The whole “there is an app for that” campaign and resulting pop culture phenomenon seems like ages ago (younger collectors probably don’t even have a clue as to what I’m talking about).
But what’s really amazing is, think about how true that statement was back then, and then how much more realistic it is these days?
Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that baseball cards have blown up again to the point where we are talking hobby apps, and using the best tools possible to value your cards (or to value cards you’re looking to track and purchase), scan them into your collection, or even pre-grade them.
So, here are nine different apps to consider when it comes to doing more with your sports cards. While there isn’t a “ranking” order I have tried to group these by app “type.” For instance, some of these are for collection cataloging, others are for value lookups, some do a little of everything.
Here is a bulleted list with links leading to the different websites (and mention of what the app is great for), and then details and app store links to follow:
CollX is probably the truest baseball card scanning app on this list, along with perhaps TrueGrade, which I’ll also add below. Anyway, I actually did a video on CollX, which I’ll let do most of the talking, but super easy and straightforward. Grab a card, scan it with the app, and receive a value.
Now, no app is going to be perfect, and I do always recommend checking and double checking with multiple sources, but with a clean interface and functionality, I have high hopes for this one. Take a look:
New to the mix is Ludex, which is tagged as a “…sports and trading card scanning app that accurately identifies and tracks the value of your card collection.” I recently took the app for a spin and loved how easy it was to get started, and how quickly the app scanned and identified my cards.
The process is simple—grab a card, click the “Scan Card” button, line up the card for the scan, click the button as if you were taking a picture, and a few seconds later you see something like this. Clean, clear, and informative:
Once scanned, you can view the card’s pricing report, which will take you to a list of recent sales with clickable eBay links if you wanted to verify past sales. You can also add the card to your portfolio, and as you can see from the image above, select a different parallel in case the card was misidentified.
While I did hit a couple of roadblocks when scanning numbered cards, I’m hopeful the AI only gets smarter and smarter from this point forward.
3. Cardbase: Sports Card Tracker
I’ll be honest—out of all of the apps listed above and below, Cardbase is the only one I hadn’t heard of, and I only found it in doing a “cover my bases” check on the AppStore. So, I haven’t used the app at length, but I can tell you that I’ve enjoyed the interface and options from my short time with it.
Once you’ve downloaded, go ahead and search for a card, and then add it to your portfolio along with all of the details including date purchased, purchase price, and more.
From there, once a card has been added to your portfolio, you can watch its value grow (hopefully). The app will track the card’s worth based on recent eBay sales, providing nice graphics, recently completed sale info, and more.
While the apps presented so far all help you price and/or catalog your collection, TrueGrade is different in that it is scanning and grading your card, primarily.
You’ll find the functionality is similar and expected (place the card as if you’re taking a photo, click, and wait) but there is certainly more direction given the app’s purpose is to provide a grade and condition rating.
For example, here are the image requirements and guidelines to ensure you get the most accurate grade as possible:
To see this in action, I scanned this Jarren Duran 2022 Topps Update Black /71. It’s not a card I’d grade given the centering isn’t perfect, but the corners and edges aren’t bad given the tough black border. (I was also curious how the surface would be graded given the photo comes with rainfall.)
After a few seconds of calculations, the card received:
- 9.5 Corners
- 9.5 Edges
- 10 Surface
- 6.5 Centeredness
While I was thrown off by the 6.5 centeredness, I felt the grade was fairly accurate. Like all things, though (and as you’ll see me mention a number of times here) nothing is going to be perfect, so consider this an initial first step when deciding to grade or not to grade.
So, consider this a special entry because it’s not a true app, but I found it pretty cool and useful so wanted to share.
If you haven’t heard of Alt, it is many things, but most pertinent to this post is that is a marketplace where you can buy sports cards. Of course, you can also sell cards, and one tool Alt provides to help you do so is their “Instant pricer” tool.
At first, I thought it was going to be some sort of scanner, but all you need to do is upload a photo of your card. After a few seconds, you’re met with a new page of data, including the “Alt value” but also the “last sold price” along with a list of the most recent eBay sales.
6. Sports Card Investor
“But baseball cards aren’t investments!” If you spend any time in any baseball card community, you’ve probably heard this point argued a time or two.
No matter your thoughts, you might still would like to have a clean, easy-to-use app to help you value your collection, right?
The Sports Card Investor app boasts big crisp images, tables of data showing recent sales, and historical charts to allow you to easily view just how “up and down” a card’s value might be cruising.
There is, of course, the option to buy cards directly from the app as well thanks to the integrated eBay ads and listings as well.
A lot of data and buying options brought together into one place and presented through a clean interface.
Yes, still the king cad app for many reasons, and while there might be a lot to be said about buying and selling cards on the eBay platform, the app provides a few different ways to really zero in on a card’s value.
This includes looking at recently sold listings of similar cards to get an idea of value, or, if there aren’t any sold “comps” or comparisons, looking to see if there are any cards currently for sale on market.
One thing to point out is, if you’re looking at the trends of a card’s value, try not to get too invested in either the top sales price (as a seller) or the lowest sales price (as a buyer).
Meaning, unfortunately, not every eBay auction that ends with a high bidder or purchaser gets paid for, which means the price you might be seeing, let’s call it the outlier, might not be a great indicator of true value.
Thus, if you’re able to take an average or see that the least few sales of a card all settled for around the same price or within a given range, you might be able to gain more confidence in that price being the “true” value.
So, eBay—a trusted name with a ton of data thanks to the volume of transactions, but some potentially misleading information stemming from non-paying bidders, and, one other consideration…
Continuing the conversation from above, have you ever noticed when looking at sold listings on eBay, those that were accepted via best offer have their price listed with a strikethrough? If you’re just getting back into cards, you may not realize that this price shown isn’t actually the price the card sold for.
So, for instance, if a card was listed at an insane $100 price, but the seller accepted a best offer of $20, it’s the $100 you’re going to see on the app, which is pretty misleading if you don’t notice the strikethrough or, more likely if you don’t know what the strikethrough means.
All of that build-up and backstory leads us to this—SoldFor and other similar apps can show you the actual price the card sold for, “Best Offer” or not.
So if you look at the example below, you can see the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. “2019 Topps Series 2 NNO No Number SP Card RC Rookie PSA 9” that sold on May 26th for “$95.” But again, note the strikethrough—the $95 is merely the price at which the seller listed the card, but with “Best Offer” enabled, accepted a lower price from a buyer.
There isn’t any way of knowing that accepted price from the eBay app, but as you can see here, SoldFor is reporting the true $85 sales price (in red).
9. WorthPoint (Free Trial Here)
Worthpoint might be a lesser-known option, but one that helped me out a bit a while back when I was still getting the feel for cards and how to look up card values given the app offers something different and useful thanks to the wealth of historical info.
Think of it like eBay’s Terapeak, but with years and years of data rather than just 12 months, but unfortunately, also without the pretty graphs and interactive filtering. So, it might not be as visually appealing as the other options, and it comes at a price ($29.99/month after a free trial) but if you’re constantly searching for obscure items that just don’t pop up that often, and might have only years ago, it might make sense.
Another name you’ve probably heard a time or two, only this time, instead of the monthly subscription magazine you’d run and check the mail for, you have card values at your fingertips with the Beckett app.
You will still have to pay the monthly fee to access, but if you’re a regular Beckett user, and have found yourself consulting either the print or online guide from time to time, this app should make things a bit easier.
One thing to point out—Beckett value can vary greatly from the actual sold-for pricing that you’ll see on eBay and other apps. So, take this info as you will, (perhaps more to compare different cards) but the apps above might be more fluid and thus better indicators of true value of the cards you’re looking to buy or sell at the moment.