A generation ago, listing out the best places to buy baseball cards online would have resulted in some pretty slim pickings (or a pretty picture of Slim Pickens — something like that).
Back in the 1990s and 2000s, after all, the internet was just getting its feet under it, and we were all trying to find our way.
Today, we’re still trying to find our way, but rather than jumping from sparse outpost to sparse outpost, the challenge is to cut through all the noise and get us where we want to be — in this case, that would be the best places on the web to buy baseball cards.
Pretty amazingly, the very best place back when we were rockin’ our Mosaic sessions still sits at (or at least near) the top of the list all these years later.
The oldest and biggest online marketplace and auction site is a great place to start your search for whatever it is you’re looking for in terms of baseball cards, other sports cards, and sports memorabilia of all kinds.
Although eBay began as an all-auction platform, today it offers up buy-it-now offers and seller stores featuring items you can buy at sticker price.
With thousands and thousands of sellers, it’s usually pretty likely that you can find what you need in some form or another.
The drawbacks to buying on eBay include dealing with sellers yourself, especially if something goes wrong; sometimes hefty shipping and handling fees; hassles should you need to make a return; and difficulties finding really unusual items.
Still, all in all, eBay remains a rock star when it comes to buying baseball cards online.
No surprise you can find baseball cards on the world’s preeminent online shopping site, right?
While you may not have as much luck finding that 1974 Topps Dan Driessen you’ve always coveted on Big A as you would on eBay, Amazon is a great place to find newer cards and unopened material. It’s also the preferred shopping spot for many when comes to buying hobby supplies like sheets, boxes, top loaders, and the like.
Check Out My Cards (COMC)
COMC is a clearing house of sort, allowing collectors and dealers with cards to sell to send them to a central location (yes, COMC), and for buyers to find the cards at that same location.
In between, COMC does a lot of the heavy lifting of cataloging, storing, grading, and listing the cards for sale. They also list cards sent to them on eBay, so sellers get double-dip exposure.
Because COMC draws from a wide swath of the hobby, you’ll find a huge variety of cards available for purchase, and dealing with one large entity gives you some recourse for disputes.
Check out COMC here.
Sportlots is sort of like a separate, old-school eBay dedicated to sports cards and memorabilia.
While the site is a bit clunky, the retro feel actually fits well with the nostalgia of old baseball cards, so … win!
Check out Sportlots here.
Another clearinghouse type of site, The Pit gives collectors (and dealers) access to wide range of cards and other collectors.
You can buy, sell, and trade on the site, with The Pit playing middle man and taking commissions and other fees for their efforts.
Like COMC, the wide variety of merchandise on The Pit, plus their account structure, helps smooth your search and transactions.
Check out The Pit here.
The oldest and most trusted price guide makers in the hobby also provide one of the biggest online marketplaces for buying, selling, and trading sports cards across the spectrum — old and new, big four sports and more, all the manufacturers.
Once you find a favorite seller on the site, you can also visit their Beckett storefront to see their other offerings, and there is also an option to compare sellers and card prices among different offerings.
Check out the Beckett Marketplace here.
Hundreds (or more!) of card dealers maintain their own websites and most of those allow you to buy cards online. A simple Google search will turn up tons of these sites, but here are some of the best:
Although it might sound funny at first, the truth is that there is a huge community of collectors on Facebook.
And there are many, many groups dedicated to buying, selling, and trading baseball cards, some of them with a specific focus — specific players or teams, vintage cards, new cards, rookie card, etc.
Of course, you have to be careful when buying cards on Facebook because you’re pretty much flying solo and brokering deals directly with the other party.
Do your homework, in other words.
As strong as the collector community on Facebook is, Twitter might be an even greater hotbed of hobby activity.
Certainly, interactions come fast and furious on the micro-text platform, and you can build some camaraderie quickly there if you’re genuine and civil.
Something else you can do on Twitter? Buy, sell, and trade baseball cards.
Different people do this different ways — some show photos and link to listings on other sites from this list, some ask for DM bids, others start running threads on a certain time of day on a certain night of the week.
As with Facebook, it’s always buyer and seller beware on Twitter since you’re pretty much going it alone when it comes to vetting the other party.
Instagram may be the perfect platform for showcasing the cards you have for sale since the whole shebang is based on, you know, showing things with pictures.
As with Facebook and Twitter, it didn’t take collectors and dealers long to figure out how to use Instagram for buying, selling, and trading cards.
You’re sure to find plenty of interesting cards, and plenty of cardboard eye candy, but again — be careful with your transactions initiated on any social media platform.