At Brothers In Cards, we set up at card shows pretty frequently, and we always have our eBay store running. Managing our inventory is an important function. In this article, we’ll show you how to prepare your sports card inventory for shows, as well as a few bonus tips on how to sell cards on eBay.
1. The process of managing your inventory starts with buying new cards.
When we get new cards, whether we picked them up at a show, bought them online, or pulled them straight from packs, we put them through the same process. We take all the stickers off of the top loaders. If there is writing or tape (or any other imperfection) on the top loader, we switch it out. Most $50+ cards go into magnetic cases.
Download the checklist we use for managing our own inventory.
2. Pictures can make the difference between you selling your listing on eBay or people scrolling by.
We take quality pictures of each card for our eBay store. My OCD usually rears its head during this process. Natural light is a must. We have a station at HQ next to a window that works great for us. The lighting for this is best in the morning or during the day with overcast. You want natural light, but you don’t want direct sunlight (to avoid harsh shadows). We don’t edit any of the pictures on our eBay store with filters. It is important to me that we put out the best pictures we can. And, we take photos of the front and back of that card, in case someone wants to see both sides. It takes some time to get this part of the process perfect, but we feel it is important. The picture below is one of the 400 eBay auction listings we have ending this week.
3. Every available card worth more than $5 is listed on our eBay store.
Once we have the pictures, it becomes a priority to get them up on our eBay store as soon as we can. My preference is to list as Buy It Now listings without a Best Offer option. I set these prices based on what I want to get out of each card after fees come out. Obviously, we highly consider the comparable sales on eBay (see how here) Sometimes, the Best Offer option helps us sell cards quicker, but it can also force us to sell outside the margins I am comfortable with. So, I tend to avoid listing our inventory of sports cards on eBay with Best Offers.
Watch our biggest tip on how to find the value of your sports cards
4. Make protection a priority for your cards.
As I mentioned during intake, we make sure our cards are in flawless top loaders - and we want to keep it that way. Once we have listed each card on our eBay store, we go through and put every single top loader, magnetic holder, or slab in a Superior Fit sleeve. These protect the case, which protects the integrity of the picture we took for our eBay store.
5. Pricing your cards has to be both accurate and appealing.
Once all our cards are in the Superior Fit sleeves, we put a “garage sale sticker”, as we call them, in the top left corner of the top loader/case/slab. Consistency is important to us. We have about 300 cards in our inventory and every single one of them has a sticker in the same exact place. If there is something special about a card (Case Hit, SP, etc.) we put a second sticker on the top right. With a fine point Sharpie, I (nobody else…OCD) write the price on every single card. We usually price our cards a little below what we price them on eBay. We recommend pricing your cards to sell well, but always giving yourself a little wiggle room to negotiate. Once all the cards are priced, they go in a cardboard two-row box, and into the safe.
6. Keep track of your sports card inventory
We have an inventory list that we constantly update. When we sell a card on eBay, we take it off of our inventory sheet. Shows are a bit more complicated. When we go to shows, we take the list with us. We try to keep it updated in real time during the show, but it is hard to do when we get busy. Immediately after any show, we go through and confirm that we have each card that is listed on our inventory list. Once they are confirmed on our inventory list, we start the process over again with the intake of the cards we picked up at the show.
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We have a different process for our eBay auctions.
We generally run between 500-700 auctions on our eBay store each month. Our process for this is a little more simple. I have a team that will each get a batch and take their own pictures. I have a “Template Listing” that I list on Monday. This template has a perfect description that shares what we are doing, that we have over 500 auctions ending, and that you get free shipping if you are in our Pack Plus Program or $5 shipping (maximum) if you are not a member of our subscription boxes. The template also has some generic information filled in like “used” and “not graded”.
Throughout the week, my team will go to that template and select “sell similar item” where they will upload the correct picture and type in the correct title. They are able to do this at whatever time is most convenient for them. They simply save each listing as a draft. And, later in the evening (usually between 7-11pm EST), I will go through and publish the listings on eBay. Our eBay auctions are typically set to end Monday-Thursday. So, on Friday morning, I send out invoices with shipping discounts for those that have ordered our subscription box or bought multiple cards.
The results from our auctions vary (and, to be completely honest) have drastically declined over the last three months. However, we have refined this process so well that listing 500-700 auctions per month is now part of our routine, and we will continue to list our sports cards inventory each month.
If you are ever looking for any cheap investments or pieces for your collection, our eBay auctions are a great source.
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Manage your sports cards inventory like a pro. Use Brothers In Cards Inventory Checklist
Start preparing for card shows like a pro with our checklist. Managing our inventory is an important function. We’ll show you how to prepare your sports card inventory for shows, and best practices for listing on eBay.