Chill Clinton is a trading card enthusiast and investor who operates an online trading card store.
Interested in Selling Trading Cards on TCGPlayer.com?
Do you have an extensive collection of collectible trading cards, such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, or Yu-Gi-Oh!, and are you interested in selling those cards yourself? When researching platforms for reaching potential customers, you may come across TCGPlayer.com, one of the world's largest marketplace platforms exclusively for collectible cards.
But how do you use TCGPlayer.com to sell cards, and how much money can you actually make? What are the costs, and what are some of the ways trading card sellers can reduce their costs to maximize their profits?
Getting Starting With TCGPlayer.com
Opening your own store on TCGPlayer.com is relatively simple:
- Open an account on TCGPlayer.com
- Click "Sell With Us"
- Complete forms
- Wait for your bank account to be linked
- Begin listing with the "Inventory" tab; search catalog and upload photos
To open a TCGPlayer.com store, you will first need to open up a general account with the website, which will allow you, by default, to make purchases from sellers on the site.
After opening your account, you will need to click on "Sell With Us" in the top right corner of the user interface, besides the link you can use to access your user account.
Once you select "Sell With Us," you will need to complete some additional forms that will provide more personal information to TCGPlayer, including a bank account where your payouts can be deposited after you begin selling.
After waiting a few days, your bank account should be linked, and you can begin listing your inventory. In order to list your available cards, you will select the "Inventory" tab in your seller portal.
Then, using the box pictured above, you can search TCGPlayer's massive catalog of trading cards and sealed products and use the available forms to list your items. Though you have the option to add pictures of your product, most users elect to only do this when cards are costly and where differences in condition can reflect a wide range of values.
Don't worry if your cards aren't in perfect condition because the platform automatically provides different fields for listing cards in Near Mint, Lightly Played, Moderately Played, Heavily Played, and Damaged conditions. If you want to learn more about how to evaluate condition, I would recommend you read this helpful guide.
At first, you will be limited to only listing 100 items, but as you complete successful sales, you will be allowed to list increasing numbers of items until finally, after completing 51 successful sales, you will be able to list an unlimited number of items.
Making a Sale
When you list your cards on TCGPlayer.com, your listings will be shown, along with all other listings from least expensive to most expensive, to potential buyers searching for those specific cards. Buyers can also click on your store to shop exclusively from you and browse just your inventory.
If a buyer purchases something from you, you will receive an email notification, such as the one shown above, that summarizes the total sale price and itemizes the cards sold in a given transaction.
You will also receive an order number (not pictured) that will take you directly to the sale and instructions to ship the item within 48 hours of the sale, per TCGPlayer.com policies.
If you view the sale in the seller portal, you will see more details, including the name and shipping address of the buyer, as well as a breakdown of costs you, as a seller, will have deducted from the sale as a fee for using TCGPlayer's platform.
How Much Will Sellers Pay to Use TCGPlayer.com?
Keep in mind that TCGPlayer provides a service to sellers by maintaining a no-risk platform for connecting with potential buyers and handling all of the financial processes inherent to selling cards online. Because of this, sellers are compelled to pay a 15% fee on the total pre-tax sale of their items plus shipping, and this fee is taken directly out of the funds that the site pays you after making a sale.
Just like they can choose inventory listing prices, sellers can also choose their own shipping costs, and sellers should calculate the 15% fee when selecting how much they will charge buyers for shipping. Typically, trading cards can be shipped with tracking for around $3.50 when sellers use a discounted platform (I recommend using Pirate Ship to get the best rates) and purchase padded envelopes in bulk, so I recommend charging at least $3.50, but up to $4.99 to safely cover all costs.
How Soon Will Sellers Be Paid?
After making a sale and providing a tracking number to orders, your sale or sales will be scheduled for payment, with payments being initiated every Monday and Thursday. Once payments are scheduled, sellers should expect to see their payment deposited in their linked bank account within four days of the payment being initiated.
Tips for Reducing Costs
Even though sellers will always pay 15% fees on their sales, there are a few ways sellers can maximize their profits by reducing expenses inherent to selling:
- List as large an inventory as you can. Though many sellers will find your store by searching for a specific card, buyers will often browse the rest of your inventory to see if there are other cards you have that they might be interested in. If you sell a larger volume of cards in a single transaction, you will use fewer supplies in order to ship and decrease the number of trips you will make to the USPS or UPS store you will have to make.
- Purchase your own printer, paper, and ink. If you don't own your printing supplies, you will have to print out labels at the store, and the fees you will incur doing this will add up over time.
- Do not list cards that are worth less than $1. TCGPlayer offers a tool for buyers that allow them to automatically purchase the least expensive listings for the cards they want. If your store has a lot of really cheap cards listed, you will often find exceptionally small orders coming in (think less than $5). Between the labor of finding these cards, packaging them, and driving to a shipment center, the costs and time are simply not worth the razor-thin profits. It should be your goal to curate an inventory of valuable and sought-after cards in order to decrease the occurrence of small orders.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.