We’ve been pulling some good Magic cards lately, and our binder was getting pretty full. So I tooled on over to eBay, and I posted a slew of cards over a two-week period.
The outcome? Mixed.
Here are the results:
We sold a total of 32 cards for a total of $333.65. (Yes, for pieces of card stock with pretty pictures. It’s kind of insane.)
We paid eBay $48.05 in fees and PayPal $15.08. We also paid $16.55 over and above what customers gave us for shipping fees.
That’s a total of $253.97. For $450 worth of cards.
Meanwhile, card shops will pay you 50% in cash when you trade in cards.
Of course, the shop has to actually want the card, and the shops tend to use a slightly different metric to determine card value.
Still, I’m pretty sure we would have gotten at least $200 cash without the hassle of checking completed and current auctions to set the price, keeping an eye on your listings, and packaging the cards for mailing.
That’s a difference of just over $50.
On the other hand, an extra $50 is always appreciated — especially when it can go directly from PayPal into our ING savings account. Cash in hand has a remarkable tendency to dribble away until there’s almost nothing left.
So what’s the verdict? I think we’ll need to take it on a case-by-case basis.
For example, it sounds great to get even $3 for a card on eBay. But after fees, you’re looking at $1.13. You may actually get more from selling to a shop.
But a $10 card will get you $7.25 (compared to $5) and a $30 card will net $24.35 ($15).
It’s a whole lot of headache-inducing math. The upshot, though, is that our savings account got padded. In the end, that’s worth a lot.
Have any of you plumbed the depths of online auctions?