How To Buy Sports Cards Wholesale

Sam Hayes
Written By Sam Hayes
Sam is a sports journalist and lifelong sports trading card enthusiast. Sam aims to share his expert knowledge of sports cards to help others make smart buying and selling decisions.

The exponential rise of the sports trading card industry has been noted worldwide, with recent developments in the industry seeing a 1952 Topps Micky Mantle card being sold for over $12 million in August 2022.

How collectors go about moving their cards around is often a broad tapestry, with no set formula in place for collectors generally.

However, there is one approach to sports card trading that is universally revered and it is that of wholesale sports card buying and selling.

As in any industry, buying or selling in bulk is often successful, as it enables the seller to make a profit on a bigger number of units and in turn, it can save the consumer money on each unit they purchase.

Sports card wholesaling however is a relatively new phenomenon, with the very nature of seeking out rare and sought after sports trading cards, seemingly counter intuitive to buying cards on the wholesale market.

More and more sports trading card companies have emerged on the markets in recent years, creating an increase in the sheer number of cards available for collectors to buy and sell.

Consequently, enthusiasts are now turning to effective sports trading wholesaling in order to keep their collections flowing and to keep churning out profits where possible.

Here is a rundown of some of the key considerations to have when looking to buy sports cards wholesale:

Do the Research

Just acquiring a range of sports trading cards because they are accessible or cheap, is one of the cardinal sins when it comes to sports trading card collection.

Whilst inevitably the rarest cards on the market are seldom available to buy in bulk due to their status as a rare piece, most cards come in significant print runs, enabling those who are quick to the draw to jump on some wholesale bargains.

However, it is essential that all collectors chase down reputable card producers and popular players/athletes when purchasing cards on the wholesale market – otherwise they could end up with batches of valueless cards on their hands.

Having even a passing interest in any sport will enable sports trading card collectors to be perceptively aware of which cards/players will do better than others on the resale market.

Taking a really deep dive however into the form of certain players, their respective ages and any scouting reports on their performances, can all have an impact on potential resale value further down the line.

One of the most tried and tested formulas when it comes to making a profit in the wholesale sports trading card market is to be ahead of the curve when it comes to upcoming sporting stars.

Acquiring a wholesale lot of a player from their rookie year, who goes on to achieve big things in their respective sport, can yield serious sums of money in the future and is an effective way of buying in bulk.

Keep on top of the pricing

Bulk buying in any industry always carries a risk, as laying down plenty of money to purchase lots of one thing, generally has to carry its value further down the track.

In the sports trading card world, this mantra remains the same and is perhaps more pertinent than ever.

Collectors need to keep on top of any pricing adjustments when buying in bulk and they must look at the overall value of a given card in isolation, before looking to multiply it on the wholesale market.

Profit margins always need to be adhered to, even if buying in a wholesale setting and consequently, there is always room for negotiation for buyers and sellers – even if they are buying a job lot.

That said, having lots of cards that could return hefty sums down the line can be a real game changer for some collectors, so being savvy about when to splurge, can also be just as effective.

Be organised

It perhaps goes without saying, but being on top of all the comings and goings in any sports trading card collection, is the most important facet – regardless of ones rationale for sports card trading in the first place.

All collectors must have a fool proof inventory, which they refer to at all times and can locate certain cards with ease.

When buying on the wholesale market, lots of cards often change hands, which can see huge influxes to the card collections of enthusiasts and not being abreast of all the moving parts, can be disastrous for collectors.

Working the comparisons of all the cards within the market and staying on top of all the ins and outs in any sports trading card collection is essential, especially when indulging in the world of wholesale purchasing.

Distribute effectively

Taking the step from being a sports trading card hobbyist to being a full blown sports trading card distributor is often a big one, that can be daunting for some collectors.

However, there are plenty of resources available to collectors these days and market comparisons and grading is easier today than it ever has been before.

If taking the lunge into sports trading card distribution, wholesale purchasing becomes the bread and butter, as it enables users to move cards quickly through their collection and hopefully yield profits.

Inevitably, there are some risks that come with being a registered sports trading card distributor and ensuring that all protocols are met, is the only way distributors generally see success.

So ensuring, all traders are registered with a genuine online store and are familiar with the workings of graders such as PSA and Beckett, is an absolute non-negotiable for anybody looking to move into sports card distribution.

Once those pre-requisites are met, traders have ample opportunity to buy and sell sports trading cards effectively on the wholesale market.

As with any industry, wholesale is an effective tool – for both buyers and sellers.

When it comes to sports card trading, being savvy with when to buy in bulk and when to keep collections and move them on, can yield some excellent returns, for all levels of collector.