cards, wrestling so many Would you be open to buying?

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