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Organizing Your Sports Cards for a Sale

Baseball, Basketball & Football Cards


Organizing your collection is the most important thing you can do before trying to sell it. You need to decide who you are trying to sell the collection to.  because this will dramatically impact how you organize your card collection. This applies to all sports cards, baseball, basketball and football cards.

Selling to Card Dealers

When selling to a card dealer, you should organize your cards so that they know exactly what they are getting. If you have an '86 Tops complete set, you will get paid the value of an '86 Tops Set. But not if you don't demonstrate that you have the set. Card dealers need to be able to verify that you have what you say you have.

The best way to enable them to do this, and to show them that you know what you are doing and they shouldn't try to cheat you, is to organize your cards by set and by number. Each card has a number on the back of it, going numerically from #1 to however many cards are in the set. The set also includes checklists that list the cards numerically. If you have an entire set of cards in order from 1 to the last number, a  card dealer knows he is getting what he is paying for, and he knows exactly which cards are in the set you are selling him.

When you are selling to a card dealer, unless you have a very rare and special card, it is almost always best to sell your cards in sets rather than trying to split up sets and sell cards individually.
The exception to this rule is if you have unopened packs of cards, which can sometimes sell for more individually. But remember: you are almost always better off leaving packages unopened if you still have some that are that way.

Selling To Other Collectors

If you are selling to other collectors, your best bet is probably to get a table at a card show (although card shows are becoming very difficult to find.) Many collector's sell on-line through an auction site. The best known auction site is ebay.  You can still benefit by keeping and selling sets together. But if you do not have full sets, this is a good way to sell your cards.

Collectors are interested in more than the business side of baseball cards. They don't want to see cards organized by number in boxes. They want to see cards in binders with clear pages, organized by team or by sections dedicated to popular players. It's still a good idea for you to keep track of all the cards that you are selling, and how much they are worth. Keep a list with this information for your own reference. For more infornation see Selling Your Sports Card Collection.

Know the Value of Your Cards

Finally, make sure that you have some idea of how much the cards you are selling are worth. Most card shops will give an estimate for free, and some charge a small fee. But the time and effort you will
spend re-familiarizing yourself with your collection with ensure that you don't unwittingly sell a rare card for way below market value.
See Figuring the Value of Your Card Collection.

Information provided by: AD Sport Cards Etc. 


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