The 14 Easiest Ways to Buy Sports Cards

There are many options to find stores that sell sports cards near you. This guide will help you learn the pros and cons of each.

sports card shops near me
sports card shops near me

Learn your options, and the trade-offs, before you set out to add to your sports card collection.

Sales of sports cards are booming. In 2020, eBay reported that sports card sales increased on their site by 142 percent over 2019 levels. By 2021, eBay said the number of sports card buyers had doubled, with much of the growth coming from “collectors, flippers and those who are turning to trading cards as another avenue of investment to diversify their portfolios.”

This renewed interest in sports cards has spawned plenty of options to buy and sell sports cards and card sets. You may be surprised to learn the “easiest” option may not be the best one for you. Here are some benefits and tradeoffs you’ll want to understand before hitting up Google or dropping into local communities with requests for “sports card shops near me.”

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eBay and other online options to buy sports cards

Craigslist

OfferUp and Mercari

Fanatics

Amazon

Facebook Groups can help

Sports card store locator

Sports card shows

Flea markets

Buying sports cards directly from distributors

Buying cards from mass market retailers

Understanding why cards will differ from store to store

Buying sports cards at auction

Consider buying cards through our fractional market
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eBay and other online options to buy sports cards

We’ve already mentioned eBay and most serious collectors will already be familiar with their wide offering of options to buy sports trading cards online. Not all transactions require shipping – some people prefer to search and pick up locally. Just be sure to keep all your communication and transactions on the eBay site to avoid fraud.

Craigslist

Craigslist is another online option to explore. Unlike eBay’s auction marketplace, Craigslist is more of a global classified listing where you can find virtually anything for sale. However, you can zero in your search by state or city to find folks selling sports cards closer to you. Craigslist can be a little hit or miss. One day, you may not see anything of interest, but another day you may discover entire collections posted by people who are moving and want to downsize their belongings.

OfferUp and Mercari

Other online sites to check out are OfferUp and Mercari. OfferUp caters to buying and selling items locally and you can find plenty of sports cards, while Mercari bills itself as a great way to declutter what you don’t want and to find and buy what you do.

Fanatics

Fanatics is a popular online store that has expanded into selling sports cards. Initially known for team-specific apparel, Fanatics has expanded its sports card offering and even occasionally offers its own exclusive sets.

Amazon

No listing of online options to buy sports cards would be complete without Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. As with just about any product search on Amazon, you’re going to have plenty of choices. A recent Amazon search for sports cards yielded thousands upon thousands of results —but you’ll be able to quickly narrow that down to find what you’re looking for.

The Benefits of Buying in Person

As great and convenient as online shopping can be, there are trade-offs. Many sports card buyers and collectors enjoy the experience of visiting stores in person. There’s a lot to be said for the social aspect of speaking with the store’s staff, asking about trends and new arrivals, and seeing the product in person. So let’s start with some options to explore sports trading card specialty shops before addressing buying sports cards at mass retail.

Facebook Groups

Don’t despair if your Google search for “sports card shops near me” yields unsatisfactory results. Another option is to use Facebook Groups, where you’ll find tons of communities dedicated to buying and selling sports cards. In addition to the transactions, you’ll find these groups can be a great source of community and an excellent source of insights on the plusses and minuses of the shops in your area.

Sports Card Store Locator

Beckett Media has been one of the most authoritative voices in the collectibles market for years. They publish a sports card store locator that is an invaluable resource for anyone in the market to buy or sell sports cards.

Sports Card Shows

Card shows and conventions are another great venue for buying sports cards in person.  Here again, Beckett provides a continuously updated listing of card shows nationally.

Flea Markets

For buyers who really enjoy the thrill of the hunt, flea markets can be a great option. If you haven’t been to one in a while, remember it’s not all secondhand discards.  Many flea markets feature specialty vendors and this can be a great place to find some great sports card deals.

Buying Cards from Mass Market Distributors

Another less explored path for those looking to buy sports cards in bulk is buying direct from sports card distributors. Here’s a great guide featuring sports cards distributors and their specialties.

Buying Cards from Mass Market Retailers

That covers many of the specialty shops and less-well-known means of buying sports cards. But of course, there are many stores that sell sports cards.  Most, if not all, of the retailers below also sell sports cards on their websites, so it might be wise to check both options. You can find sports cards at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, CVS, and even Dollar Tree.

Understanding why cards will differ from store to store

However, it’s critical to understand that manufacturers essentially offer a different product to different classes of trade. In other words, the product available at a retail store will be different than what you could purchase at a specialty card shop. The specialty shop will offer a “hobby” form of the product, which will have a much greater likelihood of including a game-used, lower-serial number, or autographed product. Retail stores will typically offer one type of card or another. For example, CVS may have repacks and Dollar Tree may only have single packs.

Buying sports cards at auction

Sports card auctions represent yet another option to explore. Robert Edwards Auctions is one of the industry leaders. Their website provides a good starting point for buyers looking to learn more about the auction process. And by exploring past auctions included on the site, you’ll have a good understanding of what’s possible before stepping up to the plate at your first auction.

Consider buying cards through our fractional market

There are many ways to buy sports cards to add to your collection. Game-changing new technology now makes it possible to buy and sell fractional parts of sports cards, all authenticated and secured on the blockchain.  To learn more about the fractional collectible market and start buying sports cards on Dibbs, sign up for an account today — you’ll even receive three free frac packs to start trading right away.