Did you know there is an entire universe of online sports card auctions outside of eBay? Sure, eBay is an auction site, but it’s an online auction platform for everything. Clothes, toys, and of course, sports cards. Not to mention that on the other side is a seller who has put up their own card for sale.
The other auction sites out there offer an entirely different experience. First of all, they are focused on sports cards—that’s it. Second, they are “handling” the auction for someone else. Meaning, a card owner takes their valuables to an expert middleman who has the reach and expertise to put the card up for auction, gain eyeballs, and get it sold.
So, in no particular order:
Lelands stands out as “The First Sports Memorabilia and Card Auction House in the World.” Founded in 1985 by Joshua Leland Evans, Lelands is a respected and premier house, handling some of the biggest items to ever hit the auction block including The Mickey Mantle Auction of the Greer Johnson Collection ($1.3M).
The Lelands “Classic” is a high-end event featuring “landmark” collection items—just right now as a part of their Winter Focus 2023, there are a handful of amazing items making their way toward auction completion including vintage cards like a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth SGC 3 a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 5.5, as well as more modern items like a 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Pick Autographs Black Wave Refractor BGS GEM MINT 9.5.
Lelands also offers “pop-up” auctions which are online-only and typically open at relatively lower bids. for example, the 2023 Winter Pop-Up saw a 2003-2004 Finest LeBron James PSA GEM MINT 10 sell for over $5,500 and an SGC 7 lot of 1967 Topps Baseball Hall of Famers with Mantle, Mays, and others selling for $2,198.
:// Generate —> #CardLadder #LadderHeadlines— Card Ladder (@CardLadder) October 15, 2022
The 1957 Topps Willie Mays Base #10 PSA 9 (pop 26) set an all-time high when it sold for $63,046.00 (Oct 8, 2022) via Auction with Lelands. The card sold for $30,501.08 (Mar 29, 2021) 2 years ago. It’s up 106.70% ($32,544.92). pic.twitter.com/iFsVDl4Lmr
You might have also heard about Lelands Auctions around this time last year—they were the auction house that sold Tom Brady’s “last” touchdown pass before he unretired and returned to the Buccaneers to throw 25 more. (The sale was ultimately voided with the ball returned by the buyer.)
Lelands has 4.2 stars on 30 reviews.
Family-owned and operating since 2010, Pristine offers auctions in a number of online formats including the Daily, Weekly, Elite Auctions, and more. Intriguingly, there is what sounds to be an exciting “Ten-Minute” auction which lasts just 10 minutes. On top of that, one of the items in a recent Ten-Minute auction for “Mystery Ink 10X Baseball Edition Mystery Box- 10 Autos / Jersey Relics / 1 of 1 Cards in Every Pack!”
Pristine is also a recognized leader, having been awarded the Industry Summit/Beckett Auction House of the Year in 2021. With sports memorabilia auctions ending every 24 hours, be sure to check out their 4.7 star rating on a whopping 1,000+ Google reviews.
Breaking News Card Sellers! 🚨 Pristine Auction is proud to announce its partnership with @beckettcollect— Pristine Auction (@PristineAuction) October 1, 2022
to bring you the quickest and most affordable way to grade and sell cards! Introducing the All- Star & MVP options 🔥 https://t.co/TGK86cQQ7m pic.twitter.com/7kDVnLywTM
If I ever got to the point of holding a card worth auctioning with a specialty collectibles house like any of those on this list, service and how I’d be treated would be at the top of the list. So, seeing SCP lead with a homepage note on “first-class” service sits very well with me.
Beyond that, per the video above “SCP is “committed to every consignor to SCP auctions whether it be a single item or an entire collection to deliver that person the greatest auction experience possible and the greatest financial rewards that can be had.”
Looking at the most recent February Finest auction, there was an incredible Lou Gehrig Autographed 1934 Goudey #37 Card PSA/DNA 7 Auto that sold for nearly $138K.
Have a peek at SCP’s 4.5 stars across 12 Google reviews.
The most coveted miscut card in #TheHobby is featured in an @SCPauctions sale! Certified by CSG, the extremely rare 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson card includes a piece of the iconic #311 Mickey Mantle card. The sale ends February 4, so BID NOW! https://t.co/cRsNnzh3v9#CSG #JR42 pic.twitter.com/mfoeYkcFk2— CSG – Certified Sports Guaranty (@CSGCards) January 31, 2023
PWCC is one of the biggest names in sports card auctions in recent memory, not only known for their buying and selling platform, but for the “vault” concept that is sweeping over the hobby, being adopted recently by eBay and showcased by Alt and others.
If you aren’t familiar, a card vault is essentially a “virtual” holding place for your cards. If you’re familiar with buying and selling cards on COMC, you’re utilizing a vault that holds your inventory so you don’t have to handle the cards, ship them out, etc. PWCC offers much of the same, touting its vault as “The largest and most sophisticated trading card archival service in the world.”
I’ve never used the PWCC vault, but the beauty of a vault in general is liquidity—meaning not only can you purchase from a platform for placement into your vault, but you can also list to sell relatively quickly given the card is already on-site, and on-hand, and thus doesn’t require transit, and not usually requiring processing.
PWCC offers a few different marketplace experiences, with a weekly Sunday auction, a monthly Premier auction, and a fixed-price marketplace.
:// Generate —> #CardLadder #LadderHeadlines— Card Ladder (@CardLadder) January 28, 2023
The 2008 Bowman Chrome Russell Westbrook Gold Refractor /50 #114 BGS 9.5 (pop 7) established a record high when it sold for $1,140.00 (Jan 22, 2023) via Auction with PWCC Weekly. The card sold for $405.01 (Dec 8, 2019) 3 years ago. pic.twitter.com/9cXoqIKW0b
Another huge name in auctions, Goldin is a premier outlet for all things cards. Regarding the company’s founder, Ken Goldin: “Ken is one of the most widely recognized leaders in the collectibles industry and over the course of his career has sold more than $1.3 billion in memorabilia from many of the biggest names in sports, history, and pop culture.”
Looking back to the above entry, Goldin has a lot of similarities with PWCC. For instance, Goldin also utilizes three different experiences, including a Weekly Auction (items start as low as $5 in the weekly auction), an Elite Auction, and a Marketplace (where you can make an offer or buy outright). Goldin also offers a vault, and partners with PSA for safe and fast ways to sell your cards.
Goldin is also extremely active across different social media channels, including Twitter, making it easy to get to know the company, its offerings, and unique selling points.
An eclectic mix of PSA-graded items hit high marks in the recent Goldin Vintage auction. A few favorites …— PSAcard (@PSAcard) January 16, 2023
1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain – $204,000
1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. – $4,620
1984 Topps Dan Marino – $3,900
1964 Topps Baseball Unopened 5-Cent Wax Pack – $8,401 pic.twitter.com/pvBEcQCNN9
While all of the entries above focus on sports cards and collectibles, Heritage offers a number of auction categories including art and antiques, coins, comics and more. In fact, Heritage states they are the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, offering expertise in all things collecting, a large base of engaged clients, marketing prowess, and other features to help sellers get the most for their valuables.
In terms of their “why”:
“Collecting valuable objects uniquely rewards owners with beauty, history, personal satisfaction, and more. Unfortunately, new collectors often overpay for these objects and become disillusioned, while inexperienced owners and heirs routinely receive too little when selling. For collecting to become a more credible and inclusive vehicle for wealth creation, the playing field between experts and novices must be level .”
:// Generate —> #CardLadder #AllTimeHigh— Card Ladder (@CardLadder) November 28, 2021
The 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle #82 PSA 8 (pop 94) set an all-time high when it sold for $114,133.00 (Nov 18, 2021) via Auction with Heritage Auctions. The card sold for $55,100.00 (Oct 28, 2020) a year ago. It’s up 107.14% ($59,033.00). pic.twitter.com/KTImdA3Xwf
If you’re on the fence and not sure what your card or collectible might bring in at auction Heritage offers free appraisal (auction evaluation) and “generoud cash advances.”