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It doesn’t take long to find incredible stories about people making lots of money flipping sports cards. Reselling is on the rise with marketplaces like eBay and StarStock. It’s totally possible to participate in this in a worldwide marketplace and make money. Unfortunately with anything, it’s also possible to make some poor investments and lose your money. Follow these tips to make sure you’re making money and not losing it.
How to be Successful Trading Sports Cards
1. Be Willing to Invest
To be successful with any business, it’s important that you’re ready to invest. Consider it this way, a business works with what you put into it. While it’s certainly possible to make good money flipping sports cards quickly, the pros are willing to take bigger risks. They know that while some picks will be wins, others will be losses.
Set aside an regular budget for flipping. This does a couple things for you. One, it makes sure that you don’t go overboard on your buys. In the excitement of a good flip it’s easy to want to extend yourself and buy something that is beyond what you budgeted. A clear budget will help you make informed choices even when you get excited about an opportunity. Two, it’ll make sure that you’re investing enough in your flipping to make money. If you’re resistant to buying anything over $20, it’ll be that much harder to hit gold on a flip. Setting a clear budget for what you’re comfortable spending will help make this profitable and keep you focused on your goals.
2. Follow Sports
This should be obvious, but you will almost always be more successful when you love what you do. And in the case of flipping sports cards, that means loving sports. You should be plugged into games and sports news consistently. One big play can immediately make a card’s value explode. Having a sports channel on in the background while you work or making sure you follow sports outlets on your social media is a great way to stay in the know. If you like being able to turn it off sometimes, consider even creating a separate account just for your sports research.
What should you be looking for when you follow sports? Look for big trades and rising stars. If someone looks like they’ll be getting more attention in upcoming weeks, they may be a card you want to pick up. If someone is getting traded to a place where they can be more successful, it also might be a good pickup. The more you love sports the more you’ll be able to grow the skills of intuition into a great deal.
3. Think of Sports Seasons as Your Market Seasons
Some other reselling markets work in quarters like the rest of the world. This is definitely not true of flipping sports cards. There are some good times to trade and there are some times where it’s better to hold on to your investments and move slowly. Always pay attention to when seasons begin and think of what would be popular in the following weeks, not what would be popular at this moment.
Specifically, be attuned to when sports seasons start and when playoffs or championship runs pick up. You’ll want to buy cards during mid-season lulls and off seasons as much as possible and sell cards during their higher valued season opening or championship times. Strategically buying and selling in these windows is key to success. And the great thing about sports trading is with the quantity of sports out there, you’ll always have something to work with.
4. Consider Local Card Stores and Private Sellers
With the online marketplace what it is, it’s easy to ignore some of these smaller venues for cards. It’s true that some sports card trading businesses are shutting down in favor of these spaces. But if there is still one in your area, it is worth checking out.
These local spaces move slower than the online marketplace and you can use that to your advantage. While you may know what trends and moves are coming up, a private seller just looking to make a quick buck isn’t well attuned to what sells and when it would be popular. Look at estate sales, Facebook listings, and even just reach out to your friends and tell them what you’re into. Sometimes they’ll be able to help you out with a hook up on some sports cards worth trading.
Whatever you end up finding locally, you can bring into the quicker paced online marketplace. Here’s where your knowledge and expertise can be best used to your advantage.
5. Learn About the PSA Grading System
You’ll see it on a majority of online sports card listings, but unfortunately still not everyone knows about the PSA grading system. Knowing it and using it to your advantage is a great tip in your journey of how to make money flipping sports cards. PSA looks at the quality of your cards and gives you a score up to 10. How does that help you? Well higher PSA scores are correlated with higher prices. And for a flipper, it’s important that you look for high scores that can bring value.
If you’re looking at investing, it’s important that you keep in mind the PSA of your prospective cards. Investing in lower PSA cards isn’t a great idea because these won’t bring you nearly as much value when you go to sell. If you invested in a “raw” card (which means without a PSA score) it may be worth having it graded to protect your investment. The PSA system gives reliability to a sometimes volatile marketplace and it’s worth using it to your advantage.
And finally, more than anything else, make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Those looking at flipping sports cards to make a quick buck may be disappointed when an investment doesn’t pay off right away. But if you’re genuinely interested in these collectibles and willing to put in the effort to learn sports and the craft of trading, it can be a great way to make money.