Selling $1 sports cards question?

Hawaiian BamBam

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I had an interesting discussion today when my wife was looking at my boxes of cards and said, you know if you get $1 for each card you have youll be a millionaire! it got me to thinking. how easy would it be or how realistic to list tons and tons of cards for $1.00 each on ebay and make money? i ask because i then saw big companies like burbank sports cards on ebay with almost 2 millions cards listed! thats almost 2 million dollars in sales if they sell everything in there ebay store! i ask because i spent hours listing and only listed about 100 cards and its a pain in the !@# just to list those. how in the world does one list thousands of cards? a little at a time? over years? it just seems like a lot of work! in theory it seems easy but once you start scanning and listing it seems impossible! can you make money listing $1.00 cards?
 

Meliah

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With fees from listing, final value and Paypal I can't imagine you'd make much off those cards unless you sold in massive volume....and then there is the market for $1 cards, or lack of market for lower end cards really. Burbank has tons of listings but they are also a huge store with many employees and at least two warehouses full of cards. If you're doing all the listings yourself the time factor would really not make this a worthwhile venture.....even with those bulk listing things they have on eBay.
 

Hawaiian BamBam

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thanks for your response. i thought that. ive always been very curious to one day just have an ebay store with millions of cards in it and make a living full time doing it. several years ago i even bought large lots of cards and complete sets with the desire to list each and every card and be the next burbank sports cards. but after a couple hundred cards scanning and listing, i gave up on that dream! it was seriously hard work. i think the big companies might either just hire a couple youngsters and pay them minimum wage to sit there 8 hours a day everyday only listing cards and it must take years to get that many cards listed. there are a few big time companies on ebay that do it, but i think for the casual collector it might be impossible unless you make it your full time job.
 

Hawaiian BamBam

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I just watched a youtube video on burbanksports cards and they have 17 employees and 7 advanced scanning machines and scan 30,000 cards a day! thats how they do it! i dont think the average collector can keep up with that type of business!
 

KCLJ520

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By the time you categorized, photographed, listed, sold, wrapped, mailed, dealt with rude buyers, it just might not be worth it all! Selling some big names is always fun, there are small amounts to be made among collectors for sure!

God Bless,

Kevin Mc
 

Champs96ws

Bench Founder
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A $1 sale on ebay = a loss for you.

Using $1 as the sales price

Fees-
Ebay $0.10
paypal $0.33
Postage $0.49 (pwe)

That's $0.92 in fees before you include the cost of envelope,toploader, penny sleeve and the cost to acquire the actual item your selling.

Anything under $1.49, you basically doing it for zero profit.
 

cmcjr99

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pardon the long read , but.....

for me , after expenses, a single card that sells for $1 on ebay results in approximately a $.50 net.....

things you have to consider :

you aren't required to offer free shipping ...i charge $2.25 , so that $1 sale brings in $3,25....

ebay fees begin at 10% , but if you are a volume seller (not even talking power seller) , you get extra discounts....after my discount , my fee comes to 7.2% on the cost of the item , so a $1.00 sales with $2.25 shipping comes out to $.30 ($.23 on the shipping and $.07 on the item)....

the pay pal fees are where you can cut out a big slice....if you're selling low-end items , you should use the micro-payments plan...instead of 2.9% + $.30 per transaction , the rate is 5% + $.05.....for my $1 sale , that drops the fee from $.39 down to just $.21.....any item whose TOTAL comes out to less than $12 is cheaper using the micropayments....anything OVER $12 is cheaper using the regular plan....simple way to keep costs under control is to have one ebay/paypal account for the cheap items and a second set of accounts used only for the higher priced items....

as for postage , absolutely HAVE to go with bubble mailer and tracking ....without tracking you won't be able to meet the requirements for top rated and top rated plus seller levels which are required to get the discounts.....you can go into a post office and pay $2.32 for a package without tracking and add it in for another $1.07 , but again , if you're doing volume sales you will definitely be cutting that rate down by printing labels at home...a simple printer and plain white paper and now your cost for the same package is just $1.93 WITH tracking...

i did an in-depth analysis of all my shipping supplies several years ago and have tweaked it as i've had to re-stock....three years ago i replaced new top loaders with rigid cardboard cut to appropriate sizes with a large office cutting board to cut the cost a bit....by eliminating that expense , my total cost of all supplies (mailer , paper , tape , sleeves , printer ink for the label and packing slip) comes out to just under $.30.....i also don't have to burn gas to take packages to the post office or spend time waiting in line since all of them can be picked up by my carrier ....most can simply be left in the box for pick-up ....the exception is an international package which must handed directly to a postal employee (the carrier qualifies so you no longer even have to take items in to get the customs stamp)

so now we have a $1.00 sales bringing in a total of $3.25....take out $2.74 in expenses ($.30 to ebay , $.21 to pay pal , $1.93 to the usps , and $.30 for supplies) , i'm left with $.51....

other points to ponder regarding what that $.51 means :
cost of acquiring the item - most of the truly low-end items i sell is acquired in bulk , usually for less than a dime a card and often for less than a penny a card , or is off-grade material advertised and priced low due to the flaw(s).....obviously some are items i pulled myself so that's a bit harder to quantify , but in general the cheap stuff will still leave me with a net of $.40 to $.50 per single card....

the big issue is the cost of your time....it takes time to list and ship...the fact is you'd have to do lots of sales to make enough money to make it a truly profitable endeavor and that means many hours of work which could pretty much be seen as a full-time job" with them is not the same as real "work"

one other thing that comes into play is multi-item purchases....each time a buyer buys more than one card , the average expense per item drops , leaving more profit....(with an additional charge of $,25 per extra item for shipping , a sale of 2 cards at $1.00 each ups my net to $1.60 while a sale of 3 cards ups it to $3.07 - the rapid increase in profit margin is due to the fact the cost for postage and supplies - other than soft sleeves - remains essentially unchanged for up to 15-20 cards)

so , in conclusion , you CAN make money selling cards at $1.00 each but it requires lots of effort , a high volume inventory , and the ability/desire to use every possible discount possible (without lowering the quality of service)...like with burbank , the key is to have so much material that even with an incredibly low sell-through rate you'll have enough people finding what they need...for every one item that earns you that $.50 profit , you may have a hundred or even a thousand items just sitting there gathering dust waiting for that one perfect customer in need to come along....



A $1 sale on ebay = a loss for you.

Using $1 as the sales price

Fees-
Ebay $0.10
paypal $0.33
Postage $0.49 (pwe)

That's $0.92 in fees before you include the cost of envelope,toploader, penny sleeve and the cost to acquire the actual item your selling.

Anything under $1.49, you basically doing it for zero profit.
 

Loyalty32

Active member
2,722
5.00 star(s)
eBay has cut the number of free insertions to 40 per month. It's .30 per item after that. Also, USPS is raising rates starting May 1st. First Class is going up 5.1%, if I remember right.

Thanks
Craig
 
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