We’re still in the midst of March Madness, so basketball has been on my mind more often than usual lately. I’ve been neglecting my basketball collections for the most part. One major reason is that they are very specific. There aren’t a lot of people actively looking to push their 1995-96 Series 1 Basketball inserts on me in this blogging world. Also, there aren’t a lot of people reading that are working on the 2010-11 Panini NBA sticker album either.
That means, I have to resort to other methods of acquiring my cards and stickers. The sticker album has been especially tough to finish. My options are either to buy more packs (which haven’t been in stores for months), or possibly a box but I don’t think I need enough to make that worthwhile, and I don’t need all those doubles, and there’s still a small chance I could walk away incomplete. That really leaves buying singles from somewhere.
As of today there are a whopping 20 stickers listed on Sportlots and only 2 on COMC. That creates quite the dilemma. Long story short, I ended up buying some directly from Panini’s website. It turned out to be a lot cheaper than the alternatives, but still not totally ideal.
I’ll spare you the details on what I picked up, because I think I’ll be picking up more (they have a 40 sticker per order limit). After all, what other options do I really have? You’ll get a big ol’ completed pages post then. In the meantime, this little situation made me think.
Even if Check Out My Cards had more than 2 stickers available that I needed, I wouldn’t have used them. I may be in the minority, but I don’t have an account with them. I currently don’t see the point, especially as a seller. You have to pay to ship your cards, pay to have them processed, pay extra if you want it done faster, pay extra if you have oversized or slabbed cards, pay extra if you want to mark them a certain condition, pay to keep them in their warehouse if they aren’t selling, pay to have them sent back. Don’t forget you can’t just buy things. You have to pay for the card, then you have pay what I consider to be an outrageous amount to have it shipped. If you want to receive cash instead of “store credit” you have to pay another fee on top of that.
In my mind, if I’m a seller, it really doesn’t seem like a worthwhile alternative to ebay at all. It sounds like a stock market. There are a lot of people that have had success on that site, but after taking all the fees into consideration, it’s tough to imagine much of a profit margin. As a buyer, it may be okay, but I can’t get past the shipping fees.
Sportlots has been good for us as far as selling goes, but buying makes my head hurt. I don’t know how many of you have tried navigating that website, but it is a serious pain. They keep trying to make improvements, but you basically have to know exactly what you’re looking for and be willing to put in the time to get to it. There are a lot of unnecessary steps involved in getting what you want and then finding more from the same seller (which is key to keep shipping costs down). I’m not a fan of the $.18 minimum price either. I get it, but it’s still annoying when you want to buy what should be a $.05 or $.10 card.
Long story short, there are obvious benefits and limitations to both of these websites. Probably more limitations than there should be, but at least alternatives to ebay exist.
So, where am I going with all of this? It all leads into our next FREE BOX BREAK QUESTION: Forget about Ebay, if you’re using Sportlots and/or Check Out My Cards, what do you like about them and what would you want to see changed or improved about them? Feel free to be as broad and specific as you’d like. If you currently don’t use either of them for a particular reason, what is that reason? Hey, who knows, maybe someone from those sites will be listening.