Saturday, January 16, 2010
purchasing to fill those want lists
I certainly like to fill my wantlist by trading wherever possible. It seems to justify (at least in my mind) why I hang all to all those dupes year after year after year. I have been successful doing these completing over 250 trades both large and small over the last several years. The internet has been essential in this process. People traded long before the internet but the process was certainly much more difficult and time consuming. These days a few quick emails or a msn chat can set up a trade in seconds. There are times, however, when it seems impossible to find those last few cards on your wantlist. Sometimes it is the case that all of your trading buddies are looking for the same few cards or you have missing cards from older sets and your friends have long since moved on. In these instances I look to various online sites which a huge inventory of cards available.
In this posting I will talk about sportlots.com. Sportlots.com boasts over 31 million cards in their inventory - these cards are offered from over 1000 different sellers. It appears that all inventory is kept with the individual seller - the seller simply adds the cards for their sale to the website's master database. Each seller sets postage rates as well with many offering discounts for volume purchases. Payment is available by check/money order or by paypal - it is possible to pay on one invoice for many orders from different sellers - this can be handy especially if not using a credit card to send payment. Most of the available inventory is sold in a fixed price format by sportlots.com does have an auction selection as well.
Some sellers allow the user to make counter offers on some cards. A feedback system is used to provide buyers with information about sellers business practices.
In my experience prices tend to be higher on star rookie cards than the average final selling price on Ebay. Sportlots does not charge sellers to simply list items - sellers only get charged on % of their sales. As a result it appears that a lot of sellers simply list all of their inventory - if it sells at a high price then great, if it doesn't sell then nothing is lost only the time to list the item. However, it can be useful for picking up those missing cards that have been eluding your best efforts for sometime!
Till next time.