DETERMINING THE VALUE OF YOUR GRADED CARDS
When you’re looking at Ebay trying to figure out what price to pay or what price to sell your cards at, you should keep these important points in mind
1 – Centering – A grade of PSA 8 without an OC (off Center) qualifier, does not mean the card is perfectly (or even nicely) centered. A card can be centered 70/30 and still receive a PSA 8 without a qualifier. There’s nothing wrong with a card that’s centered 70/30, but that card will probably sell for a lower price than a card that’s centered 50/50. When you’re researching Ebay sales prices, make sure to adjust for the centering.
2 – Seller Popularity – Auctions are run by a variety of sellers ranging from individuals who sell a couple cards a month to auctions houses who sell thousands of cards a month. Someone has to notice an auction in order to make a bid. A seller without a group of established customers might get a significantly lower price for their cards than an auctioneer who has thousands of collectors watching out for their auctions. Sometimes you’ll see this reflected in the final prices. I’ve seen a card sell for 40% (or more) when offered by one of the well known Ebay sellers versus an unknown seller. This disparity is even more pronounced when the card isn’t PSA, Beckett or SGC graded.
3 – Watch the Trend – Cards prices aren’t static. It’s a good idea to give more weight to recent transactions. If a card had a couple of sales at $200 sixty days ago but the last 5 transactions have been between $150 – $180, you should account for that trend in your pricing model. Buyers tend to look at the lowest price and work from there. Sellers tend to find the highest price and think they can get a few dollars more. Try to take an approach in the middle.
4 – Thin Markets – If there’s been 20+ sales of the card you’re trying to price in the last 2 weeks, you’ll have plenty of information to put together a good estimate of the card’s current market value. But what if there was only one or two sales in the last 2 months? This is where some skill is required. Take a look at the cards that didn’t sell, also look at the cards that are currently for sale. These can provide clues as to how to determine the market price.
Accurately pricing cards isn’t as easy as it might seem, especially when the market for the card you’re trying to price isn’t active.