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How to be a Professional eBay Buyer

How to be a Professional eBay Buyer

This guest post came through our Article Submission Program. Thoughts and opinions are those of the author.

Introduction
In this article, we will be discussing three key factors that can propel you above other consumers. We will discuss the importance of a watchlist, a follow list, and of course, DEALS AND COUPONS!

A watchlist
In my opinion, a watchlist is the most overlooked sports card portfolio tool. An eBay watchlist is essential for three reasons. One, a watchlist can be a chronological organizer of what sports cards you are interested in acquiring. For example, if today I were thinking about acquiring a 2007-2008 Topps Chrome Refractor Kevin Durant, I would go to eBay listings and ascertain the current prices. I would then add one or two to my watchlist, preferably the lowest price card and or the card that is currently being auctioned. This point leads me into reason two; you can gather fair market value (FMV) data immediately. When the auction has ended, you will be notified. When notified, you will immediately know the current FMV for that particular card. You can go back into your watchlist and make a purchase or use this data to make a fair offer. Lastly, most collectors hear speculation of a trade or like a player for whatever reason and look at current card prices on eBay. If you put those players in your watchlist, you can, throughout the year, look at that list and see what you were thinking about investing in. Trust me, folks, you are going to look at that list and wonder why you were looking at individual players throughout the year.

Watchlist TIP: Purge your watchlist semi-annually. I purge my list in August and January. I am allowing time for the start of the NBA season, the beginning of the MLB playoffs, and the NFL playoff season. This year I was buying Mahomes and Jackson in January; both investments were good buys still in January.

Yes this is my watchlist and I love Christian Yelich rookie cards, hopefully he gets to have a monster season.

A follow list
A follow list is vital in sports card investing, why you ask, because we are all always buying, selling, and trading. Must of the transactions are taking place on the eBay platform. If you buy an excellent RAW card from an eBay seller that he graded appropriately or described perfectly, follow that seller for future purchases. It is all too easy to buy from a great seller and lose touch with that person and inevitably miss some great deals or cards.

Follow list TIP: Check if your favorite sellers have social media and are selling on platforms such as Instagram, build that relationship. I am a seller on eBay and have made significant relationships. I currently have many customers I reach out to for private sales on IG through Pay Pal friends and family. I don’t like to shout my business out, it’s not professional, but I promise you IG is a great place to find deals.

Deals and coupons.
Lastly, we will discuss deals and coupons. On eBay they regularly have coupons, they recently had a coupon for 15% off cards over $200, I provided a picture of what those coupons look like. On eBay, they also offer eBay Bucks. Ebay Bucks is a system that offers cashback on purchases throughout the quarter. An example of eBay bucks is if I bought a Kevin Durant Topps Chrome refractor at $2000, I would receive $20 in eBay Bucks. Pay Pal also has offers that provide money or a percentage off your purchase if you use Pay Pal credit, Pay Pal Credit usually has %0 APR if paid within six months.

Deals and Coupons TIPS: Use the coupons provided by eBay and Pay Pal on items saved in your watchlist from sellers you follow and like.

Conclusion
We have discussed how to be a professional buyer on eBay. We have learned how to seek out great deals, save money, and even build relationships in the sports card world. Use these tools, and I promise you will become a better investor!

Do any of our veteran eBay buyers have any other tips or tricks they use that can help the community? Tell us in the Comments below.

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View Comments (12)
  • I also save searches for those harder to find cards.
    Especially with so many Parallels its easy to look past something while searching newly listed stuff

  • Really good article and solid content. Another thing I’ve done, is when I’ve made a respectable, fair market offer on a card listed “buy it now or best offer”, and it’s “auto declined”, I’ll send a screen shot showing the offer I made and that it was autodeclined to the seller in an eBay message, and let them know I am interested in purchasing their card, and made an offer I believed to be fair, and ask them what their lowest price they’d be willing to sell the card for.
    A number of times they’ve replied to my message with a private offer at a substantial discount, many times very close to my initial offer. Thanks again for writing a great article.

    • Wooooow! Now that is a great tip, never thought of that one. As a seller I regularly place a threshold on all my sales, but we all know cards go up and down in this market and sometimes you need or want to move that product.

      Great addition Daniel, I will try that one!

  • Where do you find these eBay coupons? Been buying and selling for years and ebay hasn’t sent me any coupons for a long time. Any help locating special coupons or discounts would be appreciated.

    • Matt,

      The coupons are usually on the site, eBay itself promotes the coupons, but members in our community have been posting them in our FB Group and on Discord recently. Furthermore, every 3-6 months a get an email with some sort of discount if I spend a certain amount.

  • Keep combined shipping in mind. If I find a card at a good price that has shipping charges I will then go to their store/view items. Put multiple cards in my cart and request invoice for combined shipping. If they don’t have combined shipping turned on then I will message them to ask them about combined shipping on multiple card purchase. They will usually edit their listing so I can request an invoice from them.

    • JJ, absolutely….all about saving where I can, thanks for the comment and addition to the article. I think a lot of us realize these sellers love working with good consumers and will usually bring down some price or shipping cost.

  • Is it ok to ask for their social media through a message on ebay? The one time I did that, I started getting a message saying conversations were being monitored. I asked an fb group and they said you can get banned/suspended for that. But a way to get passed that was to ask for more pictures.

    • Michael,

      There are a couple ways to go about this…I should begin with saying you are correct, eBay does monitior. First, the seller if he has a business type name on eBay, just check IG and social media for teh same name. Secondly, many sellers that sell on different platforms should be sending you a business card with a thank you, it may have the info there, and lastly email the seller. You are correct, it is not preferred by eBay, but if you emailed me teh seller and purchased something, I would simply send a business card with my social media platforms. Many sellers, not all, sell across platforms. Visa versa…if you want something from IG or FB Market and don’t lknow the seller, ask if he has eBay amd conduct business there first and build a rappore. Great question

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