Many of us have been there: you spot that card you’ve been after for ages online, bids are low and it ends in minutes. Without thinking you place your bid and win the item - only to find it may not have been in quite the quality you had hoped.
So here are the steps I always try my best to follow - especially on high ticket items - when purchasing Batman cards on eBay.
- If possible use previous sales to determine an approximate online sales value. When sold online cards are often have different values than when sold in stores or auction houses. If the card you’re after has a regular sales volume you can use eBay’s completed listings search to see actual sales of previous items. Alternatively you could watch items available now to view the bidding activity and sale price.
- Decide on a maximum value and stick to it. Once you’ve got an approximate value in mind for the item, decide what you are prepared to pay. Bidding toward the end of the auction can help avoid bidding wars but never go over your maximum price.
- Only buy cards which include a large and clear photo of the exact item you will receive. You need to be sure of the condition of the card before deciding on its value. Ensure the listing includes a clear photo and check the corners, edges and centering for quality. If the seller doesn’t say whether the photo shows the exact item then ask - most quality sellers will be happy to send you high resolution scans.
- Make sure the photo shows the corners and edges. Some sellers will crop the photo into the card for neatness. This (usually inadvertently) prevents you from clearly viewing the corners and edges.
- Use the seller’s feedback to determine their reputation and likelihood of professionalism. The higher the feedback and greater the reputation to uphold the more likely that a seller will honestly describe the card and professionally handle your purchase. However this has a flip side in that a higher reputation normally leads to a more sought after seller which results in higher sales prices.
- Buy PSA or BVG 6+ for vintage cards and PSA or BGS 8+ for 1980’s onward cards. A graded card has had its condition professionally determined. I find PSA/BVG 6 and above to be fine examples of pre-80’s cards - PSA/BGS 8 and above are stunning modern cards. When you buy graded you know exactly what you’re getting, however, these cards are accordingly more expensive.
I hope these tips help you to grow an awesome Batman cards collection! Feel free to jump over the the section I have showing Batman cards for sale right now to find some new additions.