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  1. #1

    Making money with sports cards

    I'm at a young age (despite my young age I'm mature and have a good head on my shoulders) and I want to make money or even break even doing something I enjoy (I don't have to pay the bills and put food on the table so labor intensive jobs like lawn cutting etc. don't appeal to me) I was wondering how people make money buying sports cards.

    I've done some research and it seems that if I want to rip prospects are the way to go. E.g. A case of BDPP. What do I do after I get the case. Send all the autos in to be graded then keep until I make X% profit? (At what percent would be a good dumping point?)

    I also see that buying vintage is nice but what should I look for? I bought a vintage Aaron although it didn't come out of pocket but due to it having a crease in it, which I can't even see, and also because of the economy it's not worth nearly what the price of it was.

    Another obvious way that seems to be popular is to buy cards off eBay that are 50% below the SV and flip them. What players should I buy? Obviously rookies wouldn't be a good choice for this unless it was early to mid in the season when it had potential to go up in price and still had desirability.

    Another way I was tossing around is to buy Redemptions at a low price and redeem them for a profit, would this work?

    Like I said, I'm not looking to retire years early I'm mainly doing this for experience and also to use the slim to none profit to buy more cards.

    I know that looking for profit in this hobby is usually hard but I fully believe it can be done. My LCS owner use to make 150% profit buying cases of BC and BDPP and selling the cases two years later. I posted this in baseball due to the prospects but I'm not limited to baseball, football is fine as well.

    I'm not looking to buy boxes and not breaking them. If I buy boxes I'd like to be able to open them.

    Any information would be appreciated.
    Percy Harvin, A.J. Green, Randall Cobb
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  3. #2
    You are most likely not going go make money in this hobby. If somebody has a way they probably won't spill the beans. You can though make money with work and effort if you buy prospects autographs that are low (guys that are good and undervalued) and then sell after they hit it big.

    The problem with that is you have to sit on the money because a guy can be 4-5 years away from blowing up. Two you will have some hits and misses where you will lose money or break even. Though breaking even will be a loss because you wasted time and effort getting nowhere. You also have to know when to sell. If you sell too early or late you can "lose" a lot of that money.
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  4. #3
    So what do you mean by prospects that are low? Do you mean underrated or low in price? At what % profit would be not "losing"? If I were to make, say 10% profit but the peak would be 15-20%, I wouldn't necessarily consider that losing. While I understand I'm not going to make any sort of significant profit, it's just something to do. If I were to invest in prospect cases what would I do with the hits? Get them graded? Sell the ones who aren't first rounders? I'm in need of lots of information at this point in time.

  5. #4
    Usually whenever a new crop of rookies come out there are about 3-5 that are expensive, a ton of junk guys that aren't worth squat, and then the middle. That middle contains guys that will get hot and be profitable but you have to find those gems. Avoid teams that nobody cares about. Avoid positions nobody cares about. Focus on things like power and offense. Don't waste money on junk brands. Find rookies that don't have many autographs or cards available. etc.

    You will have to do the research yourself on prospect sites and find out who is good and who isn't because I'm not really into that enough to give you advice but there are always guys who everyone wants now that were players you could get for 1/5 the price or lower just a couple of years ago. Learn who those players were and why and you can get good at predicting future guys enough to make money.
    Trade Bucket: Hidden Content

  6. #5
    I will agree with pwaldo about finding those prospects "in the middle". There are a bunch of prospects I held who sputtered out, and I can't sell the cards. There are others I'm waiting on until they start moving. But the big thing is to do research. You could always go to Baseball America and find the top guys, but half the fun for me (since I'm not making any money anyway) is to research guys who look as they might be good prospects and buy those guys, since they'll likely be low-priced. And you have to be patient, they may be 2-3 years away. But always sell on hype, no matter where they are.

    I'll give you a little of what I look for: kids in A-ball who are younger than the league average age, who have top stats. Low K%, high BB%, and a high OPS. Then Google those guys and see what people have to say about them. Out of that group, I find the guys with lower-priced cards, and buy.

    Good luck.
    Collecting 1974 Topps (84% complete) and 1957-2013 Topps Phillies cards (50.2% complete).
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  7. #6
    if going to local shows look through everything because there are usually always cards to be found at great prices (hard to find short prints that someone might not know what its worth/something that sells cheap at a show that sells on ebay better), online try to find lots cause sometimes a lot will sell at a price where if you break up the lot you can sell the cards individually and make some money....i would avoid vintage unless you have a great grading eye or unless you know a bunch of people that collect vintage to buy them off of you....prospecting is ok i usually prospect off-season like buying rookies or up and comers for baseball during football season and then if they start hot they will sell better....you can also try a trading up system like im from chicago so if i know someone that has cubs/sox cards online here or ebay i'll try to buy them at a good price bring them to local shows or shops and trade them for stuff that isnt local that they cant really use (ex: buy a starlin castro auto for 30 trade it at 40+ and try to get a ryan howard auto that is close to 45 and sell that).....there are plenty of people that make money doing this including myself....hope any of this helps good luck

  8. #7
    You won't like my answer.

    The only possible way to make money is to be a dealer yourself of unopened product (example Bowman Chrome), then being large enough so people will buy those products from you instead of your LCS or the internet. You will NOT NOT NOT make money chasing rookies to flip buying retail. It's like playing the lottery or bingo, you only hear of people winning, you don't hear of the 99% who lose in the long run.

    Also remember that top rookies will never, ever increase in value. Mike Trout or Stephen Strasburg will not be worth more in 20 years even if they win 300 games or hit 700 home runs then they are right now. However, a career ending injury to those guys will make those cards effectively worthless. (reference Ben McDonald and 1,000s of others)

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gps29070 View Post
    You won't like my answer.

    The only possible way to make money is to be a dealer yourself of unopened product (example Bowman Chrome), then being large enough so people will buy those products from you instead of your LCS or the internet. You will NOT NOT NOT make money chasing rookies to flip buying retail. It's like playing the lottery or bingo, you only hear of people winning, you don't hear of the 99% who lose in the long run.

    Also remember that top rookies will never, ever increase in value. Mike Trout or Stephen Strasburg will not be worth more in 20 years even if they win 300 games or hit 700 home runs then they are right now. However, a career ending injury to those guys will make those cards effectively worthless. (reference Ben McDonald and 1,000s of others)
    100% accurate. A box of cards is going to cost more on average than what you could get by selling individual cards out of the box. It's the nature of the business.

  10. #9
    There's no way I could compete with the LCS here even if I was old enough and had the money to open a store. My LCS sells the same prices as DACARDWORLD and that's including tax. If I had that kind of money to open a store front without having to worry about bills and putting food on the table then id be buying cases to open no matter what the loss is. I never buy retail. I have a better chance with hobby. Even if I do happen to pull something out of retail it'll be worth what? $.99?

    How about case breaking for prospects? How would I go about that and get maximum cash back-profit?

  11. #10
    Trying to make money off of baseball cards is foolish. Not trying to dash your hopes, but the hobby is very fickle. For every Mike Trout that I've gotten for $100 only to watch it skyrocket, I've gotten other cards that have just plummeted in value.

    You could spend a lot of money on premium boxes, and you might find a few cards that sell well. But you also might not get anything of value. A while back, I bought 3 Bowman Chrome boxes, spent about $250 on them, and the most valuable card I got was worth about $30. It was then that I decided to just buy the individual cards I wanted. I rarely buy boxes anymore.

    It's just not worth the risk.
    Last edited by the 'stache; 02-25-2013 at 01:57 AM.
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