The Sports Card Collectors Guide to Trading on the
Chapter 1 - Now that’s progress!
Chapter 2 -
- How to trade
- Packing and shipping
- After the trade: the good, the bad and the…gulp…ugly.
- Upgrade and MAKE $MONEY$
- The BIG LIST of “Smart trader tips”
Sports card resources
Chapter 2: Tools
This is a book about sports cards so the technical
jargon will be minimized. Since this is a book about
trading sports cards online, it is likely you have
access to a computer. You therefore have at least some
basic computer skills, which are really all you will
need to trade sports cards on line. A computer and
software are all that you need to begin online baseball
Get a good computer.
Just as you would want a good car and service plan, you
will want the same in a computer. Make the investment to
get something reliable. There is nothing more
frustrating than having productive trades going and your
computer crashes in the midst of them all. Computers are
not as expensive as they were, but you will have to
spend at least a few hundred dollars to get started.
A scanner will allow you to display the sports cards
that you have for trade to the people who might be
interested in them. Collectors will frequently not want
to trade for a card that they can’t see a picture of a
head of time; this is especially true with the more
You will need a few key pieces of software most of which
comes pre-loaded onto your computer.
There are several email programs available including
Outlook and Eudora. Most of the big Internet service
providers also have some form of email program for you
as well. Many email programs let you go to a web site to
check your email when you are either away from your home
computer or your main computer is broken. This feature
comes in handy for sports card traders.
Junk email filter
Unfortunately, with email comes unwanted email. If you
do not have a good junk email filter, you will not have
a lot of fun using email. Most service providers offer
junk email filtering. The better junk filters get
smarter the more you use them and become adept at
learning what it is that you consider junk and what you
do not. As of this writing, the Eudora Pro email program
has a fantastic spam filter.
As you are in the process of training your junk email
filter, make sure you do not accidentally filter out
email messages that you want. Junk email is usually put
into a separate file. It will take you just a few
seconds a day to scan junk messages to make sure that
there is nothing there that you want, like a message
from a sports card trader!
Email address Tip!
Don’t post your email address on message boards unless
you want to get a substantial increase in junk email.
Most good trading sites are built in such a way that you
don’t have to post your email address publicly, but can
hook-up with your fellow collectors via an internal
email system after you’ve posted your trade messages on
A browser is the software that lets you explore the
Internet. Currently, the most common browsers available
are Internet Explorer, AOL, Netscape, and FireFox. It is
important to keep your browser updated to get the most
out of your Internet surfing experience.
Instant Messengers (IM)
Some sports card traders like to use instant messaging
when negotiating a trade. An instant messenger is a
small software program that allows people to communicate
with each other. If both parties have an instant
messenger, they can type to each other in real time.
These have quite become popular for trading, so don’t be
surprised when someone asks you to hook-up via “IM”.
THIS IS CRITICAL! Unfortunately, there are nasty people
who create computer viruses just to cause problems for
computer users. You will eventually encounter a
computer virus while you are happily trading your
baseball cards. Spare no expense and get some good anti
virus software for your computer. As of this writing,
the two most popular anti-virus software programs are
Norton and Mcafee. Whichever one you get you should
update it frequently. Most anti-virus software allows
you to update them for a small subscription fee. You
should subscribe to get the updates and do it weekly.
Viruses are often sent via email messages. It is
important for you to realize that most people have no
idea they are sending you a virus. Viruses are
tricky and attach themselves to email messages and web
browsers. That is how they spread so quickly. If you are
trading with someone who sets off your anti-virus
software alert system, do not assume that he or she is
trying to attack you. That is a great way to destroy a
potentially good sports card trading relationship.
Instead, do your good deed for the day and let them know
that they need to scan their computer for a virus and/or
update their anti-virus software.
Many viruses will come to you in the form of an email
attachment. Make it a rule to NEVER open any email
attachments unless you are absolutely sure what it is
that you are opening. When in doubt, contact the sender
of the email message to confirm that you have been sent
an attachment and what it contains.
Get the fastest connection that you can afford. There
are several different types of connections available:
1. Dial-up connections. These
use your telephone line. Dial up connections are usually
the least expensive and generally work fairly well. They
are the slowest of the three connection types. Most tie
up your telephone line while you are using them and can
take a minute or so for them to connect to the Internet.
2. DSL connections. These also use
your telephone line and are a lot faster than dial-up
connections. DSL does not tie up your telephone line
while you are using them. DSL lines are always connected
to the Internet, so that as soon as you click you are
3. Cable connections. These do not
use your telephone line. They are fast, reliable, and
like DSL, are on all of the time.
Generally, the faster connections are more enjoyable.
Although this is not a requirement when you are just
starting out, eventually you are going to want to have
your own web site to list the sports cards that you have
for trade and the card that you want. It is common for
sports card traders to send each other a link to their
web site to make trading easier. Do not let this
intimidate you if you do not already have one. Building
a simple web site to list your cards on is very easy to
do. Sportscardfun.com offers a free web site to all of
its members as do other trading sites. These free web
sites are simple to build and take mere seconds to
update. You can also use a free web page service offered
by sites such as Yahoo.com, MSN, or many Internet
Okay, enough about the technical aspect of online
trading. If you would like to learn more about this
topic, there are many resources available for you to
learn more about it. Let’s move on to trading
baseball cards and other sports cards!
Where to trade
The best place for you to trade is Sportscardfun.com, of
course, the site that I founded almost 10 years ago.
The site was custom built from the ground up to meet the
needs of the online sports card trader.
Sportscardfun.com requires a small temporary membership fee. It
lessens trading problems. It does seem that those who
are willing to pay a fee for the quality service that we
provide are for the most part a more reliable sports
Sportscardfun.com is purely for trading, there is no
buying or selling allowed. We offer trading groups for
all sports. To help foster trust in the
Sportscardfun.com trading community members can reward
each other for a trade well done. When two traders
complete a trade they can exchange Sportscardfun.com
Good Trader Points and add them to their total for other
members to see. Traders can only leave one point for
each person with whom they trade. Earn 10 points and
your membership is Free For Life. Once you have earned
100 points you are listed in our “Hall Of Fame”.
Additional membership benefits include:
1. Round the clock access to other
2. Educational resources for
effective online trading
3. The ability to build your own web
page to list cards available for trade.
4. The Sports Card Trade Tracker
system (an online tool that helps each trader stay
5. Personal assistance with
mediating and/or helping with trade problems.
Other Trading Sites
is no shortage of sites on which to trade. Some of these
sites are free, some offer various membership levels,
and some are definitely better than others. Try a few
different sites and then decide which of them works best
for you. I hope that you will decide that
Sportscardfun.com is where you would like to call “home”
for all of your Internet trading.
the sports card resources at the end of this guide for a
list of some of the other trading sites.
Chapter 3 - How to trade