How To Sell Your Baseball Cards: A Step By Step Guide

This guide to selling baseball cards for the best price will help you unlock the value of your cherished collection.

With the recent surge in vintage sports card values, now is the moment to convert your prized collectibles into cash.  

Are Baseball Cards Still Worth Money?

Whether you have old or modern cards, rare or common, there’s a good chance your collection holds value, depending on several factors.

A key factor affecting card values is a set’s production totals. This makes most baseball, hockey, and football cards from the 1980s and 1990s Junk Wax Era worthless, even those of notable players like Bo Jackson, Barry Bonds, and Derek Jeter.


Unfortunately, most baseball cards produced during the Junk Wax Era have a minimum value, such as this 1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson card.

However, some basketball cards from the 1980s, particularly those from the 1980s Star and 1986 Fleer sets, tend to hold value, especially the Michael Jordan rookie cards.

Vintage cards remain red hot across all sports. For example, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card has trounced the stock market’s returns in recent years. 


The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card

See Our Most Valuable Cards guides below for each sport:

Most Valuable Baseball Cards Of All Time
Most Valuable Hockey Cards Of All Time
Most Valuable Basketball Cards Of All Time
Most Valuable Football Cards Of All Time

The Baseball Card Market In 2024

The appeal for collecting sports cards has surged, driven by the allure of high-demand vintage and unique newer cards with 1/1 designations and limited availability.

This has morphed card collecting into a venture resembling a ‘stock market,’ with a dynamic that led to a rapid rise in values, with a more recent correction in pricing. 

jordan-rise -and-fall

The Jordan Fleer Rookie Card exemplifies the recent cooling down in the card market frenzy, with a significant correction in the prices of many high-value cards.

Several factors have contributed to the hobby’s increased popularity and recent overheated market.

  • Cards sell quickly and at or above book value, especially in-demand cards, showing a massive increase in buyers in the marketplace.
  • Grading companies (such as PSA) have brought more uniformity to the hobby.
  • Population reports from the grading companies make it easy for collectors to check the scarcity of a card.
  • Collectors can now easily view the latest sales prices on eBay or at auction houses to get a very up-to-the-minute estimate of card values.
  • Transparency in sales data has made it easier for collectors to sell their cards online with a reasonable expectation of estimated sales values.
  • Many speculators have entered the hobby, leading to many just looking for a quick flip to make money.

Our New Book Is Now Available!

If you’re looking to sell your collection, this resource guide will provide everything you need to know, from organizing your cards to identifying them, to whether or not to get them graded, and to the best places to sell them. 


How To Sell Baseball Cards

If you are looking to cash in your card collection, there are a few important steps to selling your cards. Follow along here for guidance to help maximize your returns. 

1. Identifying Your Cards For Sale

Before selling your collection, you need to identify the cards that you have.

Here’s a simple Google spreadsheet we created to help arrange your collection list.

If you have a baseball card and are unsure of the year or manufacturer, sometimes finding the card number on the back is as simple as identifying it. 

Here’s the back of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, one of the most valuable baseball cards ever.


Back of a 1952 Topps Mantle

Looking at the back of the card, we can see the #311 in the top left corner. At the bottom, we also see that we have a ‘Topps Baseball’ card, but there is no identifying year. 

A quick Google search can help- if we had typed in ‘Topps Mickey Mantle 311’ and clicked on ‘images’ in Google, we would get a bunch of photos of our 1952 Topps Mantle.  


A search of Mickey Mantle Topps 311 will populate with images of the cards we seek.

Another trick is to use Google’s Reverse Image Search. If you submit a picture, Google will provide any matches from its database.   

To try this out, go to and click on the photo as shown in the image below (circled in red).

reverse image search

I tried this with our 1952 Mantle Topps Back photo and it identified it as ‘Mickey Mantle Rookie Card’, which is technically not true.

Mantle’s 1951 Bowman is his true rookie card, but it gives us enough information to assess that this is a 1952 Topps Mantle.  

That’s a great start if we sell a Mickey Mantle card worth thousands of dollars.


So, whether it’s a 1952 Mickey Mantle or a 1981 Topps Joe Montana, you can utilize this same method with whatever card you have. 

2. Valuing Your Baseball Card Collection

The easiest place to start is eBay to get a rough estimated value on your baseball card collection.  

Examining past card sales on eBay can give us an excellent assessment of the most recent values in the marketplace.  

Here’s an example of how to find recent sales data on eBay.

I went to eBay and searched for the ‘Michael Jordan Rookie Card’.

Click on the ‘Advanced’ text as shown in the red circle.


Once you get to the next page, click ‘Sold Listings’. Note: I also added a filter for items sold above $500 since there was a lot of junk coming up in the results, and I know from experience that most Jordan rookies sell for over $500. 


This brings up a list of the latest sales that can help us determine our card’s value.

Here we can see that the last sale was a PSA 4 Jordan that sold for $1025.  So we can filter through the listings to find a good idea of what our card is worth.


PSA is also an excellent resource for valuing cards.

Go to Google, type in your card name with”PSA” at the end, and it will provide a link to the PSA page for the card in question.

I did this for ‘Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie PSA’; the first link is the PSA Card Facts page.  

If you click on the box ‘APR’ (which stands for Auction Prices Realized) from the PSA Facts page, you will be taken to the latest eBay and auction sales.


PSA has made some big improvements here and provides a great breakdown of sales according to card grade.


For more information and details on the most critical factors in determining card values, check out our resource guide on determining baseball card values.

3. Grading Your Baseball Cards

A graded card is usually worth more than an ungraded (‘raw’) card. To optimize the value of your collection, it could be worth grading your baseball cards.

Before sending your cards to a third party grader, you must evaluate the potential increase in value after grading the card.  

If the costs to grade outweigh the increase in value, it is not worth grading.  

This raw, ungraded Dr J rookie, which I would estimate at VG PSA 3 condition, sold for $220 on eBay.


This PSA VG 3 Dr J Rookie sold for $400 on eBay, a $175 premium to a very comparable raw version.

Bare minimum grading costs are about $25 for cards worth $500 or less. However, the more valuable the card, the higher the grading cost. Cheaper grading tiers take longer and are not ideal for quick sales.


Current PSA Grading Costs, Turnaround Times, and Declared Values (image copyright All Vintage Cards)

The costs to grade premium, high-priced cards will be much higher, but the increased premium from grading will be well worth it. 

One of my biggest mistakes as a novice collector was sending some T206 commons to PSA. Around a $15 average grading cost (via bulk submission), it added barely any value over what I paid in grading costs. 

Thus, before grading a card, evaluate the grading costs against the potential value increase of the graded card versus its ungraded state.

4. Deciding Where To Sell Your Baseball Cards 

Selling Cards on eBay


  • Most liquid marketplaces easy to recognize total market value and very easy-to-list cards for sale


  • High fees

eBay is the most accessible place to sell your cards online, but unfortunately, fees are involved.  

eBay allows you to list 50 items for free per month, but there is a 12.9% charge on the final value for selling your baseball cards. 

I usually add a shipping charge to cover my costs, but you are responsible for any shipping costs not covered by the buyer. The fees can add up quickly.

Selling Cards in Facebook Groups


  • Can find specialized groups with motivated buyers willing to pay top price and for no listing fees


  • Private Facebook groups can limit the end exposure of your listings

Many active Facebook groups allow for selling and trading cards. If you search for a particular sport and era, you’ll likely find a big group engaging in card trading.  

Selling in Facebook groups can be done with no fees, but you need to ensure that you are dealing with an honest buyer/seller.  


Most groups will vouch for anyone in question, and a quick search of a person’s name can provide further information about their past posts/dealings. 

Selling Cards At Auction Houses


  • Great exposure to a highly targeted market


  • Depending on the deal signed, the fees can be high

Some of the big auction houses can be an excellent way to go for higher-end items. Some auction houses will tour the country, picking up collections, while many will just have you ship your cards directly to them. 

Fees vary widely when working with an auction house, but it is highly dependent on the quality of items you are trying to sell.  

Two great forums offer buy/sell sections for vintage collectors – Net54 Forums and Blowout Cards.

How Do I Find Baseball Card Buyers In My Area?

I’ve never done it, but some collectors will sell cards at a pawnshop. I recommend against this unless you’re in a desperate situation.  

Collectors would be better served by visiting a local card shop if there’s one nearby. Due to the resurgence of the hobby, there are more physical card shops where you can sell your old sports cards. 

Do a quick search search on google for ‘baseball card shops near me’ or ‘baseball card appraisal near me’ and Google will populate local listings with reviews of any local card stores in the area.

Ten Tips To Selling Baseball Cards For Top Dollar 


1. Create A List Of Your Baseball Card Collection

It’s time to figure out what you own! Go and create a list! We’ve started a Google Sheet to help you with this. That sheet comes in handy when working with dealers to sell your cards.

2. Talk To Sports Card Dealers

Go Visit A Local Baseball Card Show or search online for reputable dealers.  You might find someone willing to pay exactly what you need in person at a card show.  

3. Learn About Sports Card Grading

PSA, Beckett, and SGC are the most reputable third-party graders. Grading your cards is unnecessary, but you will earn a premium for graded cards versus ungraded ones.

4. Have a Price In Mind For Your Collection

You won’t get market value for your cards if selling to a dealer or at a card show, but it’s important to understand the value of your card. If a card is in high demand, you might get over 80% of the book value if selling to a dealer. 

5. Consider Passing Your Baseball Cards On To Heirs If Possible

It might sound crazy, but vintage baseball cards have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 30+ Years.  If you have a high-quality collection and don’t need immediate cash, you might consider passing it on to your family.

6. Get Educated On The Hobby

Our writings about vintage sports cards help educate all card collectors. The more educated you are about your collection, the better your chances of not getting ripped off when selling your card collection.

7. Invest In A Scanner For Your Cards

It might be worth investing in a scanner if you have a valuable card collection. Today’s iPhones take great pictures, but high-quality scanners can help enhance returns.  There’s a great discussion here on better options for scanning baseball cards.

8. Consign Your Baseball Cards To An Auction House

If you have some high-end items, consigning your cards to an auction house could be in your best interest.  We’ve compiled a list of some of the most reputable auction dealers in the market

9. Facebook Marketplace Is A Free Option For Selling Cards

Facebook Marketplace is a good option for cutting costs when selling your card collection. First, it’s free, and second, it has a considerable reach. Usually, if you have cards that are local to a specific market, they tend to sell better on Facebook. However, many buyers are looking to scoop up collections as well.  

10. Be Careful Of Scammers 

You must be careful if you sell your cards to someone online without any connection.  Places like Facebook and other for-sale sites like Craigslist and Offer Up are often filled with questionable characters. 

If accepting digital payments, understand that PayPal Goods and Services will entail a fee but provide buyer and seller protection.

Tip: If you meet a buyer in person, find a local police station allowing online exchanges. Check with your local police department to see if they offer this option.