Trading Sports Cards Online

We at Sports Card Blog love to trade cards, but the location is absolutely terrible for trading. Living in kind of a mountain, cow town has it’s disadvantages in this regard. The closest decent shops are 30 minutes to an hour away and they really don’t have any events for collectors or their customers. Once a month there is a show at a mall about 35 minutes away. I have actually never been to Jantzen Beach Mall for this card show, but if it is anything like some of the hobby shops in the city I’m going to be disappointed. They need to take some of my ideas to run a better hobby shop.

So I have to resort to doing 99.9% of my trading online, but that is okay with me. Even though I have to pay to ship the cards in some sort of protective package and send it to far away countries like Canada, it’s still worth it in the end. I haven’t had the opportunity to trade with anyone farther away then Canada but I am always happy to trade with anyone else.

I use different sports card forums for my trading. When choosing a sports card forum for trading, you look to find the most legit forums. I’ve been browsing several forums lately looking for the best of the best. First, let me start off by saying no site is 100% safe when you are trading. But I would stay away from places like YouTube where there is absolutely no method of weeding out the bad traders.

My favorite and the place I trade the most is Sports Card Forum. Sports Card Forum probably has the largest number of people to trade with across all sports. These people come from all ages and backgrounds from around the world. I admit I may have somewhat of a “homer” bias with them because it was my first forum I ever joined and I was a staff member there for 3 years. But over 200 transactions and never having any of my cards or money stolen is definitely a good thing. I would say their forte is their football area which is probably the biggest of any forum sites. They are always looking for ways to improve the experience and have a ton of features. Finally, SCF as it’s called, has the best custom built Trade Manager of any site to keep everything organized and in place.

My second favorite place to trade is at CloutsnChara. First, I want to start by stating they are 95% hockey collectors. I collect all sports but this is definitely a great place to trade if you are into hockey. Plus they hold the most group breaks I have ever seen with just about every product imaginable in hockey. If you’re American like me you’ll be sending to Canada quite a bit and Canada Post isn’t always the most reliable when it comes to international shipping. This owner also owns their own card shop in Canada so they can help you getting the newest hockey products.

Although I’ve never traded on this site, I find the discussion to be top notch and it has great possibilities for trading. Freedom Cardboard is that site. Although at times I find some of the discussions to be brash and some of the members to be kind of rude to newer people, I think they mean well. I would recommend this site to those in the slightly older crowd and those with thicker skin. There are a lot of baseball people there and a lot of prospectors so if you are into prospecting or just baseball cards this is probably the best site for baseball card collectors. The owner here is also always trying to improve the experience with new ideas and also owns his own card shop in Georgia.

I’ve traded on Trading Card Central as well, but I feel like this site is slowly going downhill. The members are leaving and it’s becoming more and more inactive on the forums. Secondly, I haven’t traded on Card Collector’s World but I know a lot of the members and staffers there to be good people. It’s a pretty tight knit community that is easy to integrate yourself into. Finally, I’d like to add The Bench as well. I almost forgot about them but they are still a popular forum to trade on, but like others it has tapered off over the years.

So there is a short list of sites for you to check out if you are interested in trading sports cards online.

Preview: 2011 Topps Chrome Football

2011 Topps Chrome football looks to be the best Topps Chrome product to come out in years in any sport. With newly minted inserts, solid on-card rookie autographs, and sleek design, this Topps Chrome should set the mark for future Topps products in the future. There will be some sticker autograph in this product though, but I’m sure it is impossible to get everyone on card.

As collectors, we love hard-signed content and Topps has been doing their best to get as much on-card goodness as they can and they have been doing a great job listening to the collectors. On-card Cam Newton, AJ Green, Mark Ingram…the list for the season goes on and Topps has it all in that regard. Then add in all of Topps’ famous refractors and it’s a rookie autograph party. Included this year is a new red and crystal atomic refractor for these autograph. Nothing brings nostalgia like an atomic refractor in your pack of cards.

But where Topps Chrome really shines this year is their insert sets. I admit, I love inserts. Nothing breaks up the monotony of pulling base after base then solid insert cards. Personally, I wish I could have one every pack. This year Topps breaks up that monotony in a number of ways. The best part is that there is an autographed version to every insert subset. A limited edition Bowman Chrome will be inserted along with a Rookie Recognition set. But my favorite is the different die-cut inserts you can pull. Superlative Rookies and Finest Freshman are both very nice looking cards and die-cut into nice shapes. Maybe I’m a little old-school with my inserts, but there is nothing wrong with that.

The only problem I see with this product is that I don’t see any information on veteran autographs. I know Topps Chrome is known for their rookie autographs and it’s a great rookie product but I like pulling veterans too. It would add a little bit of value to a very hit or miss product. You either hit a top rookie or you don’t. That’s really what it comes down to in the end. I’d just like to see a little more autographed content.

More information to come soon on release and price, but for now we’ll assume it’s around the same price and time as last year.

For now I leave you with some die-cut goodness.

Preview: 2011 Panini Elite Football

The NFL may not be able to get a product on the field yet this year, but Panini isn’t having any problems with their next release of NFL licensed football cards.

2011 Panini Elite football is set for release later this month with all the rookies and stars you need this season. Well so does Panini Rookies & Stars, but we haven’t gotten there yet. June 22, 2011 is the day to mark down for when you can find this product online.

5 cards per pack and 20 packs per box. 4 autographed or memorabilia cards per box with at least 1 being an autograph. I’ve noticed when Panini says this you can usually find 2 autographs, but they are being cautious. This seems to be the year of the insert for Panini, which I love by the way, so there will be a ton of inserts to get your hands on. Included is at least 4 rookies in your box too from some of the best rookies of this year’s draft class and they are all numbered to 999.

Now I love a lot of the designs of the cards in this set such as the Throwback Threads booklet, Down and Distance, and other inserts, but the rookies seem a little weird to me. They are designed horizontally. They use a big and wide photograph of the player in the center with “Rookie” down the side and kind of a plain background. You can see all 36 rookie cards from Panini Elite here. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the fact they are horizontal throws me off. Maybe they look better in person, sometimes scans don’t do cards justice.

That’s about the only thing amongst the whole product that I find odd. Otherwise check out these beauties as I mentioned above, Down and Distance and the Throwback Threads booklet cards:

I love both of those cards. The field design in the Down and Distance subset with the team logo in the field looks great and it’s just very pleasing to the eye. A cool idea would be to have the jersey piece cut out in the shape of a football on the field. Just a random idea that just came to my head as I was typing this.

Also looking good in this set is the Throwback Threads booklet. I love the throwback design where the jersey sits. These are probably my two favorite cards of the set.

I know people love rookies but the inserts in this set appear to be where it’s at. With great design and some great names in these subsets, their value should be great for the 2011 football season.

Find 2011 Panini Elite football on June 22, 2011 for around $90-$100 a box.

Site News: Another Great Day – Panini Day

I like great days. Nothing makes me feel better then just having one of those days where everything seems to go right. I’ve actually had two of those days in a row after a bunch of days where everything just seemed to go wrong. My string of good days continued yesterday with a random email.

This random email out of the blue came from Tracy Hackler, the Marketing Manager, of Panini America. Tracy and Panini have enjoyed my work so much since I’ve started that they are giving me the opportunity to review products for their company. That’s right, not only will I be receiving product to review, I will be able to give out tons more prizes to keep you all reading. At the end of every Panini America sponsored review, I will be giving out cards from that review. So you need to either read the full review or check the break video to find out how to win. Pretty awesome, right? I will be involved in the next shipment of products to review which will be whenever they get around to it. I didn’t ask many questions as I was excited to be able to do this. It’s been one of my goals for this site since I’ve started.

Also, this morning I saw some great images of the 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey set coming out later this summer. There is a reason why Panini has the best blog in the sports card industry and that is because of posts like these. So many previews every day of the week you know exactly what kind of cards are coming to you. Panini does a great job with their blog daily. They also do a great job on their Twitter with responding to questions. Now if only they could improve their Facebook presence just a little bit.

So I guess this has turned into the Official Panini Day post. A few site updates, some Panini product promoting as a continued thanks, the new Panini banner on the left…it’s just one of those good days. Maybe I’ll continue the theme with a product preview…maybe some Panini Elite football?

Hmm, I wonder what next will come after Panini Day?

Preview: 2011 Topps Marquee Baseball

This year Topps has brought another new product to the table in 2011 Topps Marquee baseball and so far, it looks very nice.

Every box will contain 4 packs at 5 cards per pack. Every pack will have a hit and according to Topps they will all be “premium” hits.

The hits per box will be:

  • One on-card autograph
  • One autographed multi-relic card
  • One jumbo relic card
  • One quad relic card

The only thing that bothers me about these “premium” hits is the actual relics themselves. Topps has had a history of putting in one color jerseys in their higher end products. Topps considers this box to be a “mid-end” product when in reality the majority of us will consider it high-end. This product is going to be $200 for a box or $50 a pack. Who in the world is that “mid-end” to? Maybe to actual Topps executives, not to the every day collector. This is a high-end product and should be treated as such.

There will be single and dual on-card autographs which look great from the sell sheets. Another thing that bothers me is Topps adding in non-baseball autographs in premium products like this. Remember Topps Co-Signers and their boxing autographs and others? No one was happy to pull one of those autographs unless they could sell it for a ton of money. Included in this product will be Manny Pacquiao autographs which some baseball purists won’t be happy with. Personally, I’d be happy pulling one if I could sell it for a decent price because I don’t care about pulling a Pacquiao, but to each their own.

The triple relics and autographed triple relics are the ones that scare me. As I mentioned above if there is all single color jerseys in this product, again, Topps has something to work on. There are patch versions of these cards and it appears these are only 1 of 1 versions. That is unacceptable in a product at this price. It kind of sounds like Triple Threads to me. The jumbo jerseys look multi-colored which is nice, but you’re bound to find more than one color in a relic as large as that.

Finally, the base cards look slick and solid as Topps usually provides in this type of product.

But the best hits will come at an odds of 1 per case. Never will you have to worry about dinged corners on a high end product again. Museum Collection features an on-card autograph with a metal frame around the edges. I’m assuming the checklist for these cards is extremely nice and they are numbered to just 10. It’s something different that definitely looks very nice and would be a welcome addition to any collection.

You can have your chance at these cards when they drop into stores on August 24, 2011.

You can find a 2011 Topps Marquee checklist here to see the possibilities.

Ichiro number one…any complaints?