The Best Ways To Sell Sports Cards & How To Make More Money Doing It

Modern sports cards

Sports card collecting has skyrocketed recently, and many people either want to get in the game or figure out how to make money with sports card trends.

While the hobby has been around for quite some time now, collectors have changed the game in several ways in the last few years. Here are seven newer trends in card collecting and how you can make money on sports cards with them.


In the days of online streaming, influencers, and social media, it was only a matter of time before the internet spilled over into card collecting. But what is a live break? Is it worth getting into if you’re looking for the best ways to sell sports cards?

A live break is an event where a business or collector's group will purchase sealed boxes or cases of sports cards, typically in large amounts or more expensive products. They will then "break" or open the boxes or packs while showing the cards to viewers on a live stream through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Whatnot..


Collectors will pay ahead of time for a particular section of the break. For example, sometimes they will purchase a certain team, like the New York Yankees. This means that all Yankees cards pulled will go to that collector. Other times a break might have teams given out to all participants via a randomization. 

Purchasing these groups of cards beforehand is one of the best ways to sell sports cards, allowing you to pull a rare or valuable card for significantly less than its cost once it has been revealed. This is how you can make money with sports cards while being smart with your budget. 

For example, certain autographed Zion Williamson cards might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but if you get a Panini Chronicles hobby case for a few hundred dollars, you might be able to pull his card and make a massive profit with just that one card! Not to mention all the other Pelican cards that you might pull of value.


Besides the shared thrill of getting cards with other collectors, there are a few reasons people may go with a live break rather than purchasing the entire box themselves. For most collectors, the best ways to buy and sell sports cards are those that minimize risk and maximize convenience.

First, many sports card boxes can be very expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars apiece! This is rather daunting for many collectors, and splitting the cost allows people to continue making money on sports cards without sinking quite so much money in one blow.

Second, many people will try to analyze current sports card market trends to predict particular players, teams, or cards that will make money in the following months, or oftentimes, simply the team they like the best and follow. The Lakers are a good example of how to make money with sports card trends. If the Los Angeles Lakers look to be a popular team to collect, a collector can buy only those particular cards. This is why flagship product lines like the Panini Select hobby cases are always in high demand, featuring elite versions of fan-favorite players.

Live breaks are one of the best ways to sell and buy sports cards while being selective. By buying into a live break, collectors don't have to worry about paying extra for other teams they don't think will do as well that might drive their profit down, or pay for cards of players on teams they don’t care about. 

What If You Do Want To Buy Boxes?

Buying a hobby box is an efficient way to turn a profit with sports cards. Hobby boxes might not offer the kind of addictive value that live breaks do, but they’re a safe bet for collectors who want to take their time with the hobby and build a strong sports card collection over time. Keep these pointers in mind if you’re looking for the best ways to sell sports cards with hobby boxes.

  • Short/Long-Term: What kind of timeframe are you working with? Hobby boxes are generally ideal for sellers who are ready to build up a collection of valuable cards over a period of time.

    That said, many enterprising collectors also try to get their hands on hobby box pre-sales at the rated price and flip them later when the value skyrockets, for a quick profit. For example, the Panini Immaculate basketball cases are popular choices for sellers looking to flip sports cards for a quick profit.

  • Diversity: New entrants who don’t know how to make money with sports cards will shy away from hobby boxes, daunted at the prospect of pulling cards they might not want. You can turn this weakness into one of the best ways to sell sports cards, by harnessing those sports card boxes to build a diverse collection.

    Since most cases come up with upwards of 200+ cards, it’s easy to build a formidable collection in a short span of time. Once you’re set, you can respond quickly to fluctuations in market conditions to sell your cards at the right time. Someone who exclusively collects Minnesota Timberwolves cards might not be able to capitalize on the surging popularity of an Anthony Edwards card – but you can!


Many companies advertise their live breaks, so be sure to check their schedules and sign up for social media feeds if you’re looking to learn the best ways to sell sports cards. When a particular sport and box you enjoy comes along, you can buy in and enjoy making money on sports cards!


A graded card is any sports card that has been sent to a professional grading service and given a grade. This grade declares the condition of the card, ranging from 1 (Poor) to 10 (Gem Mint). These cards are typically put in hard protective slabs to preserve their current condition. But why does it matter when it comes to learning how to make money with sports cards?


Professionally grading a card often increases its value to astronomical heights. Many high-end cards are graded before sale (which also ensures their authenticity), giving potential buyers more security that not only does a card appear to be in mint condition, but it is in mint condition. People like knowing they're not getting fooled, and that extra reassurance is often enough for them to pay more.


No! Getting a card graded costs money and does not always increase a card's value if you’re looking for the best ways to sell your sports cards. Many cards are already worth next to nothing and getting them graded does very little to their value. In addition, almost all of the top grading companies have a huge backlog they are currently working through, so it could be several months before you receive your graded card back, so you need to be aware of possible market fluctuations that may happen while you are waiting to get your card back.

Even with more "middle-grade" valued cards, you may end up losing money if the costs of shipping and grading your cards end up being more than any increase in selling price – especially if you pay to grade a card that has a high population or doesn’t grade as well as you think it will.

If you have a card you're considering getting graded, you should check recent sales of the same or similar cards for others who have chosen to sell those cards. Remember, there is no single best way to sell your sports cards; planning is paramount if you want to learn how to make money with sports cards. Compare ungraded cards with graded ones, and see if there appears to be a big difference. If it seems like a noticeable improvement and you closely inspect your card and believe it will grade well, it may be worth doing!

You should also know that if you only want protection, it is much cheaper to buy a sports card sleeve or slab on your own. Don't pay the extra money for grading if all you need is something to keep the card safe! This is a major lesson to learn before you begin making money on sports cards. 


Many sports card companies, businesses, and individual sellers offer deals and giveaways. These are always worth keeping an eye out for, as they can be one of the best ways to sell sports cards. Since you’re getting new cards as freebies, you’ll get higher profit margins on every sale. 

Also, keep an eye out for giveaways, events, and sports card shows. Subscriber emails and newsletters, as well as social media, are excellent ways to keep track of these. Sometimes a company or website will even give you a free gift if you subscribe, so be sure to search for as many of those deals as you can. For those wondering how to make money with sports cards, there’s nothing better than the right piece of information at the right time.

And as a bonus, if you live near a major sports stadium, find out if card companies give away free cards to fans. Sometimes you can get extra cards just by showing up outside an event!


In recent decades, hits and parallel cards have become major for those looking for the best ways to sell sports cards. In fact, they are often the most valuable cards in modern cards! Many sports card hobby boxes will contain a guaranteed number of hits and parallel cards, increasing the number of cards to hunt for and collect. 


A hit is typically an autographed and/or memorabilia card that is randomly inserted into packs or boxes. There are also case hits of short print inserts. The odds of getting a particular type of hit vary, but are often printed on the back of card packages. Hit values can range tremendously, but typically these are going to fetch the highest prices of any cards in each box.

It’s important to research checklists to see which players have hits in different boxes, so you can align your purchases with your goals. Keep your research close by as you analyze the best ways to sell your sports cards; they can reveal unseen opportunities. For example, an autographed Stephen Curry sports card from an otherwise mid-range lineup, Donruss Optic, is already worth $800 on the NBA store alone. 


A parallel is a particular type of insert card. It will generally look very similar to a base version of that card but may have a different colored border. These cards should be at the top of your list if you’re wondering how to make money with sports cards.

For example, pretend you pull a regular Mike Trout card. It shows him in action, with some cool design and a white border on the front, then his stats on the back. But then you find another Mike Trout card with the same photo of him, but the border and design are different. For those who know the best ways to sell sports cards, this is a jackpot. This slight change is the sign of a parallel card, and they are often worth a decent amount more than the base sets if you decide to sell these sports cards.


Many rarer hits and parallel cards will feature a serial number, either on the front or the back. These indicate that this particular card was made as a limited print run. Collectors who are well-versed in making money on sports cards will often look for these numbers before all else. For example, you might pull a card with "12/50" on the front. This means it is the 12th out of only 50 of that particular card that was made.

The best way to sell your sports cards is to keep it simple: smaller is better. Typically, the smaller the print run, the more valuable the card. Many of the most valuable cards are hits (autographs or memorabilia cards) with a lower serial number/print run.


Many inserts won't be worth much when you’re starting to learn how to make money with sports cards and experimenting with new packs – at least on their own. More "basic" insert cards can be more valuable in sets, however, so if you are purchasing cards in bulk, you may be able to make some money back once you get enough for complete sets.

You'll need to research the sports card industry statistics for pulling particular types of inserts and the best ways to sell those sports cards, but the hottest sports cards are typically rookie cards (or 1st Bowman baseball cards), memorabilia, autographs, and their parallels. Try to find some inserts in a particular year that might be worth a nice premium and figure out which types of boxes give the best chances of pulling those inserts.


With the advent of the internet, opportunities have exploded for picking up a wide variety of sports cards.

You should sleuth around auction sites and sports card stores, as well as local listings and even garage or estate sales. You will get a good feel for what's selling and what isn't (and for how much), and can get a good idea of what you want to purchase. Especially look for people trying to get rid of their "junk," as they will often undersell in the name of expediency!

Unfortunately, you will have some stiff competition if you want to focus on the best ways to sell sports cards. Many people spend all day looking for how to make money with sports cards online and will snatch up opportunities as soon as they see them. You can't win every deal, but play smart, and you'll find yourself making some good purchases!


Virtual sports cards are a very recent development, but they have taken off with many collectors. While they don't offer a physical card to hold, these "moments" are often purchased in the same way as regular cards, with packs, rare inserts, and parallels. Making money on virtual sports cards can be surprisingly profitable.

As funny as it may sound, these electronic cards use blockchain technology to ensure a particular card's authenticity, making them much more valuable than simply having pictures online.

Since this phenomenon is so brand new, there is significantly more risk involved in the digital space for those who treat it as the best way to sell sports cards. This market is very new and difficult to predict, so it is prudent not to invest too heavily in this space unless you have a huge risk tolerance.


Now that you know a few things about how to make money with sports cards, what should you do now?

You'll want to dig into the research about your particular sport or category and try to find everything about it. Once you think you're ready to start, dive in, and start ripping those packs open! You never know what you'll find.

If you have other questions about the best ways to sell sports cards or want to purchase some cards to get started, contact us at Giant Sports Cards or visit our local card shop! We'll be happy to help you get started, no matter the budget. Unbox Your Love Of The Game™ today!