I’m Selling All My Baseball Cards!

Organizing, grading, selling, and rebuilding my collection.

I’m selling my house, and in preparation of packing all my possessions, I re-discovered a treasure stashed deep in a hard-to-reach cabinet: my baseball card collection.

As a baseball-obsessed teenager throughout the 90s, I accumulated tens of thousand of baseball cards. Despite my collecting glory days being smack dab in the middle of the junk wax era, I’ve got quite a diverse collection: singles and complete sets ranging from the 1950s to early 2000s. I’ve got my dad to thank for 99.9% of that… he not only introduced me to the hobby, but bought and ripped zillions of cards, packs, and boxes with me. Baseball is our biggest bond: he even coached my little league team for my entire playing “career”.

Over the years I lost interest in the hobby, and although I’d still buy a pack here and there for nostalgia, my card collecting knowledge degraded to level one newb.

What’s the point in collecting cards — or anything — if the collection is relegated to a dark closet, seldom to be unearthed, and only when moving items between shadows like you’re smuggling stolen artifacts? There isn’t a point…

That’s why I’ve decided to make a tough decision: I’m selling my baseball card collection.

It’s Not What You Think

I’ve often considered selling my collection, but never pulled the trigger. I pondered the space it would save and considered the small chunk of change it could fetch, but the math never added up. Aside from all the time and energy that it would take to sell the whole collection at a fair price, I couldn’t bring myself to bid farewell to such a foundational piece of my childhood. Something that shaped my entrepreneurial spirit and brought me so many moments of joy.

So why am I deciding to sell now?

Believe it or not, I’ve recently found myself drawn to the hobby again, inspired by Tiktok personalities like CleverCubanCards, sharing and discussing the latest and greatest developments in their personal card collecting journey. I’ve purchased more than a few packs in the past couple months, but it wasn’t until I pulled all my old cards down from the shelves that I decided to make the leap back into the sports card collecting scene once again.

It’s amazing to see how much the hobby has changed and I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do. I’ve got thousands and thousands of cards but not a single card is graded. There’s a handful sitting in hardcases but they’re mostly free-ballin it in random binders and boxes.

I’ve never been more excited to revisit my collection, grade and price my top cards, curate and showcase my grails, reinvest into new treasures, and share my discoveries with the next generation of collectors.

Where do I start?

The days of flipping through Beckett and finding the definitive value of a card are long gone. And truthfully, that was never a thing- as a kid, I considered Beckett the bible, but an item’s value is always what someone is willing to pay for it. See how wise I’ve become in the past couple decades?

If I was wiser, I’d have protected my cards better, among other things. Now I’m saddled with sifting through thousands of cards, researching and separating the cards with highest potential value and my personal favorites, and deciding what to do with them. This is going to be fun as heck!

What’s the best way to sell baseball cards?

I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can list any cards for sale, so I’ll be diving into the top tips for modernizing my collection, pricing my top cards, and selling them. Expect updates and opinions on the following questions and more:

  • Where can I find the top baseball cards (and errors) from popular sets to keep an eye on as I sort through my collection?
  • What’s the best way to protect and store my top cards?
  • How should I protect and store my less valuable cards and common cards?
  • What’s the best way to organize a baseball card collection?
  • How can I quickly find the estimated value of my cards?
  • How can I determine what cards are worth grading?
  • How can I estimate my card’s expected grade?
  • How does a card’s grade impact its value?
  • How do I prepare a card to be graded?
  • What card grading company is best?
  • How much does it cost to grade cards?
  • What are the best places and methods of selling baseball cards?
  • How should I price my cards for sale?
  • What are the best practices for shipping sports cards?
  • What legal and tax implications should I keep in mind?

Once I’ve got my collection updated, organized, and have some successful sales under my belt, I’ll dive deeper into building my collection. What are the current trends, top brands/packs, players/cards in high demand, and strategies for snagging cards that will likely increase in value? How can I stay updated with latest news and opportunities?

Online vs. Local Card Shops (LCS)

It seems that most people these days buy and sell their cards online through eBay, but local sports card shops aren’t completely extinct. In fact, collectible trade shows are more popular than ever, suggesting their is indeed a whole lot of value in going direct.

Although I plan to sell most of my cards online, I know there will be a ton of value in speaking to local experts in person. One of the first things I expect to do is grab a box of my top cards, walk into a local card shop, get some opinions on my collection, and ask some of my burning questions.

In my case, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” rings especially true, so I’ll be seeking advice from every sports card collector willing to share their opinions with me.

What’s your hot take?