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Sports Cards vs Gaming Cards: Trading Cards 101

Sports Cards vs Gaming Cards: Trading Cards 101

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

Introduction

Hello everybody and welcome to my 5th article. My name is Karmy and I’m here to talk about pretty much most of the cards that you can buy and sell. There aren’t many people who can give out this type of knowledge, especially for sports and gaming cards. This will probably be a long article, most likely longer than my part 3 on flipping low dollar cards. Someone commented that I looked like Mr. Mint Alan Rosen in my previous article when holding up a lot of money. RIP Mr. Rosen. I was actually holding $908 to show how much a person can make from selling low dollar cards each month. If you would like to read any of my previous articles, you can find it in the link below.

When I was a child, the first sport that I really got into was WWF wrestling, now called WWE. WWF had to change its name due to a legal dispute with the World Wildlife Fund who uses the same initials. This led to me buying my first pack of sports cards, which were the 1990 WWF Classic Series 1. I was looking for a Hulk Hogan card, but I didn’t pull one that day. Hulk Hogan has six different cards in that set and I happen not to pull a single one of them. I have a lot of data about wrestling and gaming cards that very few, maybe nobody else has because I’m one of the few that sell sports and gaming cards equally for many years.

WRESTLING

If you’ve read my previous articles, then you know that I sell more wrestling card singles than anybody on eBay. Who better to talk about wrestling cards than me. I will only be covering WWE licensed cards with the first set released in 1985 by Topps. Wrestling cards are unlike all other sports cards and should be treated that way. Wrestling cards from the 1980s to 1990s are not as mass-produced as the other major sports cards. It was never overprinted. Unlike athletes in other sports, wrestlers don’t represent a city or region and so they have a far greater reach with more people buying their cards. A WWE wrestler will sell in any city, region, or country. It doesn’t matter if this wrestler is a big star or not. Even somebody that loses pretty much every single match like Curt Hawkins and Mandy Rose are selling really well. Mandy Rose is my #2 best selling cards during the last four years and she hasn’t won anything yet in WWE as of September 20. 2020

Unlike the other sports, people who use steroids are frowned upon, especially in baseball. But not in wrestling. Hulk Hogan and many other wrestlers have admitted to using steroids, yet people still love them more than anybody in baseball who used steroids. That’s because the winner of a wrestling match is predetermined and the wrestler would’ve won that match regardless if he or she was using steroids or not.

One of the things that most people say is that wrestling is fake. Yes, the outcomes of wrestling matches are fixed, just like any movie that you watch. But the body slams that they take are not fake. Many wrestlers who have died over the years never lived past 60 years old. Mr Perfect died at age 44, Eddie Guerrero died at 38, Test at 33, Macho Man Randy Savage 58, Rowdy Roddy Piper 61, Chyna 46, just to name a few. There are a lot of wrestlers that died very young. When you have this many people dying at a young age, this tells me it’s not all fake. Have you ever slipped on some ice during the winter and fell? Imagine if it was you doing that 5-10 times each day for several years. Those bumps are going to take its toll on your body at some point.

The most highly sought after cards in wrestling today are kiss and kiss auto cards. These kiss cards make the most money, especially if you have a popular female star. Currently, the most expensive kiss card belongs to Paige. The last Paige kiss card sold for $420. Paige has a kiss auto version of this card, which makes more money, but one hasn’t appeared on eBay for several years.

AUTOGRAPH CARDS

An auto usually sells for about the same price as any other sets of similar hobby box price range. An example is the 2018 Women’s Division Mandy Rose auto sells for the exact same amount as her 2019 Women’s Division auto. But you can’t compare these autos with one from Transcendent Collection, which was a $12,000 box.

This can be applied to autos in other sports, specifically non-rookie autos. But an autograph can decrease in value if that athlete signs too many autographs. A great example of this is Bob Feller, who never says no to anybody asking for an autograph. His autos are not worth much due to how many autos he has signed in his lifetime. I’ve experienced this first hand when I had a 2006 National Treasures Peyton Manning auto /25 drop from $300 to $200 due to Manning having so many autographed cards. But an auto from somebody that is a really hard signer to get will always sell for a premium. Charles Barkley is one of the most challenging people to get an autograph. Due to how rare it is to find one, some of Barkley’s autograph cards can sell for equally as much as a Michael Jordan auto. Barkley has a Skybox autographed card.

In all of my years selling wrestling cards, I’ve noticed that the ones that sell the best are portrait style cards where he/she is looking at you or posing in the picture. The cards of a wrestler doing wrestling moves or something else don’t sell as well. I have three cards of Alexa Bliss from 2017, 2018, and 2019 Women’s Division. The one from 2018 where she is jumping is the least popular card and doesn’t sell anywhere near what the other two are selling for. This has also affected the price of her auto version; the 2018 Alexa Bliss auto sells for less than the 2017 and 2019 autos.

Another example is the 1991 WWF Classic set with four Undertaker rookie cards, but they don’t sell for equal money for all four cards. Card 64 from that set has the Undertaker looking straight at you and this card makes the most money among all 4 Undertaker cards. The portrait rule applies here, and the other 3 Undertaker cards don’t sell for as much as the one portrait card. The Undertaker portrait card is one of the most challenging cards to find listed for sale. The other three aren’t as hard to find.

I have no idea if this works in other sports, due to a lack of data. I guess you could say I’ve gathered a lot of data and statistics similar to the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt, but these statistics are for wrestling cards. This is data that only I have, and I’m sharing only a little bit of it with you. I’m observing cards from a different perspective and came up with my own data on what sells and what doesn’t.

VINTAGE

There are vintage cards in every sport and in gaming cards. But they all have various years. For some people, vintage baseball is 1975 and older; some believe it should be 1972 and older. There are a lot of different beliefs of when vintage years should be. Basketball vintage is presumed to be 1988 and older. Wrestling vintage cards are from 1997 and older, Pokemon vintage cards are from 1999-2003. Every type of card has vintage years.

Vintage Topps baseball cards from 1959-1972 have high numbers, which usually sell for more money than other lower number cards in the rest of the set. These high numbers are generally card numbers in the 700s and 600s, sometimes in the 500s. There are high numbers in other years, but don’t have as significant a jump in price as these years.

Vintage baseball cards from 1956 and older don’t use the standard card sizes that we have today. Topps made cards that were bigger than the traditional card sizes while others like Goudey and T206 have much smaller sized cards. Bowman has various card sizes.

Two of the vintage cards that usually sell for more money are the first and last card in the set will sell for a premium if it is in excellent condition. It doesn’t matter if it is a star player or not. During the early years, many kids put the cards in their pockets and they were in numeric order. The first and last cards would be the ones that would get damaged when this happens. Card protection didn’t exist during those times. For wrestling cards, this only applies to cards from the 1980s. The 1985 Topps WWF set has 2 Hulk Hogan rookies with the same image but a different number and background color. Card #1 has a yellow background, will always make more money than card #16, which has a blue background. It’s much harder to find card #1 in excellent condition than to find card #16. This doesn’t apply to vintage gaming cards.

GRADED CARDS

A card that is graded a 10 can increase the value of a card immensely, but that all depends on what the card is. It would help if you kept in mind many people will never buy a graded card. This exists very primarily with wrestling card collectors. The majority of people who are buying wrestling cards, are buying for their personal collections, not making money on the card. You look at sold listings of wrestling cards on eBay and most of those cards sold are raw and ungraded. Pop reports for graded wrestling cards are usually very low for the reason that I have stated, especially with sets from 2003 to present. There are a few wrestling cards that do great money as a graded card, but a majority of them won’t. There isn’t much of a market for graded wrestling cards right now compared to other sports cards. You need to check to see if there is a demand for that card to be graded. You can still lose money on a wrestling card that comes back a PSA 10 if there isn’t anybody willing to buy it.

LOOK FOR THE NEXT CHAMPION

I’ve been playing basketball for over 24 years. When you’ve played for that long, you eventually learn how to see plays happening in an NBA game on TV a lot better than an average fan who doesn’t play the game. I’ve used some of this knowledge and I was able to come up with a winning bracket in my NCAA tournament pool five times in a nine year span. The thing I see the most from the NBA Finals, usually the best player in the series, is also the best defender. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Lenard and Lebron James, to name a few, are all great on defense and offense with multiple championships. There are also a lot of players that are poor on defense but great on offense. These players with poor defensive skills usually never win a championship unless they ride somebody else’s coattails. All of those NBA champions that I just mentioned, most of them are shooting guards and small forwards that have led teams to championships. A player’s cards will usually reach its highest peak when they win a championship and be named Finals MVP. If there is a NBA player that you are investing in heavily, ask yourself if this player’s defense and offense is as good as anyone that I just mentioned. If this player has poor defense, can he learn to play great defense later in his career? Don’t fool yourself and assume that this player can improve just because you like him a lot. This player has to prove he can improve his defense while still being good on offense. Never assume anything, because if you assume something will happen and it never happens, this can cost you a lot of money. Winning the NBA regular season MVP will usually cause a temporary spike and isn’t anywhere near what an NBA Finals MVP can do.

This plays a factor in wrestling as it does in other sports cards. There are three ways that a wrestling card auto will see a spike in price. One of them, a wrestler, will see a spike in their prices when they become a first-time champion. For men, this only pertains to the WWE or Universal Championship. For women, this only pertains to Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships. All other titles don’t do anything. This has to be this wrestler’s first time holding one of those belts. Once someone becomes champion for the first time, holding, for example, the WWE championship. Then winning the Universal Championship for the first time doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t cross over to the other belt once it’s already been accomplished. Once the wrestler wins one or the other championship, that will be the only spike. For example, when Alexa Bliss won the Smackdown women’s championship to become a first-time champion, her autos went up to $90 for a bit before dropping to $70. When she moved to Raw later and became Raw women’s champion for the first time, this had no effect because she had already become champion on Smackdown first. Her autos remained the same. For those with autos of wrestlers who haven’t been a champion yet, you might want to hold onto those and see if they become champions in the future. It can sometimes be easier to predict who will become a first-time champion in WWE more so than in other sports. After all, it’s all just a show to entertain people. The other two ways a wrestling card can see a spike is when the wrestler announces their retirement and when the wrestler passes away. Each spike is usually temporary and will usually last 7-12 days. This only applies to autographed WWE cards licensed and authenticated by the card manufacturer.

Pokemon

Pokemon and gaming cards, in general, have been on an upward spiral for 10-15 years, with most of the younger generation of 25 and younger are mostly buying gaming cards. Pokemon cards that were printed by Wizards of the Coast are considered the vintage era of pokemon. Nintendo took over the pokemon card operation in 2003. Pokemon cards experienced an overprinting from 2015-2017 due to Pokemon Go blowing up in popularity. Wizards of the Coast were releasing new Magic the Gathering sets faster during the same time period and overprinting. It was double trouble for gaming card shops during these times. Many people jumped into trying to make money with gaming cards, particularly pokemon. But most of them are gone for various reasons. Some left because the money wasn’t there. Because they lacked the experience and didn’t know how to buy and sell cards, some went off to college or had kids and became first-time parents, which took priority in their lives. Does this sound familiar to those who collected during the sports card junk wax era? Many card shops that specialize solely or mostly in gaming cards closed up their stores during these times. What happened with Pokemon cards in 2015 was that Nintendo went back to Ancient Origins, Roaring Skies and Primal Clash and started printing more cards for those three sets after it was out of print. Roaring Skies used to be $300 per box, but these boxes dropped down to $75 per box with the reprintings. Many card stores lost a lot of money from this overprinting. It didn’t help matters when so many people tried to undercut everybody with pokemon card prices and many of these people not realizing they were losing money and causing prices to tank. Racing to the bottom doesn’t help anybody. Stores had way too much inventory that they couldn’t sell, which stopped any cash flow from coming in. They had too much money tied into these boxes that they couldn’t sell. Collectors and vendors warned nintendo and Wizards of the Coast that they were bound to collapse the gaming card market similar to the sports cards crash during the 1980s and 1990s and they listened. They reduced print runs right around when Ultra Prism was released, but the damage had already been done.

But Pokemon cards didn’t see a big collapse similar to that of the sports card junk wax era. It was still thriving even after those mass printings. You can go and look at some of these youtube channels that talk about gaming cards. Unlistedleaf has over 1.9 million subscribers. Leonhart has over 900,000 subscribers, Deriums Pokemon has over 500,000 subscribers, Tolarian Community College has over 550,000 subscribers, and Alpha Investments has over 285,000 subscribers at the time of me writing this article. This is only a small fraction of gaming card channels on youtube. I believe the largest Youtube channel to talk about sports cards is Jabs Family, with over 70,000 subscribers. He’s not even in the same zip code as some of these gaming card channels regarding subscribers or views. One of the reasons for this large gap between subscribers and viewers is that there are many senior citizens who collect sports cards but never learned how to use a computer. I think the reason why Pokemon cards didn’t see as big a collapse is that there are many card sellers still buying pokemon collections regardless of whether it was overprinted. They just pay less money for it. For many years, many sports card sellers have refused to buy any sports cards from the junk wax era because it was mass-produced. I think this was one of the reasons for the downfall of sports cards in the 1990s. If you read my previous articles, you know I did things differently from most card sellers and it’s gotten me a lot of success. I don’t follow the herd and I go on my own path. I knew cards from the 1980s and 1990s were mass-produced but I still offered to buy these card collections. I didn’t offer much, only $3 for 3000 cards and I would sell the 3000 cards for $10.

One of the main reasons for the rise of pokemon cards is that there are many more women involved in collecting pokemon cards than there are with sports cards. The last time you went to the National Sports Collectors Convention, your local card show, or even your local sports card shop. How many of those customers are women? You can go and ask your local sports card shop owner this same question and they will more than likely say they hardly get any women buying sports cards. That is a large number of people that are not buying sports cards but are buying pokemon cards. The gender ratio that I’ve seen between boys and girls buying pokemon cards is 70% of customers are boys/men, with 30% are girls/women.

I have a graph from google trends with the five-year look at sports and gaming cards. Pokemon cards are the green line and were at the top for a very long time before the recent crash. Magic cards are purple line and it’s been relatively close, but trending downwards a little. Baseball cards are the blue line and are neck to neck with Pokemon cards currently, and this is after Pokemon saw a small crash. Pokemon was still higher than baseball before Pokemon Go was released in July 2016. Pokemon was trending 4X-5X what baseball cards were doing when Pokemon Go was released. Basketball is the red line, and football is the yellow line. Yugioh isn’t shown on this 1st graph. Magic cards are trending higher than basketball and football cards combined. Pokemon and Magic were trending higher than baseball for most years, as the 1st graph shows.

Yugioh isn’t shown on the 1st graph, but when I put it in, Yugioh’s graph line is slightly higher than football cards during the last 12 months. To be fair to the sports card collectors, there are many senior citizens who never used a computer, which impacted trend lines. You just don’t know how much of an impact. What I do know is that these senior citizens aren’t buying cards online. I had to use the term cards or else it wouldn’t work because there were so many anime, video games, etc that could fall into the name. I didn’t use the term cards for Magic the Gathering. I don’t think Magic has anything but the card game. I know the term football can be used for soccer sometimes; keep that in mind. American football is a term that isn’t used very often.

From looking at the trends during the last 12 months, the cards trending the most on average are…

1. Pokemon

2. Baseball

3. Magic the gathering

4. Yu-Gi-Oh

5. Football

6. Basketball

The most expensive pokemon card is the Pikachu Illustrator, with a PSA 9 selling for over $233,000, which was confirmed on the PSA website. This Pikachu card sells for more than two 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 cards, and this Pikachu card was only a PSA 9. I’m posting this to get it out of the way because I’m only going to cover English pokemon cards.

Pokemon cards first came out in the United States in 1999 with the Base set. There are currently three different types of cards from the base set, which are 1st edition shadowless, shadowless and unlimited. This only pertains to the base set. Jungle was the 2nd set and this was the start of only having two different types of cards(excluding errors), which are 1st edition and unlimited. The first picture on the left is a 1st edition shadowless Poliwrath holo with the 1st edition symbol circled. 1st edition cards represent the first print run of that card. The 2nd picture in the middle has an area circled on the right side of the picture where there normally is a shadow and it’s missing the 1st edition symbol. These cards are called shadowless. The 3rd picture is a regular card with a dark shadow on the right side of the picture, which was absent from the previous two pictures. The thing circled on the 3rd picture is how rare the card is and some numbers. The number on this card is 13/102. The 13 represents the card number, while the 102 represents the number of different cards in that set. Right next to these numbers is a symbol that represents how rare the card is. A circle means it is expected, a diamond means uncommon, and a star means it is a rare card.

The most highly sought after pokemon cards are 1st edition holos from any English sets. A holo has the picture all shiny and sparkly. Holo cards exist in Pokemon, Yugioh and Magic the Gathering. A reverse holo is the opposite where the picture is not shiny, but the rest of the card is. Be careful when putting holos into soft sleeves or nine pocket pages as this can cause scratching on the holo, decreasing the card’s value. This can happen when you take a holo card in and out of the nine pocket page or sleeve too many times with the holo part rubbing on the plastic, causing scratches. Base set 1st edition cards are the toughest ones to find and have the highest value among all English pokemon cards. The 1st edition base set Machamp holo is the only exception from this. The print runs for the base set unlimited is very massive and these print runs got smaller and smaller as each new set came out. The 2nd and 3rd pokemon sets, Jungle and Fossil had a slightly smaller print run than Base set. This happened all the way to the last Wizards of the Coast set, which is Skyridge. Skyridge has the smallest print run out of all vintage sets and is one of the rarest cards in pokemon.

The most coveted vintage pokemon cards are Charizard, which has four different 1st edition holo cards. The best 1st edition holo is the 1999 base set Charizard at $4,000 in near mint to mint condition ungraded. Next is the 2002 1st edition Shining Charizard from Neo Destiny at $1,200. Coming in 3rd is 1st edition Blaine’s Charizard holo from 2000 Gym Challenge at $800. And the least expensive of them all is 2000 1st edition Dark Charizard holo from Team Rocket at $300. Team Rocket is the 5th set to be released in Pokemon, Gym Challenge is the 7th set, and Neo Destiny is the 11th set.

Pokemon stopped making 1st edition cards when they introduced the Legendary Collection and E series. Cards from the E series would have an E on the bottom left corner of the card, as circled in the first picture below. The E series has the smallest print runs out of all of the vintage pokemon sets. Cards from the E series are so hard to find in excellent condition that many of the common cards will sell for $1-$2 dollars per card, similar to what vintage baseball cards are doing. The last pokemon set to have 1st edition cards are Neo Destiny. 1st edition holos from Neo Destiny sell for the 2nd most money outside of base set 1st edition holos. Each pokemon set has a symbol to represent which set it’s from, with the exception of the Base set, which has no symbol. The 2nd picture below is a Shining Noctowl from the Neo Destiny set with the Neo Destiny symbol circled.

For newer pokemon cards, the latest sets usually make the most money on the first few weeks of release, similar to sports cards. Prices typically drop a few weeks after release. Prices usually don’t go up for Pokemon cards, but stay about the same once it’s hit bottom. A Nidoking holo unlimited from base set in near mint to mint condition was a $10 card back in 1999; it’s still a $10 card today. Based on my experiences, the cheap rares and holos that are around 50 cents and under usually go up in price and sell much better after the card is no longer legal in a tournament or when it’s out of print. Cards from the last 12-13 sets are used in tournaments or sets released during the last three years. The best strategy that I’ve had is to sell all of the hits on the first few weeks after release and hold onto the cheap rares and holos for at least two years. Some people send Pokemon cards to get graded. Some cards do go up in value when it is a PSA 10, but most do not. Use your best judgment if the card you have can go up in value if you grade it. Is there a demand for that card in PSA 10? If you are looking to grade a card, but keep it for your personal collection, that is a different story. There are other things such as gold star, GX, EX, Level X and stuff like that, but that would make this article much too long and it won’t be discussed here. It will be up to you to go learn about them on your own. You can’t expect me to do all of the work for you now, did you?

One of the most significant issues with pokemon cards is there are very many fake cards out there. From all of the hundreds of pokemon collections that I have bought, I’d say around 70%-80% of all collections I came across had fake cards mixed in. There are a lot of ways to tell if a card is real or fake. In a previous article, I discussed that the dot pattern will be different when comparing a real card with a fake card as shown in the picture below. You can see the dot pattern of the wind going around the ball is different. The fake card will have a blurry picture. Sometimes the card will be a slightly different size or a different type of cardboard. Some fakes have a glossy finish to the card, while real cards don’t have that.

Sometimes the text font is different. All these things I just mentioned can be used to spot fake sports cards. You will need to have a real card from that same set to compare, it doesn’t have to be the same card. I have an example picture below with the fake card in the middle having a different type of text than both of the real cards. I attached both the actual real card and a different card from the same set to show that you don’t need to have the exact same card. Fake sports cards are usually high dollar cards or more expensive cards. They don’t make fake common sports cards. But in gaming cards, fake cards come in all types, including commons.

MAGIC THE GATHERING

Since this article is getting pretty long, I’m only going to go through the basics of Magic and Yugioh, but it will be up to you to go and learn about this stuff on your own. There are some older Magic cards from the 1990s that don’t have symbols. There are four types of card rarity for most sets. The first picture on the right has the Dominaria symbol circled. This one is red, which represents Mythic, this usually brings the most money and most sought after cards. Not all mythics will sell for a lot of money. The next one has the symbol in gold color, meaning these are rares. The numbers circled on the bottom are just like the ones on pokemon cards. The first number is the card number, with the 2nd number representing the number of different cards in the set. An uncommon has a blue symbol and a common is black, or black and white. There are times a magic card could see a spike in price due to a newly released set that makes that card much more useful than before.

YUGIOH

Yugioh cards are a little different from Magic and Pokemon. These cards were never printed by Wizards of the Coast. The rares usually have a silver stamped lettering for the card name; sometimes, it’s black. For the rare card pictured, Monk of the Tenyi is in silver. The circled part in the picture says RIRA-EN043. RIRA represents the name of the set; in this case the set is Rising Rampage. The next one EN represents the language which is English. The next one 043 is the card number. Yugioh used to be printed by Upper Deck, but it is now done by Konami. There are 1st edition Yugioh cards with the 1st edition letters are usually in the same area as pokemon 1st edition cards. There are a lot of other things that I can talk about like secret rares, ghost holos and stuff like that. But that will be up to you to learn about all of that stuff on your own.

CONDITION

There is a lot of confusion over what condition terms to use when selling gaming cards vs sports cards. Many gaming card sellers sell on TCG player, which uses different terminology for card conditions with near mint being the highest grade. In the sports card market, near mint means it has some sort of flaw or damage on the card somewhere. A PSA 7 is labeled as near mint and these cards do have a little bit of damage and scratches on holo cards. Many gaming card collectors that I have sold to seem not to understand what near mint means. So I copied the meaning of mint condition from the dictionary since I couldn’t find near mint. Mint condition means perfect condition: a state of being like new. If something is stated to be near mint, it means it is almost mint but not mint. If a gaming card seller tried to cross over into sports and listed an expensive sports card as near mint, this could make the card sell for 10-20% less money as most sports card collectors believe mint condition is the highest condition and not near mint. Something to think about and make adjustments whenever possible: I’ve also seen many people over the years try to sell a damaged card for full book price, specifically vintage baseball cards. The card would only grade a PSA 1 at best and that person would still want full book price. A card in poor condition usually sells for 90% less than the market value of a high grade.

FAQ/Q&A

These are some of the most asked questions that I have received from my previous articles. I felt it is necessary to post this so that I don’t get asked a bunch of times the same question by several people. I also included some questions I received that were interesting and wanted to share it with you.

Q: Does the scanner that I have cause damage or leave a mark to any cards?

A: No, there is no damage or marks from the scanner if the settings are at 300 dpi or less.

Q: Do I use a third party listing tool to list cards faster?

A: No, I list every card right on ebay. I have tried many listing tools and don’t feel that they make listings go up any faster. The fastest listing tool was Beckett Business Solutions where I was able to throw up 5,000 cards in 15 minutes. But this listing tool had some major flaws like incorrect card images, photos were too small and didn’t meet ebay’s minimum photo requirements, and titles being too long. This service was available only to high volume card sellers. I do believe this service was discontinued.

Q: What is the best way to list a card, do you use Buy it Now or auction? Do you use Best offer? 

A: For me, I mostly do Buy it Now with no offers accepted. I price it reasonably, maybe a little higher than the market and I leave it alone. I don’t have a lot of time to message people back and forth negotiating on the price of a card, or the time to accept or reject offers. Time is money. This has worked well for me for many years. Last year I bought a 12 box hobby case of the 2019 WWE Women’s Division for $600 and sold $750 worth of cards in just 3 days. Enough to pay for the case and all of the fees and be in the green. 65% of those sales were base and insert cards with the remaining 35% coming from autos. I didn’t list any of the relics or parallel cards until the 4th day. If you read my previous articles, then you divide this number by $1.50 average selling price, you get 500 cards sold from that one set in 3 days.

Q: Do you use card saver 1 or 2 when shipping cards in a PWE?

A: I use both, but I use card saver 2 more so than card saver 1. I never use card saver 1 to ship a single card. I’ve had a few problems with a pokemon card slipping out of the holder and getting damaged with Card Saver 1s. Gaming cards have thinner card stock than sports cards and will wiggle and move around in card saver 1s. Card Saver 2 is smaller and tighter, which can be a little more difficult to put the card in if you are a beginner. I’ve been using 2s for over 6 years with over 20,000 card saver 2s used. I use card saver 1s when somebody buys 3 cards. I did happen to kinda damage a vintage baseball card with a card saver 2, but this was due to the card already having multiple creases and in poor condition. 

Q: Are you a full time card seller? What led you to go all out on low end cards?

A: I’m choosing not to be full time at the moment. I have the resources and inventory to go full time whenever I want to today. I’m in no rush to go full time. I learned during the last recession in 2009, you could lose your job at any given moment. I had to come up with a way to make a full time income if that ever happens to me. I knew a lot about cards but I had to dig deeper to find what works consistently and what doesn’t work. I learned high end cards are the biggest risks for me losing money, especially with people scamming, lying and stealing. Now I’m hearing people doing returns on ebay when a card goes down in value. I don’t bother carrying any high end cards anymore and it’s working very well. If I lose my job today for whatever reason, not enough work, company going out of business, whatever it may be. I’m still good. For those that are buying cards and then doing returns on ebay. Ebay is clamping down on false items not as described. If you are caught opening an item not as described case against a seller who perfectly described the card of any flaws in the description but you didn’t read the description. You get a strike from ebay. You get 3 strikes and ebay bans you forever. 1st offense, you get a warning. 2nd offense, you get suspended for X number of days. 3rd offense you are gone from ebay. And if anybody gets too many refunds in a short period of time, they get banned as well.

Q: What am I going to do once ebay forces everybody into managed payments and paypal micropayments is no longer an option.

A: Ebay has changed the number of listings for each store if you have managed payments. My store subscription was up for renewal in July and when I got the news of the change, I downgraded to a premium which gets 50,000 listings. My transaction fees would go up a little over $100, but my new store price saves me $240 each month. I don’t have to change anything and I’d be making $140 more profit each month. Only one of my stores is in managed payments while the other is not. This gives me some time to raise my number of listings to 50,000 for that store. 

Q: Do you sell on tcgplayer.com?

A: No I don’t. The reason why I don’t is the fee structure didn’t work for me, specifically when I had paypal micropayments and tcgplayer didn’t offer this. I get more people looking at my cards and get more money on ebay than on tcgplayer.

Q: Why can’t I sell any cards? Why are my sales so slow?

A: Your feedback score will dictate how well you do on ebay. The higher it is, the better you will do. Most people that ask me about this have a feedback score of 250 or less. People don’t know if you are trustworthy or not which can lead to people skipping your listings entirely. Your listing could be skipped because people don’t think you can ship the card safely and properly or you could take a long time to ship the card. The #1 problem that I’ve experienced with new sellers is improperly shipping cards and it arrives damaged. I’m sure many buyers have experienced this many times and so they only buy from people who have a very large feedback score. Your card could be the lowest priced card on ebay, but people might not buy your card because of your lack of experience in shipping cards safely. You will start to see more consistent sales when you get to 1000 which can take about 2-3 years, sometimes shorter or longer. It all depends what you are doing to get there. You need to be careful with receiving false information from other collectors who have no clue as to what they are talking about and are purely speculating which can cost you a lot of money. A collector will lack experience with selling cards no matter how many years they’ve been collecting. Selling cards is an entirely different experience than collecting. In my opinion, the best people to get information are card sellers that have been selling for 10 or more years or someone who has a very high IQ and did their homework doing research for at least 5 years. If you aren’t sure if the information that you are getting has any truth to it, you can always ask others in a facebook group about it to see what others think. If it is somebody who has been selling cards on and off, that doesn’t count unless it’s more towards 20 years. This person could have sold one card 10 years ago and got back into selling cards again this year. This doesn’t equal 10 years of experience.

Q: You should do an ebook and sell your knowledge to the world. Maybe something to think about that you can do?

A: I could do that. All of the things I discussed in previous articles were condensed to save time for me and for the readers. I left it up to the readers to go and figure things out on their own. Those steps can each be expanded much more as you can see in part 3 of flipping low dollar cards. Maybe it’s something I can consider doing, but this is probably going to be a long process. This will probably depend on how many people tell me that they would be interested in paying for this information. 

Q: Your articles are the best that I’ve ever read. I would like to send a donation to you for providing such great information. What is your paypal?

A: Is this Geoff Wilson? That was my first thought. Well, this person is a woman. The person asked me on ebay and I’m not allowed to disclose this information on there. This idea never dawned on me. My goal was to try to generate a buzz that would generate more interest in cards. Did I succeed in that? You tell me if I succeeded or not. Should I take donations for more content? Let me know in the comments what you all think. 

Q: What are some things you have done to fend off competition? How have you stayed on top of the wrestling card market?

A: I’ve manipulated my competition. I know that once a new wrestling set comes out, most card sellers will try to copy the prices of what I’m listing cards for or try to beat it because I move so much of it at a high volume. Back in 2016, I purposely listed one 2016 Mandy Rose rookie for $1 to bait my competition to list that card at $1. I knew that this card would sell for much more, but I threw one up to manipulate my competition to match that price. When every seller lists their 2016 Mandy Rose rookie card for $1, I buy out everybody that has 5 or more copies of this card on eBay and throw the cards up at it’s true value of $4-$6. I already know I’m at the top of the wrestling card market and I have to outsmart my competition to stay on top. The other small sellers could see that I increased the price and they’ll do the same. It’s one of the advantages of being at the top. I only do this when I know a wrestler will sell like hotcakes and could fly under everybody’s radar. How do I know which wrestler will sell like hotcakes? Let’s just say that is another type of data that I have that other card sellers don’t have.

Q: Do you sell anything else other than cards?

A: Yes, in order to be very successful, you have to know as much as possible on whatever you want to sell. I also sell Lego sets, action figures, and manga to name a few which I don’t sell on ebay all that often but at festivals and other events. I do throw one up once in a while.

Q: Which is the best day to have an auction end?

A: I don’t hardly ever list auctions, but when I do, I have them end on Saturday night. This is due to Sunday being my second worst selling day overall. Friday is my worst.

Q: Who’s cards are you investing big on?

A: I don’t like to reveal who I am putting money into because that would mean everybody is going to try to do the same thing. I also know that I have a very large following when it comes to wrestling cards and other card sellers don’t have that. I’m only doing this just one time. So here it is, 310 cards of who I think could be a first time WWE women’s champion in the future.

CONCLUSION

I’ve been selling cards since 1999, collecting cards since 1990. I never left the card market when many others have. I’ve seen a lot of card shops close up and go out of business during those times. Card shops were starting to go extinct. I’ve already seen many card sellers pass away and few new people entering the sports card business. New and younger people need to be here to keep the sports card market going for however long they can. I made a lot of mistakes during those years and I learned from them. I was fortunate to eventually find success in a very tough card market, which I have to thank The Man above for that. He watches over all of us and blesses us, each with certain skills. The skills I was blessed with are storytelling, observing and teaching, which you can see from all of my articles. I believe Hulk Hogan said it best when he told us to “Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, be true to yourself and you will never go wrong…brother!”

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. How is my knowledge on cards? For anybody looking to contact me, the only way is on either of my two eBay stores or on my facebook page. Very important, don’t put any links, phone numbers, or any type of contact information when sending a message on eBay. This isn’t allowed. Feel free to share my articles with your friends. There is always a topic that I can discuss in these articles. Please like my Facebook page so you can get notified of when I put out my next article. You can help without paying anything by following my eBay stores. You can do this by going to my eBay store and clicking on save, which is circled for you in the picture below.

Main ebay store https://www.ebay.com/usr/karmy2005

2nd ebay store https://www.ebay.com/usr/karmy2018Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sportslegend/

This was a very informative article regarding non-sport cards vs. sports cards. For the collector looking to get into other brands such as Pokemon, Wrestling, UFC, or Magic the Gathering, this article was priceless. For the average sports card collector, you can you some of the tips to move product and build capital to obtain those cards you are looking to invest in. If you are an expert on non-sports cards, we would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

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