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 Tips for Buyers  
Buying Graded Cards
Buying graded sports cards on eBay can be fun and easy. Here's are some advisories when buying graded sports cards on eBay:
  • Each grading company has their own grading scale. Make sure you are familiar with each company's scale and what each grade means (see chart above for links to each service's grading scale).
  • Check "Completed Items" sold on eBay to get a feel for current market prices.
  • Consider the relative scarcity of each particular card. Some grading companies have "Population Reports" on their sites that show how many of any particular card exists at that grade by that grader.
Buying Non-Graded Cards
Buying non-graded cards can be somewhat tricky, especially given the challenge of accurately determining the exact condition of a card from afar. Even a quality scan makes card evaluation difficult. There are a couple rules to abide by when buying non-graded sports cards on eBay:
  • View the scan of the card carefully. Make sure you are able to see the corners and centering of the card fairly well.
  • Know a little history about the card. Remember that famous and more valuable cards should be viewed with more discretion.
  • Here's some guidelines and unofficial standards for the informal grading of non-graded cards:
    • MINT (MT): This is a card that shows virtually no flaws to the naked eye of a knowledgeable collector or dealer. This card should have 4 sharp corners, near-perfect (50/50) centering side to side and top to bottom on the front and back of the card. The surface should be void of any scratches, scuffs, or imperfections.
    • NEAR MINT TO MINT (NM-MT): Card should have 4 fairly sharp corners. 60-40 or better centering all around card. Card may have one slight color or surface imperfection, a few minor print spots, or a minor touch of wear on one corner.
    • NEAR MINT (NM): A slight touch of wear is allowed on 2 or 3 corners of the card. Centering should be 65-35 or better all-around card. Card may also have one of the following imperfections: a very slightly rough edge, a few very minor print spots, or a minor color or printing imperfection.
    • EXCELLENT TO MINT (EXMT): This card may be allowed two or three rough or "fuzzy" corners. Card should have 70/30 centering or better all around. Card may have a few minor print spots and a minor color imperfection or a major print spot or major color imperfection.
    • EXCELLENT (EX): Card is allowed 4 fuzzy corners, possibly one with a bit more wear than the others. Centering should be 75/25 or better all-around card. Card may also contain any of the following imperfections: minor rough edges, minor/a few major print spots, and color or focus imperfections.
    • VERY GOOD (VG): Card shows a moderate amount of wear. Corners all have minor dings, possibly rounding on 1 or more corners. Centering is 80/20 or better all around. There will be visible surface wear, including scratches and/or major print spots or defects and color and focus imperfections. A crease and/or stain might be visible on the card.
    • GOOD (G), FAIR (F), POOR (P): This card shows major wear in nearly every aspect. Centering might be 90/10 or worse, corners all show rounding. Creases and or staining might be visible on card. A card will be considered POOR if a piece of cardboard is missing, or card is torn.
General Tips for Buyers
  • Check the seller's feedback rating. While having a lower rating is not bad, be careful as to the ratio of negatives to total feedback (should be around 96-100%)
  • Beware of "reprint cards" which can be very deceptive when sold in an online auction. A reprint card is defined as a card that has been reproduced and released many years after the original printing. Reprint cards can look exactly the same as the original to the buyer. Sellers of reprint cards are required to disclose that the cards are reprints, so read the description closely. For more tips on reprints from eBay members, click here.
  • If a card looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Fraud Protection
eBay Fraud Protection Program. eBay pledges to work closely with our community of members to ensure a safe trading environment. eBay cannot make claims as to the authenticity of any particular item, however, there are courses of action that you can take if you feel you have been a victim of fraud. Click on the Protection Program: Overview to learn more.

PayPal Security Center. Just paid for an auction using PayPal, and you didn't receive the merchandise? Want to get a Money Back Guarantee with your purchase? Go to PayPal's security center where you can access all of PayPal's security features including their Money Back Guarantee, Fraud Prevention Tips for Sellers and Buyers, and education on reporting a problem.

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